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This chili recipe is a little bit different from what you may be used to. I like using black beans and adding corn, for example. Also, I chose to top this batch off with a personalization of a common item – Greek yogurt avocado crema. As you know if you’ve visited my blog before, I love cooking with Greek yogurt, and it works so well instead of sour cream or mayonnaise in a variety of recipes. This crema is obviously optional, but I love its creaminess, tang, and knowing that my topping is legitimately healthy instead of a guilty pleasure. Ready to see the recipe? Let’s do it!
People frequently associate chili with slow cookers, and there’s no denying that a chili is a great crock pot meal. I chose to make mine on the stove. You can go either way – simmer it on the stove for as long as you can stand (at least an hour or, preferably, 4-5 hours) or put it in a crock pot on low for more like 7 hours. Chili gets even more delicious as it simmers, and typically tastes best the second day. For truly tasty chilly, make it the day before, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then reheat it the second day!
The avocado crema is optional, but it’s delicious. I don’t consider myself an avocado person, at all, but the creamy topping goes well with the black bean beef chili. Of course, my all time favorite chili topping is sharp cheddar cheese, but I figured I’d branch out and try something new!
For the chili
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (make sure they're plain or no salt added, not seasoned!)
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons of minced chipotle peppers in adobo (about 4 peppers)
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- The juice of one lime, or 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 3/4 of a cup of corn, canned or frozen
For the creme
- 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 medium, rip avocado
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
For the chili
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot and shimmery, add the onions, garlic, chili powders, and cumin and stir thoroughly to combine. Sauté until the onions are almost translucent, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the beef and break it into chunks with your spoon or spatula. Brown it, flipping as necessary until it is mostly browned. This will take 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your pot and how cold the beef is.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes, black beans, chipotles, oregano, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, chicken broth, and 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Stir thoroughly and add additional water, if necessary, to cover the meat.
- Cover and allow the chili to simmer for as long as you can stand to, at least one hour but preferably closer to 4 or 5. Adjust the heat, as necessary, to maintain a low simmer, stir occasionally to prevent anything form sticking to the bottom, and add extra water, when needed.
- When the meat is tender and you just can't stand only smelling it much longer, taste it and add extra chili powder, black pepper, and/or salt as desired and then stir in the corn.
- Allow the chili to simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes. Uncover, if necessary, to allow any excess liquid to steam away.
- Stir in the final 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro.
- Top, serve, and enjoy! I recommend serving the chili with additional lime slices, corn bread, and my avocado crema.
For the crema
- While the chili is cooking, cut your avocado in half, discard the seed, and scoop it into your blender or food processor.
- Add the Greek yogurt and lemon juice and process until smooth and creamy. If you want it to still be pretty at dinner time, the lemon juice is very important. Avocados brown when exposed to air, but the lemon juice prevents this discoloration.
- Transfer the crema to the dish or container of your choice, cover, and refrigerate until it is needed.
It seems like a lot of steps and it takes a while to make, but you can almost ignore the chili most of the time. Just check to make sure it hasn’t simmered dry and give it a stir every once in a while and you’ll have a delicious meal ready before you know it!
Bonus idea: freeze your leftovers! Chili freezes incredibly well for a year or more in a well-sealed bag!
What’s your favorite way to make chili? Do you serve it Cincinnati style? Make it without beans? Make it without meat? I always love hearing about different ways to make my favorite foods!
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.