Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipotle & Avocado

January 19, 2010 | By andrea | Filed in: Beef, Chili, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup/Stew.


This delicious chili is easy to make and loaded with flavor. I love the combination of the creamy avocados with the smokiness of the chipotle pepper. Mmmm, this recipe is a winner!

I started with cooking the beef most of the way then added the onions to the pot while the beef finished cooking (therefore eliminating the remove-the-beef-from-the-pot step). I then spooned off as much fat as I could and discarded it. Since my chili was a bit thicker than I wanted it, I added more broth and some beer to thin it out, then added a little more chili powder and cumin. I used beef broth instead of chicken broth to bump up the beef flavor.

The recipe calls for using a food processor to blend some of the beans with the tomatoes and chipotle pepper. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the chipotle pepper and use a potato masher to smash the beans. The mixture will be chunkier than the original recipe but that’s ok…it’s chili. This recipe is easily doubled and is great for entertaining because it can be made the day before and reheated. Garnish each serving with avocado and your favorite chili toppings.

Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipotle & Avocado
-recipe from

Serves four.

3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium chipotle pepper plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
Kosher salt
1 large red onion, finely diced
1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut in a medium dice

Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering hot, about 2 min. Add the beef, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon. Add half of the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 min. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds. Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and the beef to the pot and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently. Add half of the lime juice, half of the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If the chili is thicker than you like, it may be thinned with water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve the chili topped with the avocado mixture and remaining cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Coarsely crumble about 3 handfuls of tortilla chips in a zip-top bag, and use them as an additional chili topping.

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