Meatless Black Bean Chili – Cleveland Clinic

Closeup of meatless black bean chili in a stoneware bowl, with avocado and lemon garnish.

When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like chili to warm you up from head to toe, and our latest version is a standout. Hearty beans and fire-roasted tomatoes form the base of this black bean chili. Red, yellow and green bell peppers add crunch, sweetness and abundant nutrients — not to mention a bright dose of color to counteract the winter skies.

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But it’s the combination of spices — chili powder, cumin, chipotle and oregano — that gives this dish its savory, smoky, satisfying kick. Instead of sour cream, protein-rich Greek yogurt tops this chili, and a sprinkle of red onion and cilantro chime in, too. Notice what’s not in this recipe? Health-harming red meat. We promise, you won’t miss it.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 bell peppers (green, red, and yellow), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 15-ounce cans unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • Chopped red onion and fresh cilantro, for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, covered with a tight-fitting lid and stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder and salt and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, or until the tomato paste starts to caramelize. Stir in the bell peppers.
  4. Add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of water and let come to a boil.
  5. Stir in the beans.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bell peppers are tender.
  7. Stir in the vinegar.
  8. Serve the chili topped with a dollop of yogurt and the red onion and cilantro.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 351
Total fat: 9 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Protein: 16 g
Total carbohydrate: 53 g
Dietary fiber: 17 g
Sugar: 9 g
Added sugar: 0 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 604 mg

— Recipe developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness.

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