Quick Black Bean Chili

Recipe adapted from the 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Dr. Neal Barnard; Recipe by Jason Wyrick

Lifestyle Docs Food for Life instructor, Karoline, loves to prepare this Quick Black Bean Chili recipe during her cooking class demos. This recipe is so tasty and takes only minutes! The flavor only gets better over time which is why we recommend doubling the recipe to enjoy flavorful leftovers during the week.


  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces black beans, cooked or canned, rinsed
  • 8 ounces crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or for a strong smoky flavor use 1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika & 1/8 teaspoon chipotle)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Water
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice (optional)


Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until browned. Add a thin layer of water and quickly stir the onion. Let the onion sit and the water evaporate. Repeat this process until the onions have reached your desired texture (up to four times).

Reduce the heat to medium, add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.

Add black beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and oregano mixing everything together. Simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Additional tips:

There are a number of advantages that come with cooking beans from scratch instead of buying canned. The extra effort is worthwhile to achieve the delicious taste of home cooked beans. Home cooked beans are also cheaper, can be made in large quantities and can be easier to digest. When cooking beans from scratch, soak and rinse the beans well before cooking to aid digestion.  

To cut down on the time it takes to prepare beans from scratch, try a pressure cooker. Beans soaked for 8 hours will be done within 12 minutes at pressure (plus the time it takes to cool enough for the pressure to dissipate). Don’t forgot, it also takes time to bring the pot to temperature.

To store, fill the beans plus cooking water while hot into glass jars. By sealing them immediately, the jars create a slight vacuum that helps to extend the fridge shelf life from several days to a couple of weeks. If you prefer strained beans, just strain the beans before filling them into jars and use within the next few days.

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