Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange

I love a good bean chili. I have always preferred bean or chicken chili to ones with ground meat, and this is another one for the books. It came together in no time, and I loved the addition of orange zest and juice to brighten the flavors. I skipped the yogurt garnish because I didn’t have any, but it would have been lovely in there. Next time I plan on throwing avocado on top as well.

from: Food + Wine Magazine February 2016
serves: 4-6

Turn this chili into a dip for corn chips or tortilla chips by leaving the consistency a bit thick (add less water), layering it with chopped avocado, shredded cheddar, salsa, and sour cream. 

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
kosher salt + black pepper
one 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
three 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
cilantro leaves, for garnish
Greek yogurt, for serving



In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.


Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, chile powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, black beans, honey, 1/2 teaspoon of the orange zest and 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the flavors meld and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.


Stir in the orange juice and season with the salt and pepper. Divide the chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest. Serve with yogurt if desired.



Make ahead: this chili can be refrigerated overnight and reheated with more water if it’s too thick.

Beer pairing: Toasty, malty craft beer like Anchor Steam

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