Smoky Black Bean Chili

I made this Chili to take on a backpacking trip last weekend. My general mantra when it comes to backpacking (at least one night trips) is that good food is worth the weight…so rather than going with a packet of freeze dried sodium bomb, I whipped this up and stashed it in a metal coffee can to heat up at the site on my camp stove. Another benefit to having chili is that I was able to load it with garlic and spiciness to keep mosquitoes away (it worked!).

We served our chili a la carte…but it would go exquisitely with a nice sweet corn bread or topped with a shredded smoked cheddar!

Time: 75 Minutes


  • Black Beans
  • Onion
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Corn
  • Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce
  • Ancho Chili Powder (Regular Chili Powder will work as well)
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Honey or White Sugar (to balance out acidity and the spice of your chilies)
  • Liquid Smoke or Smoky Paprika


  • Finely dice your onions and peppers. Peel and slice your garlic.
  • Heat some oil in a pot, and add your peppers, onions, and garlic. As your onions begin to turn opaque, add in your ancho chili powder and liquid smoke or smoky paprika.
  • As your onions, peppers, and garlic continue to cook, dice your chipotle chilies. Then, add them to the mix. Sauté for a few minutes, and then add your black beans and corn and stir to combine.
  • Pour in your canned tomatoes (don’t worry about pureeing them…they’ll break down during the simmering step). Add in some sugar or honey as well (to balance the heat of your chipotle chilies and acidity of your tomatoes with a little sweetness).
  • Cover and simmer over low heat for about 45-55 minutes until your tomatoes break down, and they form a nice sauce. Taste intermittently as it cooks, and add more seasonings or sugar/honey as needed.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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