Vegan Black Bean and Cocoa Habanero Chili Recipe

Vegan Black Bean and Cocoa Habanero Chili Recipe

The winter is here and at the moment my chili plants are far from bearing fruit. The new plants are small and the other two are cut down for the winter.

Winter means cold weather and, sometimes, a lot of snow. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the winter. In fact, it is the perfect time to cook up a hot and delicious chili! A hot and flavorful chili, and a beer after you’ve been out skiing just tops of the day! Especially, a very simple and quick recipe with basic ingredients like in this recipe. It’s also a very good way to use all your homegrown chili peppers.

Inspiration on how to use your hot peppers:

A friend of mine was kind enough to give me one of his Habanero peppers, so I thought that I would use that in my chili.

Red Habanero Pepper cut in halves
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Red Habanero Pepper

Habanero Chili Recipe

In this hot chili, I used black beans because I prefer them to the traditional red beans, often used in chili. As my friend is vegan, this chili is also meat and dairy-free.

Usually, I add cinnamon to my chili, but this time I thought that I would try using cocoa. My friend told me that it should add an interesting bit of depth to the hot chili. And he has made some delicious healthy brownies with cocoa and black beans! Diced tomatoes were also added because… Well, tomatoes and chili are something I think go well together!

This vegan black bean chili is super easy to make and only includes 9 ingredients.  The whole meal is done in less than 40 minutes. This makes this chili perfect for a weeknight and a lazy weekend!

Diced onion used in the black bean chili
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Diced Onion

I must say that this chili had so much flavor and heat that you just might question whether it’s really vegan. I surely did not miss meat, but you can probably add some and let it simmer for 1-2 hours more (I just want to try it out during the weekend.) And the flavor! Oh, the flavor was incredible with the serious punch of the Habanero pepper. The cold weather outside was no longer an issue… We were sweating.

Next time, I’ll probably add some ingredients like sweet bell peppers. If you’re not vegan, I think this recipe would be super nice with some ground beef. Or why not ground turkey?! Anyway, this is by far my favorite chili recipe at least without any meat.

Leave me a comment below after you make it; I sincerely love hearing what you thought about it!

Simple and quick black bean chili recipe
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Mexican Style Hot Bean Stew

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 hot bowls of chili


  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large diced tomatoes
  • 1 habanero diced
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspon smoked paprika
  • 8 dl vegetable broth
  • Yogurt or sour cream Optional. Use dairy-free products if vegan
  • Lime wedges Optional


  1. Heat the oil in a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and habanero; sauté until the onion is translucent (for about 8 minutes).
    Diced Habanero
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  2. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add in the bay leaves, cocoa powder, and smoked paprika. Sauté for 1 minute
  4. Mix the chopped tomatoes and stir occasionally for 1 minute before adding the broth
  5. Bring the chili to boil, stirring occasionally, and reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for until the chili thickens (about 30 minutes).
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve in bowls with yogurt and lime.

Recipe Notes

We really enjoyed this delicious chili. It was hot so the optional yogurt was needed! It can be served with rice but we just some bread.

Other great toppings: tortilla chips shredded cheese, such as cheddar or pepper Jack (if non-vegan); halved cherry tomatoes; thinly sliced scallions; diced avocado.

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