Black Bean Chili with Dark Ale Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Black Bean Chili with Dark Ale

A slightly sweet, dark beer tempers the acidity of the tomatoes and the spiciness of the chipotle chiles in this easy recipe.



Ingredient Line: 
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, drained and minced
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2 Tbs. olive oil
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2 Tbs. ground cumin
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1 large onion, finely chopped (1 ½ cups)
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1 medium red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
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5 cloves garlic, minced (5 tsp.)
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2 14-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
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24 oz. dark beer, such as New Belgium 1554
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1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
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1 cup fresh or frozen corn


Heat oil in 3-qt. pot over medium heat. Add chipotles and cumin; season with salt, if desired. Cook 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Stir in beans, beer, tomatoes, and corn. Bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes, or until thick.

Nutrition Information: 

8 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
31 g
0 mg
383 mg
10 g
4 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

also beware that some brands of chipoltles in adobo contain gluten in the form of wheat flour to thicken the sauce

Loved this chili, but I made several changes. I used only one bottle of beer as several people mentioned it was bitter and replaced it with a cup of water and a bouillon cube. I also reduced the cumin to about 1 tablespoon and tossed in half a bag of soy crumble. It was still a little bitter, so I added the juice of a quarter of an orange. Delicious!

We really liked this recipe. It was heart, filling and tasty. The beer adds a wonderful aroma. If you don't like fiery hot chili, you will want to de-seed the chiles or leave one out.

I found this chili to be both too runny, and overpowered by cumin/ale bitterness. I usually love cooking with beer but this one was just not a winner at my house.

This one quickly became one of my husband's favorites. I use jalepeno instead of the chipotle chiles, and add a little cayenne for an extra kick. It's also good if you add kidney beans.

I normally don't like chili - but this was really good. I used Guinness and it was pretty good. I found the thicker the beer, the less runny the broth. And yes, definitely de-seed the chiles - my boyfriend couldn't eat the first batch because it was so spicy.

I can't wait to try this recipe. I am always trying to find 'twists' on normal vegetarian recipes. A great new way to make vegetarian chili. Thanks -- natalie,

I wanted to like this dish but it was too bitter - but my partner did not taste bitter at all! Was it my beer? (I used a dark beer from Magic Hat.)

I also found that the cumin was a little bit overpowering. I added another can of tomatoes and another can of beans and it tasted great.

I just made something very similar - but I made up my own recipe. Basically very similar to above - less cumin, but added chili powder. Used pink kidney beans and added diced zucchini and summer squash. I also browned some ground turkey first (but you can omit).

I used Sam Adams Black Lager and it was delicious. I also added about 1/4 tsp cayenne. Don't forget the cornbread!

Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tsp. sugar and reduce the cumin to 1 tsp. Add 1 tbs. tomato paste and 1 can of pinto beans. I served it over macaroni and my family loved it.

Didn't have any chipotle chiles or tomatoes handy so I increased the cumin, added cayenne pepper, some leftover salsa and ketchup (*gasp) to make up for the smokey and tomato flavor. I also cut up some veggie bacon to placate the omnivores in the house-- it was very delicious!

I've cooked with beer before even though I can't stand beer I've always liked the dish anyway, except this time. The beer "taste" is overpowering in this dish and if you don't like beer, you won't like this. I used one chipolte without seeds, put in 1 tsp. of cumin and 1 tsp. of a spicy hot mixture I use all the time, along with a tablespoon of mild chili powder and it was a little hot for my taste, but not bad, and if there had been no beer, I might have liked it. I put it over gluten free cornbread. I also added a small can of tomato paste to thicken it up. I might try it again but use tomato juice instead of beer or half as much beer.

I just made the recipe as directed using Southern Tier Black Ale and a little over 1 Tbs of Cumin. It was bitter and the cumin was still overpowering so I took anonymous's advice and added an extra can of diced tomatoes and some more black beans.

Made this recipe last week and loved it! May be our new staple chili recipe. Used Guinness and three chipotle chilis...but increased can of tomatoes (used fire-roasted) to 28oz. To make it thicker (as several other folks commented it was too thin), gave it a few pulses with the immersion blender, which thickened it nicely while still haveing the 'chunkiness' of traditional chili. I think you could also replace one can of the beans with refried beans to thicken.

This recipe is listed in the gluten-free section, but be aware that most beer has gluten in it. There are a very few gluten-free beers.

Has anyone made this in the crockpot?

Made it for dinner tonight and it was spicy and delicious! Such a quick dish to put together but tastes like it's been slow-cooking all day. I'll probably add some bulgur or kasha next time, as it was not as thick as I typically like my chili, but will definitely make it again!