This beef chili is packed full of vegetables, including fresh tomatoes, and a few surprising spices that take it from ho-hum to heaven!
Chili is a staple around here, no matter what the season.
My daughter, Jade, loves it so much that she claims she could eat it every day!
Recently, I’ve tried to create a kind of ‘ultimate’ chili, if you will. I have a tomato-free version on the blog already, as Jade used to have trouble with the acidic fruit. As she gets older, however, her allergies improve with each passing year, and so, my recipes become more lenient.
I started working on this recipe a few weeks back after getting a bad cold. Chili seemed like such a comforting food option, so I started playing around.
I perused dozens of recipes online, but couldn’t find one with a spice blend or list of ingredients that really ‘wowed’ me. Interestingly, there is a pattern with most chilis: beef, onion, garlic, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, tomatoes.
There’s nothing wrong with the above, but I wanted to bust out and do a few things different…add in a few more veggies, a few surprising spices, and a little acidity at the end to ‘brighten’ the whole thing up.
Taking a cue from a Mexican mole sauce, I’ve added in dashes of both cinnamon and clove, along with some unconventional vegetables.
You’ll still find all of the usual chili suspects, but these sly additions really take this recipe to chili lover’s nirvana!
I hope you’ll agree if you give it a try!
My Best Vegetable Chili with Black Beans
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 (heaping) cup yellow onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- 18 grape or cherry tomatoes chopped
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 (heaping) tsp oregano
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- dash cloves (powder)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper to taste
- 3 cups cooked black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 3 Tbsp cilantro chopped
- Place the beef to a large pot and begin cooking to render out some fat.
- Add in the veggies (onion, garlic, bell pepper, celery, carrot) and stir to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and pepper), and beans.
- Bring the pot to a bubble, then lower the heat to a simmer.
- Cover the pot and cook the chili for as long as you have time (at least 30 minutes and up to 90).
- Remove the lid, and stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste.
- At this point, I like to let it simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes to thick it up even more! This is optional, based on your own desired thickness.
- Serve and enjoy!
This is my favorite tomato sauce to use.
Regular tomatoes can work in place of the grape or cherry, but I find the flavor much better with the smaller variety.
As with so many chili recipes, the longer you can let it simmer, the better the flavor! I like to let this go for at least an hour, but I’ve found 30 minutes to be good as well.
Some of the items I use to make this recipe include: