Cremini Mushroom Chili with Black Beans, and Corn

February 14, 2018
5 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

From Laila Ali's Food for Life: One thing many of the most long-lived people in the world have in common is diet rich in beans. It’s no wonder: beans have more protein by weight than beef (at a fraction of the price), and they’re filled with vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fiber. Chili is one of my favorite dishes to showcase my love of beans, and I like to add finely chopped mushrooms to give body and meaty texture to the dish. Fresh corn adds a sweet lightness, and coffee and cocoa—add a depth that really makes this chili stand out. Chili gets better the longer you cook it, so plan ahead to allow for the full hour and a half it takes to get to chili perfection. To further thicken your chili, you can blend a portion of it and then return it to the pan.

Featured in: A Hearty, Satisfying Vegetarian Chili with 3 Little Flavor Boosters. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, finely chopped or pulsed in the food processor (in batches, if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained, or 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juices
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups good-quality store-bought (vegetable) broth, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Optional garnishes: Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt; guacamole or avocado chunks; shredded Jack cheese; sliced scallions; pickled jalapeños; chopped red onion; lime wedges
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until aromatic. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes, lifting the lid to stir a couple of times, then cook until the liquid released by the mushrooms has been absorbed, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chili powder and chipotle and cook, stirring often, until aromatic, adding a tiny bit of water if the mixture starts to stick. Add the vinegar and stir to release any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the coffee and cook until it has been almost completely absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add the cocoa powder, beans, whole tomatoes (crushing them in with your hands) and their juices, the salt, and broth. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 1 ½ hours, until the chili is a bit thickened but still a bit soupy.
  4. Add the corn and cook until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro. If you’ve got a half hour to spare, let the chili sit to further develop the flavors and thicken. Taste and add more salt and/or an additional splash of vinegar and serve with your choice of garnishes.
  5. Optional garnishes: Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt; guacamole or avocado chunks; shredded Jack cheese; sliced scallions; pickled jalapeños; chopped red onion; lime wedges

See what other Food52ers are saying.

2 Reviews

Sarah September 7, 2019
Too much chili powder
Gal February 17, 2018
No. 1 says: "In a large saucepan, heat the over medium heat". I guess that would be heat the olive oil?