Kalyn's Kitchen

Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa

The avocado salsa really puts this Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa over the top, and this chili recipe is perfect for game-day food. Use Chili Recipes to find more recipes like this one!

PIN this tasty black bean and beef chili with avocado salsa to try it later!

Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

Before we talk about this Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa, let’s just talk about chili in general. For anyone not familiar with the cuisine of the Southwestern United States, the stew-like dish called Chili may be a bit puzzling. Yes, it does usually contain chiles (small red or green hot peppers) as well as chile powder (powdered dried chiles).

If the Chili has meat it could be beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, but Chili can be a vegetarian dish. There are Chili recipes with or without beans, and even but if you use beans, many types will work, including red beans, black beans, white beans, pinto beans, and more. Besides chiles, meat and possibly beans, most Chili recipes include tomatoes and onions.

Chili is a great party food, as well as something that’s nice to have in the freezer for quick dinners. I’ve made a lot of Chili and have a great round-up of Healthy Chili Recipes and a collection of 10 Amazing Low-Carb Chili Recipes, but this Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa really knocked my socks off.

It wasn’t just the black beans, cilantro, and lime juice, although those are my favorite flavors for this type of dish. What really put this Chili into over-the-top status was the creamy avocado-cilantro-onion salsa, something I can imagine myself adding to all my Chili creations from now on. I found the recipe in Fine Cooking Annual 2008 (affiliate link), and this book is another great collection of recipes from the people at Fine Cooking Magazine.

You can also check out Healthy Chili Recipes Your Family Will Love! for more delicious chili recipes like this one.

Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. Start by rinsing the two cans of black beans and letting them drain.  (These photos are from a double batch of chili I made for my family Superbowl party, so divide by two in your mind.)
  2. Puree the third can of black beans with the tomatoes in a food processor (affiliate link) or blender.
  3. Brown the ground beef, then remove and add to a heavy soup pot.
  4. Heat the oil and saute half the onion until it’s starting to soften; then add the chile powders and cumin (affiliate link) and cook a minute or two until the spices are fragrant.
  5. By now I realized that the double batch of chili was not going to fit in the pan I was using so I transferred the meat and onion to this bigger pot, added the beef stock and drained beans, and let the chili start to simmer.  (Remember, this is a double batch!)
  6. Dice the avocados and toss it with 1/4 cup lime juice. Then stir in the rest of the chopped onion. Add half the chopped cilantro. You can keep the salsa in the fridge if you don’t think your chili is done yet.
  7. This chili will cook in about 30 minutes, but I like to simmer it on very, very low heat for a couple of hours. It will thicken a bit and cook down slightly. 
  8. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro when the chili is as thick as you’d like it and serve hot, with a generous scoop of salsa on top.

Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Chili Recipes You Might Like:

10 Amazing Low-Carb Chili Recipes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Chili Recipes Photo Index Page ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
CrockPot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Low-Carb and Keto Instant Pot Chili ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Amy’s Amazing White Chicken Chili ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa

Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

The avocado salsa really puts this Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa over the top!


  • 2 14 ounce cans black beans
  • 1 T olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
  • 1 lb. very lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
  • 1/2 cup very finely diced red onion
  • 1 T or more regular chile powder (preferably New Mexico chile powder )
  • 1 T or more ground Ancho chile pepper (Ancho chile powder adds great flavor, but can use more regular chile powder)
  • about 1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle chile pepper (see notes)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or more)
  • 2 cups homemade beef stock or 1 can beef broth
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)

Thickening Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • pinch ground Chipotle chile pepper (or one diced chile from a can of Chipotle Chiles in Adobo)

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion (or less)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 avocados, finely diced
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn’t use any salt)


  1. Drain 2 cans black beans into colander and rinse well, until no more foam appears.
  2. Let beans drain while you use a food processor (affiliate link) to puree the third can of undrained beans, diced tomatoes and liquid, and the pinch of Chipotle chile (or diced Chipotle chile pepper). Process the beans and tomatoes about 2 minutes, until they are fairly smooth.
  3. In bottom of heavy soup pot, heat 1-2 tsp. olive oil and brown beef, using the back of the turner to break it into small pieces.
  4. Remove beef to bowl, then add a bit more olive oil and 1 cup red onion.  Lower heat a little and cook onions until they are softened but not starting to brown. Add all the chile powders and cumin (affiliate link) and saute about 30 seconds.
  5. Add beef stock, browned ground beef, pureed bean mixture, drained beans from colander and tomato paste and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or longer. (I actually simmered my Chili at very low heat for nearly two hours. Halfway through the cooking time, taste to see if you want additional chile powder. I think chile powder is something you need quite a bit of in a dish like this.)
  6. While Chili simmers, dice avocados and place in plastic bowl with 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. (I used Elise’s method to chop the avocado inside the skin, which was easy and not messy.)
  7. Rinse and finely chop the cilantro. Mix 1 cup red onion and half the chopped cilantro (about 3/4 cup) into the avocado-lime juice mixture. (This can be kept in the refrigerator while the Chili cooks, but be sure to mix the lime juice with the avocado as soon as you cut it to keep the avocado from turning brown.)
  8. Just before serving Chili, stir in the other 3/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1/4 cup lime juice and cook about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if desired.
  9. Serve Chili hot, with a generous scoop of avocado salsa on top of each serving.

To Adapt for the Crockpot:

  1. Reduce the beef stock to 1 or 1 1/2 cups (depending on how thick you want the chili.)
  2. Use an extra tsp. of regular and ancho chile powder. (I wouldn’t increase the chipotle chile powder; you can add hot sauce at the table if you want more heat.)
  3. Cook 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low (depending on how hot your Crockpot cooks.) Turn to low when you add the lime juice and cilantro.


Chipotles are smoked jalapenos, and the ground chipotle is very hot so use sparingly.

This recipe was adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Annual 2008.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 721mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 18gSugar: 5gProtein: 33g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Made with low-fat ground beef, this Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa would be a great main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Dried beans are a limited food for Phase One, but in a dish like this with ground beef, tomatoes, and beef broth you can have a larger serving size than dishes that contain only beans. To make this a lower-carb recipe, double the beef and use less beans, but check out 10 Amazing Low-Carb Chili Recipes for a chili recipe that’s truly low in carbs.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

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    101 Comments on “Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa”

  1. Pingback: Anthony Bourdain's New Mexico Style Beef Chili Recipe | Cooking On The Ranch

  2. Anyone know how to convert this in instant pot?

    • I haven’t tried making this in the Instant Pot, but you could check out this instant pot chili recipe for ideas about cooking time. This recipe has more liquid, but with the beans thickening it I think it still might work, or you could simmer at the end to thicken if you need to. I would love to hear how you do it if you try!

  3. I Can not tell you HOW much my family LOVED this!! Just made it today and it was a hit! I never would have thought to add lime juice to chili, nor put a salsa on top… but it is OH so Yummy!! Thank you!!

  4. I've made this countless times over the past 4 years, even now that I'm no longer on the SBD (but should be again!). Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. Thanks for posting this recipe. I can't wait to make it on the 15th.
    I remember a chili recipe in my SBD cookbook that had avocado, but I forgot all about it until now. MMmm… can't wait to wow some people with this at a pot luck.

  6. Jen, I think veg broth would be fine.

  7. I don't have beef broth on hand and am curious if you or any of your readers have tried this recipe with vegetable broth? What about a mix of beans? Thanks Kalyn for all of the awesome SB recipes!

  8. I would leave it out. I don't think there is anything that really replaces cilantro.

  9. This recipe looks great, but I need a variation on the avocado salsa that doesn't include cilantro. My husband is one of those people who find cilantro bitter and soapy-tasting, so usually I just leave it out, but I'm afraid the salsa would lose a lot of the flavor. Any ideas?

  10. Donna, I'm telling you the avocado salsa on chili really is pretty life-changing!

  11. Here you go again – making a combination that I never thought of, but now will have to make every single time ` avocados and chili. Genius!

  12. Audrey, so glad you both enjoyed it!

  13. Hi Kalyn – I made this last night and it was soooo good! The avacado salsa absolutely made the meal and my husband loved it!

  14. I would probably skip the tortillas strips, as they would make the chili less South Beach Diet friendly. But you could definitely add some if you wanted!

  15. This looks wonderful. I am wondering if some fried tortilla strips, or just crushed tortilla chips on top would add a great crunch!

  16. Thanks Dara, definitely one of my favorite chilis.

    CJ, the salsa is kind of hard to resist.

    Anna, wish I had some too!

  17. THIS is what I want for my dinner

  18. This chili recipe sounds soooo good! Love the avocado salsa garnish to finish. I'm afraid I might eat it all at one sitting. *L*

  19. I can tell by the color of this chili that it is rich in flavor. This is definitely one to try!

  20. Don't have all the ingredients for this, but I'm going to give it a try with what I've got. I just wish my avocado hadn't gone bad. That seems like an awesome idea.