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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.

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.

Pinterest image of Black Bean and Beef Chili with Avocado Salsa

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

  1. Christine, I think it would be great if your husband thought you bought it and then you told him you made it!

  2. An excellent recipe. I love making chili, but some of the things you've put into this I would have never thought to use. I've always used the classic beans, ground beef and a few veggies (pathetic I know).

    My husband may actually eat this, but he'd of course think I bought it pre-made… yes I am a bad cook but I'm learning!

    Thanks for another great recipe Kalyn.


  3. Jean, thanks so much for the nice feedback. This is one of my favorites too; in fact I'm making it on Nov. 14 for a big family party!

  4. It is getting to be chile weather and this is absolutely our favorite. This morning, our 14 year son requested this for dinner on his way out the door for school. Generally, I make it with a combination of lean ground beef and lean turkey. This also freezes well and makes for great after school snacks on cold winter days or quick middle of the week dinners.

    Love you blog!!!

  5. Eden glad you liked it. I don’t think I’ve had a bad recipe yet from Fine Cooking.

  6. Wow. I just made this today and it was just as yummy as I expected. I cut the spices somewhat because I don’t like things really hot but other than that, yummy recipe. I think the avocado salsa really finished it off beautifully. Thank you!

  7. What a brilliant idea to use the can label to label your chipotles in the freezer! So glad you are enjoying the blog; thanks for taking time to let me know.

  8. This recipe looked so good that I doubled the recipe, even before I had tested the “single” recipe! I used salt free tomatoes and salt free tomato paste, and low-salt organic black beans. I didn’t have any Penzey’s Ancho Chili, so I just used a little extra of their regular chili. The salsa is lovely on top of the chili! I froze about 60% of the recipe and will serve it to friends on Friday night, when they’re here to plan for a retreat. I think it’ll be very much enjoyed!

    I, too, put the remainder of the little can of chipotles in adobo sauce in a small plastic container. I cut the label off the can, and, as I close the lid on the container, I “catch” the label between the lid and the container–that way, I know what’s inside!

    Kalyn–I love your recipes! Thanks for blogging–and have fun with your renovating!

  9. Anonymous, I have some little refrigerator containers with snap-on lids and I just put some of the chipotle chiles in there and store in freezer. They seem to last forever. I think you can use them anywhere that a smoky chili flavor is good.

  10. Hi Kalyn! Thanks for all the great recipes and cooking ideas. I made this chili a couple of weeks ago and it was a hit with my husband (me too!) and he has requested it for his Super Bowl bash this weekend. I used the canned chipotles, which gave the chili an amazing depth of flavor. They seemed a little small so I used 4, and the chili was hot, but not overpowering, just delicious if you like spicy food. My question–how do you store the remainder of the canned chipotles and how long can you keep them? And, any other ideas for using them up? The flavor makes me think they would make a good foil for steak or any grilled meat. Alas, grilling season is far away here in Chicagoland. I’m going to try adding them to meatloaf and things that could use a bit of smokey heat.


  11. Amy, thank you! I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying the blog.

  12. Kalyn, I have been following your blog for a few months now – and I love it! So does my husband. After making this chili, he has been asking for it every day since! He suggested I start a separate recipe book full of your recipes. Thanks so much for all your fantastic recipes and photos!

  13. Cecil, thanks for letting me know you’re enjoying the blog, and good luck on South Beach!

  14. I am new to South Beach and have found your blog to be so helpful! I love cooking and can’t believe how many great recipes you have to make the diet varied. This was the first I have tried as I’m only on day 3, but my husband and I loved it, especially with the lime. I can see myself being a regular visitor, thanks.

  15. Tom and Amber, so glad you liked it, and thanks for the nice feedback!

  16. Tried this tonight and it is DELICIOUS! We are sold on the salsa topping with the lime, and we already love cilantro, so this is perfect. We’ve been South Beaching for 6 weeks now, and we didn’t miss the cornbread with the chili at all (although I promised we would have cornbread the first time the temps dip below freezing, which could be a while in Texas!) I didn’t have some of those spices and didn’t see it at my grocery store, so I got a pack of McCormicks hot chili seasoning instead. All it takes to keep us excited about this diet is a quick visit here to find a new recipe to try. Really, thank you so much!

  17. Red if you don’t want much spice in the chile, I’d use just plain chile powder and leave out the other types. You could use a bit less too if you wanted, although plain chile powder is usually not that spicy.

  18. I really don’t like my food hot can i leave off some of those peppers?

  19. Joanne, so glad to hear you liked it. I loved this salsa on the chili too!

  20. My husband and I tried this dish tonight- WE LOVED IT! The chili was good as is but the avocado salsa stepped it up with a creamy compliment to the spicy thick chili (we added some pepper flakes). We cooked it without the lid and for about 2 hours. Thank you for helping us stay on track and enjoy such a great dish! Ps. I think I will take this dish to a 4th of July party!