Spicy Beef and Black Bean Chili

Last weekend I made chili for dinner. Yes, I made chili, for dinner, in July. What the what?


I’m totes blaming this one on the weather. Two weeks ago we had temperatures in the upper 90′s with 100% percent humidity. Last week we woke up to a cool 76-ish degrees and the humidity disappeared. *poof* Just like that, it was gone. I get that 76 isn’t really cold or anything, but compared to the previous week’s weather it felt cool…dare I say, almost Fall-like? It was also rainy and overcast all day Saturday and well, it just felt like a day for a hot pot of hearty chili. This one fit the bill.

When I make chili I like to keep things simple. Chop, drop, sauté, simmer, done. Sound good to you?


Start by slicing three slices of bacon crosswise. Drop these into a dutch oven or another large pot set over medium high heat. Cook the bacon until it’s crispy.


Next chop one medium onion. I like using a sweet onion (this is a Vidalia) but you could substitute white, yellow, or even red onions if that’s what you have handy.


Next chop a red bell pepper. Again, you can substitute with whatever you have on hand. Green, orange, or yellow will also work just fine. You can also totally leave it out if you’re not a bell pepper fan. It took me forever to get my hubby to like them, so for a long time I made this chili without any bell peppers at all. He’s come a long way. :-)


You’ll also need one whole chopped jalapeño. I left the seeds and stems in tact because we can handle it. Feel free to remove them if you’d like a little less heat.


Add the chopped veggies to the pot.


Saute the veggies just until they’re soft and translucent. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to get up all that rendered bacon goodness that’s down there. The veggies might take on a little color from the bacon, but you do not want them to cook until they’re actually starting to brown. This takes maybe 4-5 minutes, tops.


Add a pound of ground beef and cook until it’s brown. I used lean in this case, but you can go for ground sirloin, ground chuck, or whatever ground beef you have on hand. If seems to be a lot of excess fat accumulating in the pot you’ll want to drain it out.


Add in your seasonings…a little sugar to balance out all the heat/savory going on in here, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and black pepper. I also season with kosher salt to taste. Why that didn’t end up in this photo I have no idea. Whoops!


Add one 15oz. can of tomato sauce.


Also add one 15oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Stir it all together and simply let this simmer for 20 minutes.


Chili on it’s own is good stuff, but I like to load mine up with plenty of shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, sliced green onions, and ripe avocado. I’m also not opposed to some oyster crackers or saltines finding their way in there too.


And there ya have it. A hot bowl of chili on a cool(er) July night. Stranger things have happened, I’m sure.

We were down a Crazy the night I made this, and I was running out of room in the refrigerator, so I didn’t make as much chili as I normally do. This recipe makes two very generous portions or four smaller ones. You can easily double this recipe if you’re feeding a crowd or want leftovers. Enjoy!

Spicy Beef and Black Bean Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 3 slices Bacon
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper (any color), chopped
  • 1 whole Jalapeño, diced
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 1 15 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Green Onions
  • Ripe Avocado
  1. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. While pot is heating, slice bacon crosswise into small pieces. When the pot is hot add the bacon (you should hear it sizzle when it hits the pot) and cook until crispy.
  2. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and cook until brown.
  4. Stir in sugar, chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, tomato sauce, and black beans.
  5. Simmer on stovetop, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  6. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, ripe avocado, and crackers if desired.
This makes four modest portions, or two very generous portions. Recipe can easily be doubled and leftovers keep well in the refrigerator or may be frozen.





  1. It doesn’t matter to me how hot it is, that chili looks amazing! I’d willingly sweet bullets and writhe on the floor in tormented heat afterwards for a huge bowl of it! Can you believe I have never had bacon in chili?? It sounds amazing!!

  2. Ann, this chili looks so scrumptious! I love the spicy flavors you added in there and the heap of delicious toppings. Definitely my kind of meal!

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