Plantain Black Bean Chili Recipe

Plantain Black Bean Chili

Serves 6

This recipe makes a rich, hearty, and flavorful plant-based chili. It’s ultra-special served over toasted rice and topped with pickled onions, creamy avocado, and bright herbs.


  • 2 ounces dried whole guajillo chiles (See Cook’s Tips)
  • 2 ounces dried whole ancho chiles
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 plantains, medium-ripe, peeled, large diced (See Cook’s Tips)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • OPTIONAL (See Cook’s Tips):
  • Cooked Rice
  • Sliced avocado
  • Pickled Red Onions
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime juice


  1. Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles. Place in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Set aside 5 minutes until chiles rehydrate. This can be done ahead of time.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add oil and cumin seeds. Once sizzling, add onion and green pepper. Cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. While onion mixture is cooking, remove chiles from soaking water and squeeze out excess liquid. Reserve water for later. Roughly chop chiles (see cook’s tip) and add to pot. Add garlic, stir, and cook 1 minute.
  4. Stir in tomato paste. Cook until mixture is deep red and fragrant, about 3 minutes more.
  5. Add tomatoes with all their juice, plantains, and about a cup of reserved chile soaking water. Bring to simmer, stir well, and cover pot. Cook on low until plantains are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Adjust thickness with a splash of water if needed. Stir in black beans and season with salt, to taste.
  7. Cook’s Tips:
  8. We use guajillo and ancho chiles for a balanced, mild heat and complex flavor, but feel free to play with other chile varieties. For example, add a few dried chipotle chiles to lend a smokey flavor and fiery heat.
  9. Though we like the chunky texture from a roughly chopped dried chile, some are turned off by the pepper skin. If this sounds like you, the peppers can instead be pureed along with the soaking water into a smooth paste. The paste can be stirred in along with step 4. The resulting chili will have a smoother finished texture.
  10. Plantains ripen slowly and have different uses depending on their level of ripeness. Fully green plantains are lowest in sugar and are similar to potatoes while blackish brown plantains have some sweetness and are delicious fried. For this recipe, you’ll want plantains that are just starting to turn yellow with hints of green.
  11. To assemble a loaded bowl: Start with rice as a base. For a wonderful textural contrast, first toast cooked rice in a non-stick pan with a splash of oil. Ladle chili over rice. Then, pile high with avocado, pickled onions, pico de gallo, and cilantro. Finish with a squeeze of lime, and dig in!


Amount Per Serving (based on 6 servings)
Calories: 280 undefined
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 250 mg
Carbohydrates: 49 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sugar: 14 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 10 g
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