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Budget Friendly Black Bean Chili with tortillas

Budget Friendly Black Bean Chili

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes (+Rest Time)
  • Yield: 8 Cups 1x
  • Category: Chili, Stew
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Easy on the budget, using minimal pantry ingredients, this Budget Friendly Black Bean Chili is hearty, wholesome, and delicious.



Base Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – [ 28 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 – [ 15.5 oz. can ] black beans, drained and rinsed * 

Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons regular chili powder *
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch to 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • Pinch black pepper (+/-)

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons cornmeal *
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Pinch baking soda *

Optional Toppings:

  • Chopped avocados
  • Crushed tortillas
  • Freshly chopped cilantro


  1. Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  2. In a large ceramic/enamel-lined pot or similar stock pot, add the diced onions, sauté over medium-high heat until the veggies begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Add a tablespoon or so of water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
  3. Add the minced garlic, sauté for one minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Then add all the remaining Base Ingredients and Spice/Herb Mix, stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the baking soda, stir well.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. After simmering for 10 minutes, add the lime juice and cornmeal to thicken, stir well to combine. Simmer for 5 more minutes, then remove from the stove.
  6. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.


*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Servings: 4 to 5  (makes 8 cups)