Weeknight Black Bean Chili

$7.19 recipe / $1.20 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.78 from 77 votes
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I’m so over the cold and dreary weather. How about you? With the arrival of this latest arctic blast, I felt myself craving a warm, rich bowl of chili, but I didn’t want to spend all day in the icy cold kitchen making it. So, I made this super fast and simple Weeknight Black Bean Chili and crawled back under the cozy blankets as fast as possible (with a warm bowl of chili, of course!).

What makes it a “weeknight” black bean chili? The fact that it comes together in about 30 minutes and with very little prep. It’s also super filling and comforting, but still healthy enough to leave you light and energized for the next day. There’s nothing worse than feeling sluggish mid-week from stress eating a heavy dinner the night before (hi, takeout pizza, I’m looking at YOU). This Weeknight Black Bean Chili is healthy and nourishing for both your body and soul, which will help you make it to Friday in one piece. But hey, if you still need a little indulgence, you can top it off with a little shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapeños, or even scoop it up with some tortilla chips. You don’t have to be 100% good 100% of the time. ;)

Weeknight Black Bean Chili

A big bowl of Weeknight Black Bean Chili with sour cream, jalapeño, and crispy tortilla strips.

Serve with a side of Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread!

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Weeknight Black Bean Chili

4.78 from 77 votes
This easy and comforting black bean chili is rich, full of warm chili spices, and fast enough to pull together on a busy weeknight. 
Servings 6 (just over one cup each)
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 35 mins


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey ($2.50)
  • 3 15oz. cans black beans ($2.37)
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles* ($0.79)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 of a 6oz. can or about 1/4 cup) ($0.26)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder** ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.02)


  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large pot with 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook over medium-low heat just until softened (2-3 minutes).
  • Add the ground turkey to the pot and continue to sauté until the turkey is cooked through (5-7 minutes). Break the turkey up into small crumbles with your spoon as it cooks.
  • Add the three cans of beans (undrained), the diced tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano. Stir everything to combine.
  • Let the chili simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend and help the liquid thicken slightly. Taste the chili and add salt as needed (this will depend on the salt content of your canned goods. I added about 1/4 tsp). Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

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*If you want a mild chili, you can use plain diced tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes with green chiles.
**This chili powder is a mild, earthy blend of spices, including mild red chiles.


Serving: 1CupCalories: 414.68kcalCarbohydrates: 61.3gProtein: 27.08gFat: 8.32gSodium: 1193.58mgFiber: 23.25g
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Front view of a bowl of Weeknight Black Bean Chili with sour cream, Jalapeños, tortilla strips.

Close up of a spoonful of Weeknight Black Bean Chili with the bowl in the background.

Step by Step Photos

Onions and Garlic

Begin by dicing one yellow onion and mincing four cloves of garlic. Sauté the onions and garlic with 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat until softened (2-3 minutes).

Ground Turkey

I used 1/2 lb. of ground turkey (saved the other half in the freezer), but you could use beef, pork, or chicken. Whatever type of meat you prefer.

Browned Turkey

Add the half pound of ground turkey to the pot and continue to sauté until the turkey is cooked through. Break the turkey up into small crumbles as it cooks. You’ll know the turkey is done when the little pieces are firm and white (no more soft pink bits).

Canned Goods

Now it’s time to add the canned goods. I usually drain and rinse my beans, but in this case I don’t want to. The starchy liquid that surrounds the beans in the can will help thicken the chili sauce up very nicely. So, add three 15oz. cans of black beans, 1 15oz. can of diced tomatoes with chiles (or plain diced tomatoes for a mild chili), and 1/2 of a 6oz. can of tomato paste (not pictured because I pulled that from my freezer). The tomato paste will also help thicken the sauce.


Add 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp oregano, and 1/2 tsp cumin. The chili powder I use is a mild blend of spices used to make chili, including mild chile peppers. It is not straight red chile powder, which is quite spicy. 

Simmer the Chili

Let the chili simmer over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, which will help blend the flavors and thicken the sauce. Give it a taste and add salt if needed. I added about 1/4 tsp. And that’s it! You’re DONE making dinner! 

Black Bean Chili - BudgetBytes.com

Chili is such a crowd pleaser and it really doesn’t have to simmer all day like it’s in a chili cookoff to be good.

Finished bowl of Weeknight Black Bean Chili with toppings on a black and white napkin.

This recipe for Weeknight Black Bean Chili made just over seven cups, or six heaping cup-full sized servings. To make the crispy tortilla strips on top of the chili, I used my Baked Tortilla Chips method, but cut the tortillas into skinny strips instead of triangles. The cooking time is shorter because of the small size, but still incredibly easy!


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  1. I made this recipe, but after combining it, still put it in my slow cooker to simmer. The smells in my kitchen were so enticing that my family didn’t even wait for dinnertime. We all ate early, as everyone was “stealing” bowls right out of the crock pot! This one’s definitely a keeper!

  2. My new favorite chili! I’ve made this twice now and will certainly be making it again. I made a couple changes to suit my taste, but the original recipe is awesome as-is! My daughter (18 months) loved it so much that she licked her plate!
    Added a diced red bell pepper with the onion. Swapped out 1 can of beans for an extra 1/2 lb of turkey. Only used the bean juice from one can. Added 3/4 cup of chicken stock in lieu of the bean juice. Added a 1/2 tsp marmite. Lastly, I used mild Rotel for the tomatoes with chilis to make it toddler friendly.

  3. My family loved this meal! Every single person had second and thirds! Definitely will make this again!

  4. Made this for dinner last night.    So simple and SO very delicious!     Thank you for this wonderful resource for making great meals at home!!!

  5. Great recipe! I used ground pork and it worked beautifully. I made the mild version and added a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese. I definitely will make this again! Thanks again!

  6. Turned out great. Thought I had more cans of black beans but did not. So I did 1 can of black beans and 1 can of red kidney beans. I followed the recipe for all else. Even my picky 4yo ate it. Will do this again.

  7. We love this chili! Made it over a dozen times. Great for littles too. Only thing we do differently is use 2 cans of black beans instead of 3 and use an entire pound of turkey for a ratio we love. Thanks for the great recipe! 

  8. I’ve only made this one time and it’s already a hit. I couldn’t believe how good it tasted for how quick and easy it was to make. Both me and my boyfriend have moms that make great chili, but this recipe still hit the spot for us. I also only had 2 cans of beans on hand, but that didn’t seem to be an issue. Cheese and jalopenos on top are a must.

    1. ??? 1.3 OZ of Meat per serving LOL. Definitely NOT for Cowboys or Bikers or Construction Workers LOL. and I’ve never seen anyone eat 1 CUP of Chilli LOL…….Other than that… it Sounds really Good Thanks I will try a BEEFED UP version of this recipe like use 1.5 lb instead of just a half lb and Beef not Turkey …..that’s for Turkey Chilli

  9. I usually stray from following recipes completely but after seeing other reviews I faithfully followed it to the letter. I was pleasantly surprised by this chili. Very different from other chilis I’ve had but still have me the warm home-y feeling I’d expect from comfort food. Flavor factored in with how EASY, FAST, and cheap this recipe was makes me give it a 5/5. I served it with rice. Also happy with the quantity. My husband and I had huge bowls, he had seconds, and we both have generous portions to take to work. 

  10. I made these with 100% pain hot sauce added and theyre so good! I drained the beans a little though, just the water at the top of the beans until it was level. Thankyou for this!

    1. Probably, although I’ve never done it so I can’t give a guestimate. If I were to try, I’d probably do a Google search for “slow cooker chili” and just use their cooking settings and times but then with these ingredients as a first shot.

  11. When we first moved in together, my husband and I made this chili over and over and over again. We probably ate it every week. It is so affordable, tasty, and filling. Thanks for this classic recipe! We will always keep it on rotation.