Black Bean Chili with Pico de Gallo

Jalapenos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapenos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat.

The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties. You can now get jalapenos with various heat level and sizes. These can be used in salsas, stuffed, or eaten straight with cheeseburgers (my personal favorite).

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1 tablespoon olive oil
3 small white or yellow onions (about a pound total), chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup New Mexico chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
5 cups water
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo

For the pico de gallo:
3/4 pound tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of half a lime
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
Pinch of salt


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin. Stir one minute. Add water, black beans and oregano. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Add chipotle and season with salt to taste. Simmer about 30 minutes longer, stirring frequently and mashing with a potato masher to desired consistency, adding more water if it’s too thick.

Pico de Gallo
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate.

Makes about 6 servings.