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Black Bean Chili for a Crowd

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Black Bean Chili for a Crowd

Black Bean Chili for a Crowd
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
Provided by:
total prep 423 calories/serving
By Kate Slate
The meat lovers in your crowd won't know (or care) that this is made with turkey instead of beef because the flavors are so hearty. And perhaps best not to tell them that fat-free soy protein is in there too. When you're ready to serve the chili, offer the usual garnish suspects: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced scallions, shredded cheese, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), and pickled jalapeños. This is a jim-dandy recipe to make if you're entertaining a crowd, but it also freezes beautifully, so you can make a big batch and freeze it in containers appropriate to the size of your family. Or freeze it in single-serving amounts for quick weekend lunches.


  • CHILI:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup (3 ounces) TVP (texturized vegetable protein)
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon each chipotle chile powder and brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • BEANS:
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or regular bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound dried black beans, soaked in water to cover overnight
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled but whole
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Make the chili:

    In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat a heavy-bottomed 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with salt. Crumble in the turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until almost no pink is left, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the sautéed onions, TVP, ancho powder, cocoa, chipotle powder, brown sugar, cumin, and oregano to the meat and stir to coat. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours
  • Meanwhile make the beans:

    In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring, until crisp and golden, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the beans, garlic, salt, and water to cover by 2 inches (about 3 quarts). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender but not falling apart, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • Reserving the cooking liquid, drain the beans and add to the chili. Simmer the chili and beans for 30 minutes. If the chili is too thick, add some of the reserved bean cooking liquid. Taste for seasoning and add additional chili powder, cumin, and salt if needed.