Are you sufficiently tired of turkey and Thanksgiving leftovers? I’m finishing up the sweet potato casserole for breakfast as I type this.

I have a decidedly non-holiday dinner recipe for you today if you’re looking for a break from turkey pot pie, turkey tetrazzini and turkey soup.

The night before Thanksgiving, as I was chopping and cooking away, it occurred to me that I needed to feed my family dinner. I wanted something different from what we’d be eating for the next few days. I found a can of black beans in the pantry and a pound of locally raised, grass-fed ground beef in my freezer, and I thought “chili.”

Using the ingredient search tool on, I searched for a chili recipe that used both ground beef and black beans and found Southwestern Black Bean Stew. Many of the people who had made it and commented on it said it was much more like a chili than a stew so I tweaked the recipe a bit and came up with something very stew-like. It is also very delicious. I served it with corn muffins on the side. As with any recipe, use organic, local and all-natural ingredients if you're able to.

Black Bean and Beef Chili
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 recipe for taco seasonings (see below) or one package of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (or one 15-ounc can)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, undrained
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup water (if you fill the empty tomato paste can twice with water, you’ll get exactly 1 1/2 cups)
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat olive oil in large pan and sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes, making sure not to let them burn.
  2. Add ground beef to pan, and brown the beef with the onions and garlic, just until all the pink in the beef has disappeared. Drain excess fat from the pan.
  3. Add taco seasonings, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add corn, beans, tomato paste, and water. Simmer for 20 minutes or longer over med-high heat, stirring frequently.
  5. Serve in individual bowls with sour cream and shredded cheese for toppings.
Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • li>1/4 teaspoon garlic powder li>1/4 teaspoon onion powder li>1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper li>1/4 teaspoon oregano li>1/2 teaspoon paprika li>1 1/2 teaspoon cumin li>1 teaspoon salt li>1 teaspoon black pepper
For the black bean and beef chili, simply add all these seasonings to the ground beef. If you wanted to use this to season ground beef for tacos, brown the beef first, drain, then add these seasonings along with 3/4 cup water and simmer for 10 minutes.
My notes
  • This could easily be a slow cooker recipe. Do steps 1 & 2 on the stovetop, and then add the ground beef mixture to a slow cooker. Put the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker (except for the sour cream and shredded cheese), mix, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 
  • There is no need to cook the frozen corn before you add it.
  • Some of the cooks on Allrecipes substituted ground turkey for the ground beef. Someone used a 16-ounce jar of salsa and omitted the tomato paste and water. I encourage you to read the user comments on Allrecipes to see how this recipe can be switched up to suit your family’s tastes.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Recipe: Black Bean and Beef Chili
A hearty, family-friendly dinner in 45 minutes for the busy holiday season or any time.