Black Bean Salsa Chili with Avocado Cream


Spring is taunting me.  It got a little bit warmer here for a while, the sun was shining, and I mistakenly thought (and apparently others did as well, since I did witness two people in Target with shorts on a couple of weeks ago) that maybe spring was around the corner.

And then it snowed and snowed and…snowed.  And while it was pretty and calming and cute to accessorize with various hats/gloves, I’m pretty much over it.  But I’m not entirely over warm and fuzzy bowls of comfort food to eat in your pj’s with a good movie or book to go with them.  Like this Black Bean Salsa Chili with Avocado Cream.

Since avocados are ripe for roughly 15 minutes (I swear, they always go bad before I can use them), I had one on hand that needed to be used up immediately.  This chili was a wee bit spicy for me, so the avocado cream was a fantastic way to cool it all down.  This was originally a recipe with ground turkey and even some bacon, but, to be honest, I didn’t miss any of that here.  This is filling, healthy, and very low in fat.  And it’s even better the second day.




Black Bean Salsa Chili with Avocado Cream

Servings: about 6



For the chili:

Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup water

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 and 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (I used a chipotle blend here….holy smokes..that was good.)

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

Pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1 and 1/2 cups prepared salsa

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups vegetable broth

For the avocado cream:

1 ripe avocado

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons lime juice

3/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon sea salt



1. For the chili:  In your food processor, combine 1 and 1/2 cups of the black beans, the water, and the sugar.  Process the mixture until smooth.

2. Transfer the bean puree to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining beans.  Set aside.

3.  In a large sauce pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until shimmering over medium-high heat.

4. Add the onion and bell peppers, stirring occasionally, and cook until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper to the mixture, stirring to coat.

6. Add the bean mixture, salsa, tomato paste, and vegetable broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil.

7. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. For the avocado cream:  In your food processor, combine the avocado, Greek yogurt, lime juice, cumin, and salt.  Process the mixture until smooth, adjusting the seasonings accordingly.  Serve the chili with a tablespoon or so of the avocado cream.


Sources:  Chili adapted from Cooking Light; Avocado cream from Williams-Sonoma.


March 3, 2013 - 8:24 pm

Virginia - What brand of chili powder did you use? I have never seen a chipotle blend before and it sounds like something that would be a huge hit in my house- we go through bottles of smoked Tabasco like it’s water. I’ll definitely be giving this recipe a try!

March 3, 2013 - 8:29 pm

srlacy - Hi Virginia-The brand is Urban Accents Mesa Rosa Chipotle blend. I picked some up at Whole Foods….I had never seen it before and was intrigued…it’s awesome!

March 3, 2013 - 9:34 pm

Simply Sweet Justice - The avocado cream is very creative. I heard Trader Joe’s has a low-fat guacamole which is essentially avocado and Greek yogurt!

March 3, 2013 - 10:29 pm

Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab - That looks great, I love the sound of the avocado cream! We must have been thinking alike this weekend, I just posted a Black Bean Chili recipe today too!

March 4, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I’m all over this. Yum!

March 4, 2013 - 7:13 pm

mustardseed - Oh I love everything about this dish! The avocado cream on top sounds sooo good!!

March 4, 2013 - 7:40 pm

Courtney Jones - Oh my, this looks incredible! I cannot wait to make this. The avocado cream sound amazing! Yum!!!!

March 6, 2013 - 12:02 pm

Rebekah Beene - Love this! I can easily modify it for no dairy – skip the greek yogurt and the avocado and it will still be creamy. And leave out the brown sugar and it will still be yummy! Great recipe.

March 7, 2013 - 7:44 am

Cindy - This looks great! My question is the recipe says one can of beans should it say two ? As you put into the blender one and half cups of the black beans. Looking forward to making this . Thanks for the post.

March 7, 2013 - 9:55 am

srlacy - Hi Cindy! Yes, you are right! Thanks for catching that error. It is corrected now.

March 7, 2013 - 3:19 pm

“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” | Falling into Boston - […] a supermarket in the North End, chili just wasn’t going to happen (I did just see a recipe for a Black Bean Salsa Chili with Avocado Cream today that I have to try in the near future). So while I was perusing cookbooks during naptime, […]

March 9, 2013 - 7:18 pm

Michelle - This recipe is definitely a keeper. Our whole family loved it. I didn’t even make the avocado topping and it was still excellent. Thanks!

April 19, 2013 - 1:05 am

Lindsey May - A Vegan option for the non-fat greek yogurt could be cashew cream…I cant wait to try this! I love the look of your blog so clean, and focuses on the food..great job keep it up!

April 19, 2013 - 11:29 am

srlacy - Thanks Lindsey! I haven’t tried the cashew cream yet, but I am really tempted to try. And as far as the website goes, in about a month, the new website is going to be launched, which looks about a million times better than this one! SO excited!

April 28, 2013 - 6:58 pm

Black Bean Salsa Chili with Avocado Cream - […] For recipe visit: […]

September 24, 2013 - 11:27 am

Jenny - This was the perfect vegetarian treat after a cold gray day. It even got me the old cliche “you know your way to my heart” from the boyfriend. Again, thank you for yet another yummy staple in my diet!

November 18, 2014 - 3:40 pm

Puy Lentils, Black Beans and … um … chocolate? · a bit more veg - […] Black Bean Salsa Chili with Avocado Cream – The Lentil and Black Bean Soup recipe then sent me off of an search for black bean recipes and while I’m not sure if I will make this I wanted to take note of it. I want to get further with my healthy eating goals before I work on another dip for tortilla chips. […]