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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

CRL Recipes Series: Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Make this amazing recipe in the comfort of your Capital Region home.


  • 2 lbs black turtle beans, dry
  • 2 large onions
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups diced carrot
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp oregano leaf
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaf
  • 1/2 cup good quality chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 cups eggplant diced
  • 2 cups green pepper diced
  • 2 cups fresh zucchini diced
  • Shredded cheddar or jack cheese for serving



  1. Soak beans covered in cold water for at least 2 hours (better yet over night).
  2. In a large casserole pot, cook the carrots, onions and garlic in the oil until soft.
  3. Add the beans with their liquid and add more water to top off pot. Add the bay leaf, oregano, thyme, chili powder & cumin.
  4. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Continue cooking until the beans are tender, but still holding their shape.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for a few minute more stirring gently.
  6. This is when you want to taste and adjust seasoning to your own likes on the strength of the chili powder and for heat spiciness.
  7. Remember not to add any salt to beans while they are cooking, this greatly slows down their ability to cook through and get soft.
  8. Serve in heated bowls with melted cheese and other suitable condiments.


This recipe makes about 1 gallon, enough for 8-10 people or more.

Note: It is also preferred to dry roast the spices, especially the chili powder and cumin to bring out the flavor.

  • Place spices in a heavy nonstick skillet or wok.
  • Roast while stirring vigorously over medium/high heat. They will start to brown in about 30 sec.- 1 min.
  • Reduce heat when this starts to happen.
  • Continue to roast on low heat until they turn medium to dark brown.
  • Remove from heat, transfer to another container and set aside to cool.


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