Vegetarian Black Bean and Corn Chili

A bowl of black bean and corn chili

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
481 Calories
12g Fat
86g Carbs
20g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 481
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4744mg 206%
Total Carbohydrate 86g 31%
Dietary Fiber 24g 84%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 108mg 540%
Calcium 204mg 16%
Iron 12mg 64%
Potassium 2881mg 61%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Who doesn't love a good vegetarian black bean chili recipe? Made with mostly canned ingredients, this a quick and easy vegetarian black bean chili recipe that's perfect even for novice chefs. Give it a try—it's practically foolproof! Omit the cheese and optional sour cream topping if you need it to be vegan and dairy-free as well.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 1 pepper large red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans can, undrained

  • 1 can (15 oz) can corn, undrained

  • 1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 6 6-8 inch tortillas corn tortillas, cut into 2-inch strips

For serving:

  • Optional: 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or Jalapeno Jack cheese)

  • 2 medium (4-1/8" long) green onions

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make black bean and corn chili

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion, red pepper, and half of the salt and pepper. Saute until slightly softened, about three minutes.

    A pot of red peppers and onions

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stirring often, bloom the spices for three minutes.

    A pot of spices and vegetables being stirred

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Next, stir in the garlic and then the beans, corn and tomato sauce. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Finally add the oregano by pinching between your fingers to allow the oils to activate.

    Bring to simmer, cover and cooking for 20 minutes over medium-low heat.

    A pot of chili with a lid

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. While the chili cooks, in a separate large saucepan, heat the remaining oil (one tablespoon) over medium-high heat. Add the cut tortillas and lightly brown.

    A pan with tortilla strips

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate; let drain. These tortilla strips will top your chili and give it a fantastically crunchy finishing touch. 

    Browned tortilla strips on a paper towel

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Serve your black bean and corn chili topped with tortilla strips, cheese, green onions, sour cream, and cilantro.

    Black bean and corn chili with toppings

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck