Sunday Suppers (Tuesday Edition): Black Bean and Bell Pepper Chili, Chorizo Optional

crawfish, eggs and black bean chili 044Quite often, I am happy to go on a leisurely stroll around the farmer's market, trying to put together a great meal. But, let's be real.  Just because I'm happy to do that doesn't mean that I always can.  Or even want to, if I'm being very truthful.  There are those days where I really don't want to hop in the car to go Palpate Artichokes or Ogle some Eggplant.  And those are the days when I rely on what's in the fridge, the freezer and the cupboards to make a good meal that we'll both enjoy.

Sometimes, if my Reserve Bench is thin, I can barely pull together a cheese and cracker (yes, singular) smackerel.  Fortunately, on this particular day, I my bench was pretty deep.  Except for onions.  If I were to make this again--and I would--I'd definitely add onions, but I  didn't really miss them.  Honest.

Black Bean Chili with Chorizo
Yes, I opened a lot of cans to make this dish.  But, as with most of the meals I make, this is only a template.  Use fresh if you have it, and change it up however you want.

  • 3 12-ish ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 2 12-ish ounce cans diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Organics)
  • 1 can Ro-Tel (it's magic)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 red/orange/yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • cumin, to taste
  • lots of hot red chili powder if you like it hot.  Less if you don't
  • 1 pound fresh chorizo, cooked and crumbled
  • juice of one lime (or two, if your limes aren't really juicy)
  • a couple of teaspoons of fish sauce
  • water or some lager, just to make things a little soupy for awhile
  • fresh cilantro

After cooking the chorizo, toss everything in a big old pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for half an hour or so.
crawfish, eggs and black bean chili 039Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.  Sprinkle on some fresh cilantro and pepper jack cheese and serve over brown rice (which is what I did).  Or serve it however you'd like it.

This would be great wrapped up in a burrito or chimichanga.  It'd make a great quesadilla filling, or a layer in Mexican lasagna.  Or in tacos.  I think you get the idea.

I hope this dish inspires you to make a pantry/fridge/freezer meal soon.  Do you have a go to pantry dish you like to make?  I'd love to hear about it.

Have a lovely day!


  1. says

    My fav pantry dish is hummus! I like to get organic dry chickpeas but sometimes I need a quick snack so I grab a jar of garbanzos and puree it w some roasted garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Perfect with carrot and celery sticks. YUM!

    • says

      That’s one of my faves, too! I rarely make from dry (although I probably should). Just made some yesterday–I try not to make it too often, because I will eat it all in one sitting. That stuff is addictive!

  2. says

    I know! My mind thinks hummus is calorie free. That’s why make my own: little tahini, little olive oil. Mine is way less caloric than store bought but still not calorie free lol

    • says

      Thanks for stopping in, Junia! 🙂 Yes, this was very, very yummy! The chorizo was from a local farm where the pigs get to wander around and be pigs and have sex and eat stuff in the woods. We aren’t ready to go strictly vegetarian (and are Far from vegan) but we can certainly vote for humanely and naturally raised meats with our wallets. I doubt that you’d really miss the chorizo, though!

  3. says

    That looks so simple and painless! I do have to ask, though, what is “Ro-Tel”?

    My “pantry” dish is tuna pasta – fry up some onion and sambal oelek, cook up some pasta, throw it into the onion/chilli combo with some lemon zest, a tin of tuna, and some capers. If I’ve got cherry tomatoes on hand, I’ll throw them in to blister up with the onion and then skip the capers.

  4. says

    Rotel (it’s magic). Sure is! This is definitely my kind of meal, I love anything meaty over rice. Actually, I love anything over rice! Chorizo in there is a great idea and I love how there’s cumin in there (cumin reminds me of Miami). My pantry meals are normally some sort of curry because I’ll have a random can of coconut milk and curry pasta by default, over rice as well.

    • says

      Man, I should really keep coconut milk in the house as a staple. I just never grew up w/it, so I don’t think about it. But I have a ton of different curry mixtures, a bunch of curry-ish spices and a ton of basil in the yard. Thanks for reminding me! And cumin is one of my favorite spices–so earthy, warm and yum!

  5. says

    I rely pretty much on my fridge and freezer these days, too. This meal looks so hearty and delicious! (Side note: ha! I made pilaf last night and also ran out of onion. common problem? :D)

    • says

      Thanks:) Unfortunately, it has gotten so hot so quickly that I don’t think we’ll be having anything else like that until the fall! Bought 2 huge onions yesterday; tired of running out! 😆

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