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Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens {Instant Pot Pressure Cooker}

Seasoned with smoky chipotle chiles, mild tomato salsa, and green chiles, this spicy black bean chili with hearty greens will rock your chili world. You will totally love how the greens balance the already vibrant flavors of this nourishing vegetarian chili.

Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens | Letty's Kitchen

In addition to the greens, a lot of the depth and balance in this chili comes from smoked and dried jalapeños in sweet tangy, spiced puree of tomatoes and vinegar–chipotles in adobo. They’re spicy hot and the small amount of chipotle chile adds that perfect smoky heat.

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Five minutes after you stir the dark leafy greens into the pot, what at first seems like too many greens melts, practically disappears, into the hot beans. The vitamin-rich greens can be arugula, beet greens, mustard greens, or a mess ‘o greens mix, like the ready-to-cook Southern greens you can sometimes find at Trader Joes. 

Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens | Letty's Kitchen

This spicy black bean chili is finished with a vegan garnish, of jicama matchsticks, creamy avocado, and diced green chiles. If you like, round out your chili with salty cotija or feta cheese, or sour cream. Serve with cornbread or a crusty loaf of bread.

over head shot of 3 bowls of Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens | Letty's Kitchen

The way I see it, pressure-cooking is the only way to cook beans. This recipe shows you how to cook the soaked-overnight black beans in 13 minutes. Tack on sautéing onions and spices in the beginning, and adding greens at the end, in a realistic 40 minutes, you’ve got a comforting cool weather supper.

What if you don’t have a pressure cooker?

  • From scratch: Depending on the age of the beans, and whether or not you’ve soaked the beans beforehand, cooking time will be 1 to 3 hours on a medium simmer. You’ll need to use more water than the pressure cooker recipe. Keep an eye on the water level as the beans cook, always keeping them covered with liquid.
  • With canned beans: Saute the onions and garlic per recipe. Substitute 4 cans rinsed and drained black beans for the dried beans. To meld all the flavors into the beans, cook covered on medium low flame about 30 minutes before stirring in the greens.

Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens in bowl horizontal photo

Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens notes:

  • Be sure to inspect the beans before soaking and pick out any small stones masquerading as beans. Cover soaking beans with plenty of water—at least 6 cups. If you didn’t pre-soak the beans, cook 35 to 40 minutes in the pressure cooker.
  • Have you ever bought a can of chipotles, used one or two, and then wondered what to do with the rest? Do this: Blend the spicy chiles right out of the can, with just enough oil to smoothen them out. Use what you need, and store what’s left in the freezer.
  • To add chipotle chile smoky complexity to a recipe later, warm the container in hot water, just long enough to coax the frozen sauce out onto a cutting board. Slice off what you need and pop the container back in the freezer. Adobe red chipotle oil will jazz up vinaigrette, mayonnaise, pizza, and, of course, spicy black bean chili with hearty greens!
  • The chipotle chile oil idea comes from my favorite cookbook author, Deborah Madison.

Here’s another recipe you might like. The ample amount of greens shrink incredibly in this–spaghetti with beet greens.

**This recipe first appeared on Pressure Cooking Today where I’m a contributor.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something hot and comforting!

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5 from 2 votes
Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens | Letty's Kitchen
Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
40 mins

The timing is for pressure cooker or Instant Pot. This spicy black bean chili with hearty greens will rock your chili world. You will totally love how the greens balance the already vibrant flavors of this nourishing vegetarian chili. Makes about 8 servings.

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan Friendly, Vegetarian
Keyword: black beans, vegetarian, chili, hearty greens
Servings: 8 servings.
Calories: 245 kcal
  • 2 cups dried black beans , rinsed and soaked 6 to 8 hours or overnight (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 red onions , chopped, about 2 ½ cups
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile oil (recipe below)
  • 7 ounces mild green chiles , diced
  • 1 ½ cups red salsa , purchased or homemade
  • 5 ounces bitter greens e.g. arugula , beet greens, mess o' greens, mustard greens, etc., washed, large stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Avocado
  • Jicama , cut in matchstick lengths
  • Diced green chiles
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Cotija cheese crumbles , optional
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema , optional
For the Chipotle Oil:
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
  1. In a pressure cooker, heat the olive oil over medium flame. (see notes for regular stove-top cooking)
  2. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, and oregano, stirring to mix into the onions. Add the water, soaked beans, chipotle oil, green chiles, and salsa.

  4. Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure 13 minutes. Quick release the pressure.
  5. Stir in the greens and cook about 5 minutes, until they shrink and disappear into the beans. Stir in the vinegar. Taste, adding salt to your liking. Serve with your choice of garnishes, vegan or the optional cheese and sour cream.
For the chipotle oil:
  1. In a blender puree the chiles with the oil until smooth, adding a bit more oil, if needed, for a smooth paste. Reserve in freezer to use as desired.
Recipe Notes

For regular stove-top cooking, be sure to soak the beans beforehand. Keep an eye on the water level as the beans cook, always keeping them covered with liquid. Depending on the age of the beans, cooking time will be one to 3 hours, until the beans are perfectly tender.

Nutrition Facts
Spicy Black Bean Chili with Hearty Greens
Amount Per Serving
Calories 245 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Sodium 633mg28%
Potassium 1061mg30%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 1285IU26%
Vitamin C 15.6mg19%
Calcium 135mg14%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • “depending on the age of the beans” is good advice. I have found that cooking times are hard to predict with some beans. I hadn’t considered it was age. GREG Reply · 19 September, 2016

  • What a delicious bowl of beans! I love all of the various types and forms of chile you used. Adds a lot of depth. Reply · 19 September, 2016

    • Thanks MJ and Greg! Greg–have you ever ordered beans from Rancho Gordo? Reply · 20 September, 2016

  • This recipe looks delicious Letty! I adore black beans and greens (and of course chiles having spent 22 years in NM)! I haven’t used greens and black beans together, so I’m anxious to give this a whirl… Reply · 26 September, 2016

    • Thanks Tamara. I hope you enjoy the chili! Reply · 26 September, 2016

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