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Smoky Black Bean Chilli Nachos

Smokey, hearty, crunchy and cheesy – these black bean nachos have everything you could possibly ask for!


Welcome to part seven of the Lockdown Chow Down!

Join me (almost) daily as we reconnect with one of life’s most simple pleasures, food.

Over the next two days we will be cooking with my favourite Black Bean Chilli, and serving it two ways.

First as a wholesome tray of nachos, loaded with our Black Bean Chilli, charred tomato salsa and pickles made in yesterdays cook along.  Next we tackle a delicious gooey Enchilada, with homemade tortillas! The recipe for the chilli is highly adaptable, and vegan in my original version. Do feel free to experiment with the components used to make up the base! For the bulk of the filling, a mix of black beans and brown lentils is my personal favourite. However, these are easily swapped for red lentils, kidney beans, white beans, chicken/beef mince etc.

This recipe can be viewed as a cook along on the Culinary Cartel Instagram, by clicking here, or by viewing the “Black Bean Nachos ”  highlight on Instagram stories

Can I add mince?

Yes, should you wish to add chicken or beef mince to your chilli simply replace 1 cup of the pulses with 1 cup of mince of your choice, which has been cooked until golden brown. I would also advise adding the mince in when you add the tinned tomatoes, as the mince will need a little extra cooking time to really absorb the sauce.

How can I make both dishes fully vegan?

No worries, its simple. While our Black Bean Chilli is fully vegan, I do use cheddar cheese and sour cream to top the enchilada and nachos. You can simply omit the dairy, use a vegan cheese replacement or replace all the cheese with my Loaded Vegan Nacho Cheez Dip.  My vegan cheese is very simple to put together, needing just 7 ingredients that most vegan pantry’s will have on hand.

Making the dishes gluten free

 Most brands of nachos are naturally gluten free. As to the wraps, most shops stock a great range of gluten free wraps, so simply replace these for the home made ones.

Liquid smoke and Chipotle?

These may be unfamiliar ingredients, but they can be found in a number of supermarkets, and online. A chipotle is a smoked  jalapeño, and while they can be found at speciality delis and shops, the easiest replacement is to just buy Tabasco’s Chipotle Pepper Sauce. Both items are completely optional so feel free to leave them out.

We use chipotle or liquid smoke to bring a smoky, cooked over the fire, character to the chilli, making it taste super meaty without the addition of any meat products. While not essential try get your hands on either of these ingredients, as it really does help make the final dish.

Getting creative with your chilli

I have started you off with two options for your Black Bean Chilli, but there are so many more. Give it a few more pulses in the blender and it makes a fantastic dip served alongside yesterdays salsa, add it into grain bowls, use it to fill burritos or to stuff veggies. Get creative and tag @the_culinary_cartel  so I can share your creations with the Cartel Community.

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel and #lockdownchowdown on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!

Black Bean Chilli

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have chipotle chilli. What else can I use?

Chipotle adds a smokiness to the dish. Smoked chilli flakes, Chipotle Tabasco sauce and finely chopped fresh chillies are suitable alternatives.

Can I add meat?

Yes. Read the “can I add mince” section above for a breakdown of adding meat.

Can I make this vegan?

Yes. Use vegan friendly dairy alternatives. 


easy black bean chili nachos recipe
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easy black bean chili nachos recipe

Smoky Black Bean Chilli Nachos

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Smokey, hearty, crunchy and cheesy – these black bean nachos have everything you could possibly ask for!


  • 1 1/2 cups Black Bean Chilli (recipe follows)
  • 160200g corn nachos
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (vegan or cheddar)

Load your Nachos

  • The topping below are all suggestions, add as many or as few as you like
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/4 cup red onion pickle
  • 1/3 cup charred tomato salsa
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Nacho Cheez Sauce
  • 1 fresh tomato, diced
  • 1 spring onion, sliced thinly, to garnish
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • fresh coriander, to garnish
  • Sliced Pickled Jalapeño

Smokey Black Bean Chilli

Makes 4-5 cups of Chilli

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 rib of celery, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cups cooked pulses (I used a 50/50 mix of brown lentils and black beans)
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 12 diced chipotle in adobo (or add smoked chilli flakes to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • oil
  • salt
  • pepper


The Chili

  1. Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil.
  2. Add the diced carrots, onion and celery, and cook until the vegetables have softened and golden brown.
  3. Once the vegetables have softened add the garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring to ensure the spices don’t stick and burn. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set them aside for later.
  4. To the same pan (no need to wash it) add the tinned tomatoes. FIll the empty tin 1/3 full with water, swirle it around to and add this tomatoey water to the pan too.  Allow the tomatoes to cook for at least 20 minutes on medium-high heat. Chefs Tip: Tinned tomatoes can be quite acidic, so personally, I like to cook them for as long as I have time. As the tomatoes cook, the acidity mellows, without the need to add sugar.
  5. Once the tomatoes have cooked, add the vegetables back into the pan, along with your pulses of choice, and the vegetable stock. Place the pan back on the heat and cook the chilli until the sauce has reduced and thickened to a rich deep red.
  6. Season the Black Bean Chilli with salt and pepper to taste. Add in your diced chipotle or smoked chilli flakes to taste. If using liquid smoke, add it now, a little add a time, tasting as you go, until you are happy with the smokey flavour.
  7. Serve your chilli spooned over the nachos above, stuff it into burritos or enchiladas, or smear it through a grain bowl.
  8. Freezing – Black Bean Chilli will always have your back in an emergency dinner situation! Simply cool it to room temperature, portion it into containers and freeze it for up to three months.

Build The Nachos

  1. Preheat the oven to grill and gather your ingredients.
  2. Scatter your nachos in an even layer, over a large ovenproof tray or dish and sprinkle over the cheese.
  3. Blob spoonfuls of the Black Bean Chilli over the nachos.
  4. Place the nachos in the oven, under the grill, until the cheese has melted and bubbled.
  5. Working quickly, remove the nachos from the oven and add as many of the optional toppings as you’d like.
  6. Serve the nachos immediately, piping hot from the baking tray, and enjoy.
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican-inspired


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 1610.11kcal
  • Sugar: 48.33g
  • Sodium: 2719.78mg
  • Fat: 43.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.82g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.39g
  • Trans Fat: 0.36g
  • Carbohydrates: 246.61g
  • Fiber: 57.32g
  • Protein: 76.17g
  • Cholesterol: 32.54mg
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