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Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

We absolutely LOVE this chili recipe!! We make it exactly as written and have been doing so for about 10 years! It is a family favorite. Love the fact that there is no meat in it and it is very healthy. We make it all year long about once a month and really enjoy it. Keep up the great work Eating Well!!

Pretty sad because I read “1-2 cans of chipotle peppers” so I put 1 entire can in. Needless to say we weren’t able to eat it because it tastes like fire! I will try it again though.

I used butternut squash instead of yellow bell pepper and added black olives. No need for the brown sugar. I also left out the chipotle peppers and replaced with barbeque savory grounds by Sweet Earth (vegan ground beef).

I have made this many times for many different occasions and it has been a great hit even for those who say “Chili has to have meat or it’s not chili!” However I see a lot of reviews say that this is “Too Hot.” I think they are mis-reading the recipe. It Does NOT Say “1-2 cans of chipotle peppers” That would be unbelievably hot those reviews are correct. What the recipe calls for is “1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.” 1 Can of peppers has several peppers in it…take 1 or 2 peppers out of the can and dice them up into the chili. Add a little bit of the adobo sauce and you’ve got the perfect amount of flavor and heat. Great recipe…if it’s followed the way it’s written!

Just make it like it says to you can’t get better than this! So easy tons of flavors. I made it exactly like I said to. My mother did not have sour cream or chips with it and loved it I did and also loved it. Beautiful yummy easy…makes you feel lucky to be an American who has all this food and goodness at your disposal. Pros: Easy Cons: None

Amazing with a Few Adjustments I halved this recipe and used a bit less than 1/2 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that I pureed in a food processor. That still packed plenty of heat – likely too hot for most (we like ours hot). I didn’t have wheat berries and substituted 1 c red quinoa and we gobbled it up with a crusty sourdough bread. Pros: Back off the cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – too much heat & we like it hot!

Fabulous done in crockpot with a few changes I added an extra cup of broth 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and increased the chili powder to 1 tablespoon. This chili is really soupy after 6 hours of cooking on low I added the wheat berries. Right before eating I took about 1/3 of the chili out of the crockpot and put it in the food processor and pulsed till smooth. Added it back to crockpot and cooked 1/2 hour longer. It was not watery any longer and came together nicely like a meaty textured chili.

I thought a can of the chipotle peppers would be too much – I was right. Now I see others read it wrong too. Not edible – way too hot. The consistency would have been good too. Wasted money and time.

Lacking This chili was lacking in so many ways. It doesn’t have anything wowing about it. The spices aren’t balanced and you taste nothing but heat. There’s no depth to the flavor. Cut out an entire can of tomatoes also. It’s way too acidic. Pros: healthy Cons: too many tomatoes too spicy not enough flavor.

Not wow-ed The spices brought the ingredients from their original state to a mediocre chili flavor…maybe it needs more salt….or maybe the sugar I left out would be just the thing to give it some depth. Definitely can’t leave out the cilantro and avocado. Pros: Easy and healthy Cons: Just flat…

My entire family loves this! Added butternut squash in last batch…highly recommend. It add another layer of flavor and thicken the sauce.

A Smokey & Spicy Favorite I absolutely love this recipe’the smokiness the spice the depth of flavor. It is easy to prepare and is delicious with diced avocado added as garnish. Pros: Great Depth of Flavor Spicy Smoky Easy to Prepare Wheat Berries add Great Texture Cons: None

Even great as a snack! Even non-vegan eaters loved this.:) Pros: Super tasty Vegan meal

A keeper in my book. This was really good. Although I did tweak it for nutrition reasons. My tweaks: Sugar is not needed at all in this recipe so I didn’t use it to make it healthier. I lowered the salt content by using a little less than 1/4 tsp of sea salt. If I think about it I prob. could have gone with out it. I used long grain brown rice instead of wheat berry to keep it wheat free. Pros: Taste and left overs for lunches

BEWARE OF THE AMOUNT OF CHIPOTLE PEPPERS YOU PUT IN My husband and I both read this recipe and understood it to say to add 1-2 cans of peppers. Not being people who like spicey food we decided to add 1 can of peppers. We sat down to eat it only to discover it was way too spicey! I went back to the recipe and reread it only to understand that it ment to say to only add 1-2 peppers from the can. If two people can read a recipe and think that it says to add 1-2 cans I think they need to reword the wording.:( My husband and I do not typically cook with peppers so it would not be obvious to us that 1 can was way too much. Pros: Taste good! Cons: The wording for the amount of chipotle peppers you put in needs to be reworded!

Delicious and crowd pleasing We used Rotelle which already has chiles in it; also I added a fresh chili pepper chopped. We omitted the brown sugar and did not miss it. I might use some tomato paste to thicken it up next time. Pros: Healthy tasty filling Cons: may need more salt less garlic

Spicy Filling Thought it said 1-2 CANS of chipotle peppers but really it says 1-2 CANNED chipotle peppers. This was sooo good but obviously way too spicy. Added corn extra lime juice sour cream and cheese. Won’t make that mistake next time!

I actually didn’t include the wheat berries or the chili pepper but it still came out pretty good. I used cayenne pepper and that gave it the perfect amount of spice! Would probably taste good with vegan sour creme on top too!

Delicious! Didn’t miss meat at all. This recipe was easy to make and delicious. We are transitioning to vegetarian and for once I wasn’t missing meat. Instead of Wheat Berries I used Pearl Couscous which worked out well. Do NOT leave out the avocado even if you aren’t a huge fan it is very complimentary to the dish. I only added two chilis but it was a bit spicy for us (and my kids) so I threw in a dollop of sour cream in their bowls for them and it cut the spice and was very tasty. Pros: Hearty Spicy Different Cons: None

Healthy comfort food. I could eat this daily! Amazing recipe – I don’t have one bad thing to say about it. I made a few mods for convenience: -Used a packet of McCormick spicy chili seasoning. -Added a minced jalapeno for more heat (I like my chili VERY spicy) -Omitted the avocado and added skinless rotisserie chicken breast towards the end. -Used a can of black beans and can of chick peas. Pros: filling quick and easy recipe full of flavor and spice

Hearty Filling Meals for a week! I love this recipe. The only thing I do differently is that I use that whole can of ancho chilis for extra spice. I also used 16 ounces of dark beer instead of veggie broth. Make sure to adjust how much sugar you add if you choose to substitute beer. Pros: You can make substitutions as you see fit

Yummmmyyyy! I substituted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for the wheat berries and the result was delicious without the hassle of trying to find wheat berries at the grocery store Pros: very quick delicious and filling Cons: where to find wheat berries?

Pleases all I am not vegetarian myself but I made this for a dinner party where meat eaters were surprised at how great it tasted and vegans told me that if I could cook vegan that well that they had better step up their game. I will make this one over and over again.

Zesty is the word for it! Really tasty. I didn’t have chipotle peppers so I used sriracha instead (just a few squirts from the bottle). I love wheat berries but usually only have them for breakfast so this was a new way to use them for me. A great winter soup. The heat isn’t overpowering but definitely stays with you in the back of your throat making you feel warm all over.

Amazing! This was absolutely phenomenal. All of the flavors complemented each other wonderfully from the light hint of lime to the spiciness of the pepper and the creaminess of the avocado. It was also incredibly filling. I actually found wheat berries where the package said to only cook for 15 minutes which was perfect and much better than the hour it could have taken. This will definitely be on my regular rotation!

This soup is really filling. I’ve made it twice and added an extra pepper and onion I had laying around. I also cooked 1 cup of dry beans rather than using canned.

This was delicious. Be aware that the chipotle chilis from the can are very hot so go easy if you do not like searing your mouth. This makes a lot of chili. We did not use lime but the avocado and cilantro were key. Emily New haven CT

Delicious! First time using wheat berries and the peppers in adobo sauce and now I am a big fan of both. This recipe had a wonderful “rounded” flavor and vegan friendly! Served with PPK’s vegan cornbread. Thank you recipe developer for a great meal! Blythe IA

We love this chili at our house full of die-hard meat eaters. It is very well balanced between heat & hearty. The lime juice & avocado lighten it upu perfectly making it very flavorful without being overly filling. Tana Pewaukee WI

Only add 1-2 peppers. Not 1-2 cans of peppers!! Anonymous Toronto ON

This was a great veggie chili recipe and I’ve tried many. I love wheat berries so this was a bonus too. I really like the texture of this chili and I used 2 chipotles the spice was perfect. I think you can play with this recipe if you wish but it’s great as is. I just stirred the cilantro into the whole pot at the end. People with a bland palate will probably not like this or picky eaters in general. Cara Bellingham WA

Absolutely delicious! Deborah Fairfax Station VA

This chili was amazing – great taste texture and spice!!! Donna Boulder CO

I made this chili having never cooked with chipotle peppers before. I like spicy food and I only used 1 can of peppers but this was so spicy I could not eat it. I made a second batch without the peppers and combined the two and it was still hot. I like the flavors and all the ingredients especially the wheatberries & avocado. I would have rated this higher if it weren’t for the spice factor. Dory Joplin MO

All of us 15 yr old son to my mother (age unspecified) loved it. Tasty easy to make and enough different to be interesting but not so different it was wierd. I’m making it for dinner on New Year’s Eve Eve Ross Flagstaff AZ

I am not normally a vege chili fan but this has made me a convert. The flavor had a lot of depth. The texture from the wheat berries made it feel very hearty. The best part is how easy it is and how quickly the dish comes together. Lisa San Jose CA

I cannot get enough of it! All of my friends love it – and I sometimes add a few more chilis to make it that much better. It is by far the best chili I have ever made! YUM! Michelle Seattle

This chili has become a staple for us during the fall and winter months. The wheatberries add to the complexity of the dish and the chipotles in adobo sauce are integral to its flavor. An extra chipotle doesn’t hurt either! This vegetarian whole grain chili is outstanding and we prefer it to a traditional meat-based chili. Susan OH

Absolutely the best chili I have ever made. It has now taken top spot in my chili repertoire and has beaten out all my meat based chili recipes! My family loves it and made the vegetarians very happy. Thank you for the recipe. Linda East Setauket NY

This is one of the best chilis I’ve had. It had just right amount of heat for us. The wheat berries are chewy & hearty enough that we really didn’t miss the meat in it at all. Tana Milwaukee WI

I make vegetarian chili all the time and this was an very good recipe. I loved the texture and the taste was amazing. Also the nutritional value for this dish is very good. My kids loved it too. Anonymous Austin TX

I add a cup of diced butternut squash and 1 T of smoked paprika to this recipe. I also use 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 yellow pepper for more color. Anonymous Newport VT

Super delish and super easy. Took leftovers to work and after one whiff my coworkers wanted a sample. Have shared the recipe a bunch. State College PA

I LOVED this wheat berry chili. Great flavor and texture!!! I cooked the wheat berries a few weeks ago and put them in the freezer. Then I added them to the recipe at the end. Quick healthy weeknight meal. Give it a try!!! Concord NH

This chili is our new favorite. I have made this for potlucks and for co-op food exchanges and get raves everytime! The fresh cilantro is a must for best flavor. The cooked wheat berries are just an added wonderfulness. My husband said this recipe could win a blue ribbon at a chili cook-off! Anonymous Monmouth OR

This was not exceptional and is not a recipe I will choose to repeat. Emily Zionsville IN

I made this for some friends coming over for dinner and it was fantastic. I didn’t have the chipotle so I made it without it. Kids and adults enjoyed it and everyone learned about wheat berries. Anonymous Pittsburgh PA

Just OK – it needed something. (Definitely salt but even that didn’t make it very interesting.) Also it was very soupy. We ate it with warmed corn tortillas. Anonymous Moscow ID

This was the best vegetarian chili ever!!! Rave reviews from everyone present just the right texture and as for being too soupy I did not add the broth as I like mine thick. Served it with cornbread and salad for a complete meal. I would make this again and again forget ALL of the others! Anonymous Setauket NY

The recipe was easy to put together- you can adjust the chipolte to taste but I think it would be bland without it. The garnish of avacado and cilantro take this recipe from “very good” to “Outstanding!” Anonymous Whittaker MI

This was delicious! The wheat berries (which i never had before) were so good and loved the texture. The chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce was amazing and i love hot stuff so if you’re not a fan of spicy foods be sure to only use one can and it’s perfect. I love this vegitarian chili. I actually am now watching what meats I eat.

I have tried wheat berries before but never cooked with them myself. They are so easy and delicious. I love the texture they give this chili. And the chipotle peppers give this chili the right amount of kick. Great chili.

Really liked the flavor of this chili. I liked the texture of the wheat berries too. The only comment that I have is that it was a little thin. I did add another half can of beans after I pureed them in the food processor with some of the broth. I think I would cut back on the broth next time but will still puree some of the beans. I like a thicker hearty chili. Used two chili peppers and it was a good amount of spice. I didn’t have avacado but know this would add something to the dish. The lime juice really topped it off.

Absolutely delicious! Tasted like it had been simmering all day. Used just one chipotle chili and it gave a mellow spice that allowed the other flavors to shine. Bell pepper and lime juice gave a lovely fruity note. First time cooking with wheat berries and they had great chewy hearty texture. Highly recommended!

Loved this chili! Great flavor. I didn’t use any chipotle peppers and the flavor was still great and spicy! The only thing I do wish is that it was a bit thicker…one of the past reviews mentioned pureeing the black beans. Otherwise great hearty meal!!! Definitely will be making again.

One of Our Favorite! Tasty and Satisfying I have made this recipe at least 5 times and my husband and I love it. A money/time saver for the chipotle peppers is to get the 2 cans of diced tomatoes with chipotles already added – found in Whole Foods and probably other health food stores. The chili is great by itself but the cilantro lime juice and avocado bring it to a whole new level. Hearty and satisfying. We like to eat it with a piece of buttered toast.

We made this chili vega and it was easy and is wonderful. We made our own chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and when I brought it to work converted the meat eaters to ask for the recipe. Nice!

I had never heard of wheat berries (or tried them) until very recently and I like them so much that I have been specifically searching for recipes using wheat berries. This chili was delicious and I will definitely make this one again!

This was my first attempt cooking with wheatberries and it will not be my last! They are a perfect fit for this vegetarian chili. I love the different textures each ingredient adds to the dish as well as the colors. I added about 1/2 tsp. of coriander to the chili and omitted the brown sugar. I let the chili simmer for an hour and the flavors blended together nicely. I’m excited to add this to my chili rotation!

What a fantastic way to prepare wheat berries! This recipe is highly recommended!

Eaten this twice and loved it each time: first a friend made it for us. So good! But very spicy. So later when I made it myself I only used 1 chipotle pepper (and a word to the wise: the recipe does not call for 1-2 CANS chipotle peppers it calls for 1-2 chipotle peppers) and that was perfect. I also did not have wheat berries so omitted them and it was still good. This is my favorite chili recipe to date. Fresh hearty veggie spicy.

This was my first time using wheat berries and the recipe was definitely a winner. I made a half recipe with one full chipotle pepper briefly rinsed and thought it was just right. I’ll definitely make this again.

Awesome recipe! I made it for my boyfriend and a couple friends the other night and everyone loved it! The flavors blend really well. I used two chili peppers and stirred some frozen corn into the mix. I made Eating Well wholesome cornbread to go with it. It was a fantastic meal. Definitely making this one again and again!

I loooove this chili. It was also my first introduction to wheatberries. When i told my BF (a meat and potatoes kind of guy) that we were having a meat-free wheatberry chili for dinner he didn’t seem too excited. But we both loved it and he said he didn’t miss the meat! The second time I made it I added some chorizo and that was absolutely amazing. Could eat it everyday and I’m not that big of a chili fan. I love the texture of wheatberries and this is very filling. I follow the recipe to a T except I haven’t bothered using yellow pepper because I never have any and I don’t feel like it needs it.

Excellent recipe! I love the smokiness of the chiles and the wheat berries have a wonderful texture. I’ve already made it a few times.

Very tasty! I like the wheatberries (this was my first time using them) and the avocado on top adds a great richness. Plus it makes enough for me to have lunches for the rest of the week! Definitely will be hanging on this recipe.

Looove it. Never cooked with wheat berries before this but definitely will again. Already looking up ways to use the leftover wheatberries that are in the freezer. I added 1 1/2 chipotles and a little bit of the adobo sauce. Really great flavor. I almost didn’t add a yellow pepper (they were pretty pricey today) but I am glad that I did–they add a nice touch of flavor and texture. NOM NOM!

We loved this! My boyfriend and I had some cooked black beans in the freezer that we decided to make this recipe with. It is absolutely fabulous and it reheats well. It’s very budget-friendly too especially when using cooked dried beans in place of the canned. Our only complaint was that the avocado didn’t add much to the dish. Considering how pricey they can be it seems silly to eat them with a chili where the flavor and texture don’t really come through. When we heated up the leftovers we opted to use a dollop of low-fat sour cream instead – now THAT was delicious! This one’s definitely a keeper.

Absolutely fabulous! I wouldn’t change a thing with this recipe. Even my picky husband enjoyed this dish!

I thought this recipe was awesome! I used a red and yellow bell pepper and a sweet onion as well as a red onion. I don’t chipotle flavor so I used about 5 fresh jalapenos and chopped half of it with seeds and membrane and the other half I took out so it wouldn’t be too spicy. I then garnished with cilantro avocado and red onion. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!! Family looooved it!

This is a really great recipe and I love spicy foods but this was a tad too much for me and my dinner guest tonight. I only used one 7oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce this time around. I admit I contemplated buying two cans or even a 14oz can while shopping fortunately I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong it’s a yummy recipe but I think next time around I’ll use diced tomatillos instead of chipotle peppers. Make sure to have sour cream & cheese on hand too can never go wrong with either.

This is perfect for Meatless Monday Night Football. To andreakoder the recipe calls for 1-2 canned chipotle chilis with adobo sauce not CANS. A friend of mine made the same mistake with corn soup. It took the tops of our heads off. The lesson we learned that night is that no recipe will call for a full can unless you are cooking a huge batch for like 40 people. I portion the leftover chilis and adobo sauce in ice cube trays and freeze then transfer to zip lock bag for future recipes. Good luck.

Great recipe. To andreakoder Great recipe. To andreakoder the recipe calls for 1-2 canned chipotle chilis with adobo sauce not CANS. A friend of mine made the same mistake with corn soup. It took the tops of our heads off. The lesson we learned that night is that no recipe will call for a full can unless you are cooking a huge batch for like 40 people. I portion the leftover chilis and adobo sauce in ice cube trays and freeze then transfer to zip lock bag for future recipes. Good luck.

This is an absolutely amazing soup! I’ve made it twice now and my family gobbles it up. I cook for a vegan a pescitarian and a heart healthy patient and all were pleased. I made it the day after Thanksgiving for guests and families (the wheat berries were cooked and refrigerated several days prior). I included some chopped celery both red and yellow peppers and added an extra chipotle pepper in adobe sauce. The meat lovers added left over turkey sandwiches to top off their meal. It was a hit with everyone.

My All Time Favorite Chili I first made this chili when I was beginning to incorporate more whole grains into my diet. The chili is very easy to prepare tastes delicious is extremely nutritious and freezes well. One thing to remember: go easy on the chipotles. Use only one or two the first time you make and add additional chilis if you really like fire. Has anyone made this in a slow cooker? I think I’ll go that route the next time I make it. Wondering if I should start with cooked wheat berries or raw (soaked) wheat berries. Pros: Easy to prepare; very tasty; HEALTHY Cons: Be careful with the chipotle peppers!

Very Good Recipe! I never had wheat berries before but now I love them. It was a very good substitute for meat. This was very easy to make inexpensive and I got about 8-12 cups of it. I also didn’t want it soupy so I only added about a cup of the broth. Like other reviewers have stated watch out on how much chipotle peppers you add. I think next time I will omit these peppers because I’m not particularly fond of the smoky flavor and hotness they give.

Super-satisfying veggie meal I made this chili for “meatless Monday” but due to some unforeseen circumstances we ended up eating it on Tuesday night instead. Like most tomato-based dishes this was even better the next day. It’s really hearty and quite flavorful even without the chipotles; I left them out because I have a preschooler and I didn’t want to risk making a big batch of something that was too hot for her to eat. Instead I added chipotle hot sauce (Tabasco and Cholula both make chipotle sauces) to the adult portions which worked out great. It’s a lot easier to control the heat that way if you’re gun-shy about putting the chipotles directly in the chili. My batch made 8 cups of chili which was plenty for two meals. If you’re making this on a weeknight or are pressed for time I would suggest making the wheat berries the day or night before. It takes a full hour to cook those though you could do the prep work for the chili while they cook. I’ll definitely make this again. Pros: Delicious inexpensive easy Cons: Takes a long time if you don’t have precooked wheat berries

Read Reviews For Spiciness Help I love this recipe but found it a little soupy and will probably use less broth or more wheat berries next time. Be sure you read the recipe and reviews carefully about the chipotle peppers. One minced pepper was definitely spicy enough for me and the flavors are amazing. Definitely follow the recipe on the flavor front and the tips were very helpful. This will be a great dish for entertaining and is a snap if you make the wheat berries in advance (otherwise takes a lot longer). Pros: So yummy healthy and filling. Cons: A little soupy but now I know for next time.

My New Favorite Chili I have shared this recipe with so many people! It is absolutely wonderful just as written. It satisfies pretty much any craving you might have: slightly salty slightly sweet tart lime spicy creamy avocado etc. You don’t even miss the typical hamburger because of the texture of the wheat berries. Thank you for putting this up! Pros: Filling Spicy Easy to Reheat Cons: None!

Using Chipotles I never met a chili I didn’t love! I’m actually writing to give a tip to those who shy away from the chipotles because of their heat. You can treat them exactly the way you do fresh jalapenos — split them open and scrape out the seeds and membranes. Since you don’t need a whole can you can freeze them. Two options: either put them in a freezer bag lay them flat in your freezer; then break off a chipotle or the sauce as you need it. OR whir them up in your blender or mini-processor and then freeze laying flat until frozen. Remove the seeds first if you don’t like the heat. One can will last months that way!

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