Barley Bean Chili

Beans are an excellent source of fiber and plant-based protein in addition to a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, copper, folate, iron, and zinc. This Barley Bean Chili recipe is vegan and delicious, especially during winter and for the upcoming Super Bowl festivities!

Bean & Barley Chili

Course Main Course, Soup
Keyword barley, black bean, chili
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Abbie Gellman


  • Beans:
  • ½ pound dry beans any mixture (for this recipe, I like pinto, white, and black beans, but use any type you prefer)
  • Chili:
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 6 ounces vegetable stock low sodium
  • 1/3 cup barley pearled
  • 3 plum tomatoes diced
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup chipotle pepper in adobo chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional garnish: sour cream or yogurt shredded cheddar cheese, avocado


  1. Beans:
  2. Soak beans overnight in a bowl with water covering them by a few inches. The next day, drain and rinse beans then transfer them to a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and leave undisturbed for an hour. If not yet cooked through at one hour, keep at a gentle simmer and begin checking every 20-30 minutes, adding water as necessary and tasting for doneness. Once done, drain, add a pinch of salt, and set aside. Note: do not season the beans while cooking, this will toughen them and they will not cook through.
  3. Chili:
  4. Heat dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat, add olive oil, then sauté onion, pepper, and garlic.
  5. Add tomato paste, cumin, and chili powder to create a paste and sauté for another minute.
  6. Add vegetable stock, beans, and barley. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes and cook for another 40 minutes until barley is tender. Add more stock or water if barley absorbs all of the liquid too quickly.
  8. Add cocoa powder, chipotle pepper, honey, and water (to loosen if necessary). Add salt and pepper.
  9. Add garnish (optional) and enjoy!
  10. *Note: can use 2 cups of canned beans, rinsed and drained, in place of dried beans if preferred

Barley Bean Chili

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