Award Winning Cuban Mojo Black Bean Chili!!!!

Cuban Black Bean Chili_5417


I’ve learned since moving here from South Florida last year, that Cuban food is often misunderstood here in Phoenix.  For one, yes it’s Latin, but no, it’s not spicy; at all!  Cuban food is about the ‘sofrito,’ lots of citrus, aromatics and black beans!  So although, chili is not a traditional Cuban dish, we do have dishes that are chock full of veggies and meat, with sides of beans. All of which, we blend together from our plates into a delicious bite.  So its not hard to bridge flavors for this Cuban inspired chili.

If you’re in the Phoenix Arizona area, visit us at Phoenix Public Market and procure your ingredients from the farmers and artisans noted below. 

  • 1 Large Onion (from Crooked Sky Farms)
  • 1 Large Bell Pepper (or use 1/3 each of red, yellow, orange) (from Abby Lee Farms)
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes(from Abby Lee Farms)
  • 1 Head of Garlic (from Community Exchange Table)
  • 2 TBSP Melba’s Cuban Mojo Spice Blend (from The Fig & The Knife)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Limes
  • 3 TBSP or more of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 to 3 ounces of Dry white wine
  • 12-16 ounces of ground meat. (Use Meatless crumbles for vegan version)
  • 2 cans of Organic Black Beans (or make your own from dry beans)
  • 2 handfuls of crushed blue tortilla chips, as needed (from Willie’s Tomatoes & Chili’s)
  • Salt to Taste
  • Serve with rice and Tostones with The Fig & The Knife Green Sauce. (see photos)

Cuban Black Bean Chili_5414


  1. Chop the onion, pepper and tomatoes into ¼ inch dice and mince your garlic.
  2. Heat a 3 QT pot on the stove on medium-high heat and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil in pan, when hot and ready toss in above veggies, except garlic.
  3. Once veggies are soft and onions are translucent, toss in garlic and bay leaves. Stir until garlic begins to brown.
  4. Then add Melba’s Mojo Spice blend and juice of limes. Stir well.
  5. Add dry white wine to deglaze the pan and turn down the heat to medium.
  6. Add meat/meatless option of choice and stir in with veggies to blend until cooked through.
  7. Add one can of black beans with liquid and, then add the second can of beans without the liquid.
  8. Stir all to blend well and taste, add salt as needed. Turn down the heat to simmer and cover for about 30-45 minutes.  Stirring periodically.
  9. If chili is not tight enough, take a handful of blue corn tortilla chips and crush in your fist and stir into chili. This will thicken chili. Wait about 10 minutes. If not thick enough for you. Add the 2ndhandful and stir.
  • For a traditional Cuban experience, serve with a side of white rice and tostones (twice fried green platanos, separate recipe available) with our own Cilantro Green Sauce!! Or get creative!


Enjoy, Chef Janette!!

Click Here for Printable Recipe

Click Here to visit Phoenix Public Market Recipe Page

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