Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

March/April 2007, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (317 votes)

This rib-sticking chili offers a hearty mix of wheat berries, beans, peppers and onion. Feel free to add an additional chipotle pepper to crank up the heat in this one-pot meal. Cooked wheat berries will keep for up to 1 month in your freezer and there's no need to thaw them; just stir them directly into the chili.

"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 (...
Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

76 Reviews for Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

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.

Delicious, inexpensive, easy
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.

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.

Easy to prepare; very tasty; HEALTHY
Comments (1)


maitaisatnoon wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Hands down the best chili recipe I've come across! and so healthy. The boys in my house couldn't eat it fast enough. For all of you who don't have as much Mexican influence or extensive readily available Mexican products (cough cough) Hawaii, there is an awesome recipe to make to your own Chilies in adobe sauce on Epicurious... I used 3 jalapenos and roasted them in my oven on broil for about 10 minutes and instead of ketchup I used tomato paste and it came out awesome!


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.


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.


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