Gluten-Free Black Bean Chipotle Chili in Masa Cups

chipotle chili masa cups
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 18 mins
Calories: 124

This recipe was originally published in 2010.

Bite-size and satisfying, these easy-to-serve, easy-to-eat masa cup hors d’oeuvres are hearty and render silverware unnecessary.

Season this chili according to your taste. This recipe makes more than enough chili to fill 24 masa cups. Use extra chili as a dip for gluten-free tortilla chips.

*TIP: If using dried beans, soak for at least 3 hours and cook in simmering water until tender, approximately 2 hours. Drain and proceed with recipe.

Recipe by cooking instructor Jules E. Dowler Shepard, author of Free for All Cooking (Da Capo Press).

Yields 24 servings


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1-2 gluten-free chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
  • Salt and cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes or 11-12 large tomatoes, peeled
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans*, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups gluten-free beer
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup cream cheese or non-dairy alternative, room temperature
  • ½ cup butter or non-dairy alternative, room temperature
  • 1 large egg*
  • 1¼ cups gluten-free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • ¾ cup masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish


1Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced carrots, onions and celery, sautéing until onions are translucent. Add garlic, diced chipotle peppers and spices.

2Purée tomatoes in a large food processor or blender. (If using fresh tomatoes, peel them by dipping in boiling water for 30 seconds and then immersing in ice water until cooled. Peel off the loosened skins once the tomatoes have cooled.) Add purée to the sautéed vegetables. Then add the drained black beans. Pour in the beer and cilantro, stirring well.

3Simmer chili uncovered until all vegetables are tender and chili has cooked down to desired consistency. It should not be watery when served in Masa Cups.

4Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 24 mini-muffin cups.

5Beat together the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Once creamed, add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and whip together until blended.

6Spoon tablespoons of dough into the palms of your hands and form into 24 individual balls. Gently shape the balls into disks. Press individually into the bottom and up the sides of prepared muffin cups, taking care to cover the entire cup with dough. Keep the dough uniformly thin, no more than ¼ inch thick.

7Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes. Set aside to cool before serving. Spoon chili (cooled or hot) into each muffin cup. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

1 serving contains 124 calories, 6g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 21mg cholesterol, 222mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, sugars, 3g protein.