Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, water, chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the chili is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve chili topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese, or slices of avocado.
Serves 6 to 8.
Recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook