The inspiration for this black bean chili comes from the America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook. I’m a big fan of all different types of chili and have several variations here on the blog. Today’s recipe is the first vegetarian one I’ve posted though. Don’t worry, I haven’t decided to go all vegetarian on you. No way! Just thought I’d throw in a meatless main dish occasionally here on the blog. And hey, you could always add some bacon to my recipe if you want. 😉
I’ve been wanting to get more slow cooker recipes here on the blog. Having dinner cooking away while you are out of the house is a great way to keep you out of the drive-thru at the end of a long day. I personally love meals like this on days where I go for long runs and am way too exhausted to think about cooking. Coming back home to this Vegetarian Black Bean Chili was really nice.
The ATK cookbook recipe called for mustard seeds, which they said added an “appealing pungency and complexity”. I thought it sounded a little odd, but I decided to try it in my version as well. I think it does add a little something to chili.
Some people skip the soaking process when cooking beans in the slow cooker, but I always soak my beans overnight. Soaking the beans reduces the amount of phytic acid in them, which makes the nutrients more readily available to be absorbed.
Even though this chili is meat-free, it’s hearty enough to serve the men and boys in your life. My husband is a meat lover and he had seconds both times we ate it. I fried up some corn tortilla strips in a little bit of oil at the last minute to top off our bowls of chili.
The crockpot I used to make this in is the Rival 5 quart round crockpot. It’s my favorite crockpot I’ve owned. So happy my mom decided to give her’s away! 🙂
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
- 1 lb . bag of black beans , sorted, soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight, then drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp ghee or olive oil
- 2 medium white onions , finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper , stemmed, seeded and diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper , stemmed, seeded and diced
- 1 large (or 2 small) jalapenos, minced, ribs and seeds removed if preferred
- 6 cloves of garlic , minced
- 2 tbsp ancho chili powder (or chili powder of choice)
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 3 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 5 cups of water
- 1 (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes, drained and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- sea salt to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- To garnish:
- sour cream
- tortilla strips
- fresh or pickled jalapeno slices
- fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for about a minute more, then place the mixture into a 4 or 5 quart slow cooker.
Stir in the water and beans. Cover and cook until beans are tender, about 8-9 hours or 4-5 hours on high. Stir in the tomatoes and lime juice, season with salt to taste and let sit until the tomatoes have heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream and your choice of garnishes.
Recipe NotesCooking times may vary based on the age of your beans and slow cooker.
Disclaimer: this post contains an affiliate to a slow cooker that I use and love. I only recommend products that I use in my own kitchen and really like.