Meatless Monday: Black Bean Chili

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Tonight I’m taking it back. This recipe was one of my first adventures in cooking back in college. Let’s just say that the first trial was more of a learning exercise because the end result was just short of a disaster.

Life lessons from Black Bean Chili:
1. Black beans will turn a wooden spoon PURPLE (Sorry, Roomies!)

2. Black beans take A LONG TIME to cook

I had faith, though, that this recipe was a keeper.  Even through the semi-cooked beans, I could taste the delicious flavor.  (Hello, Chipotle Peppers!)  I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years into this version.  No matter how many times I tried, I could never get the beans to fully cook within the time frame noted in the recipe.  It would take HOURS longer, in fact.  Finally, after too many times of eating semi-cooked beans or eating what could be considered dinner-for-breakfast, I decided to throw it all in the crock pot and see how I fared.  Success!  Recently, I also replaced the called-for chili sauce after discovering it had too many ingredients on my “do not eat” list.

Hubby specifically requested this recipe this week.  What’s better than a bowl of chili on a cold freezing night?!  It was definitely the perfect day for chili today!  (The icy rain is still falling as I type.)  This recipe is great served in a bowl with all of the usual chili toppings; you can also throw it over some tortilla chips for some black bean nachos or spoon some onto a tortilla for a quesadilla.  And, trust me, you will have enough left overs to try all of these serving suggestions. 😉 You could also throw some into the freezer for another rainy day!

Black Bean Chili

Adapted from Food Network


3 lbs black beans, dry
2 quarts water
2 onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 TBS chipotle chili pepper*
1 TBS salt
1 TBS black pepper
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 TBS apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp allspice
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, no salt added
3 TBS chili powder
1 TBS cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1 bunch cilantro, chopped


1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Greek Yogurt
Fresh diced tomato
Tortilla Chips


Throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker, and cook on high for 6 hours or until beans are soft.  Serve with suggested toppings.
*Chipotle peppers are sold on the ethnic aisle in your local grocery store.  These peppers are what give the chili its distinct flavor.  Feel free to adjust to your liking.  Most recipes only call for one or two at a time, so I stick the leftovers in the freezer.
Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili

Bon Appétit!




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