Start with dry beans in the morning, cook them all day, add your seasonings, then cook it another hour and you’ve got my Crockpot Vegetarian Chili! So simple and yet so welcoming as the days get cooler and we long for soups and stews to take the chill off.
“Can I have your Crockpot Vegetarian Chili Recipe?”
I was messaged the other day about my Vegetarian Chili. My friend wanted the recipe. She said it was “delicious” unfortunately I had to tell her that I’d thrown it together and didn’t have a recipe.
But I sent her a list of the spices I used. And then I also let her know my secret ingredient. You can find the secret ingredient in the recipe card at the end of my post!
PS it’s the third ingredient from the bottom if you’re unsure which ingredient is the secret ingredient.
Cook Dry Beans in the Crockpot
This is a game-changer right here when you discover you can cook dry beans in the crockpot, your crockpot life expands.
- you can soak and cook beans for use THAT day which is great
- or soak and cook beans ahead of time for another use
- freeze or refrigerate cooked beans, use when you need cooked beans!
Beans in cans are a timesaver for sure but when you compare the cost of beans in cans to dry beans you realize you’re paying a lot more. So I like to cook dry beans, for now, or later.
Plus the health benefits of beans are well known but did you know beans in cans can actually be unhealthy? The amount of salt they add to them isn’t healthy for anyone who needs to cut the salt in their diet.
I’m always cutting salt, which happens naturally when you give up the processed foods, so canned beans are quite a salty shock to our family. Beans cooked from their dry form only have the salt you add to them. Good news for your heart!
Crockpot Dinners We Love
I often get asked what kind of Crockpot I use. Turns out I don’t have a Crockpot® I have a SLOW COOKER. Crockpot® is a brand name but it’s what I call it and I find it a hard habit to break!
I use a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker that is old and no longer sold by them. It has a few features I love such as:
- a removable crock (interior pot)
- a metal crock which means I can brown meat on the stovetop and then put the pan right in the outer shell
- a retractable cord!
I haven’t seen ANY pots like the one I have. This Cuisinart Slow Cooker has a metal insert. But I haven’t found ANY with that handy dandy retractable cord I love so much!
- 1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans
- 1 1/2 cups of dry kidney beans
- water to cover the beans by 4 inches
- 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 TBSP Chili Powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cups salsa
- cayenne to taste, or not at all
- salt to taste
- rinse the beans and place in the crockpot
- cover with water, you need about 4 inches of water ABOVE the dry beans
- cover and cook on high until beans are cooked through, in my crockpot, this is about 6-8 hours
- once beans are cooked through drain off most of the cooking water, leaving just 1-2 cups, more if you like it that way, in with the cooked beans
- add the tomatoes, corn, spices, salsa, and cayenne if you're using it
- taste for salt, add some as needed
- cover and let it cook another hour or so
- taste for salt and spices, add more of anything you need