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! 🙂
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.