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Simple Slow Cooker Vegan Chili Recipe (With Meat-Lover Options)!

Updated on January 16, 2012

Why Use A Slow Cooker?

The slow cooker - also known as a "crock pot" - is every busy cook's dream come true! Prepare your meal the night before in the removable cooking vessel and stick in the fridge. Next morning, pop the cooking vessel into the slow cooker stand and turn it on. Leave it to "do its thing" and come back to a perfectly cooked meal!

The same process can be mimicked on the stove top in the oven with a Cast Iron Dutch Oven, but most of us wouldn't really be comfortable leaving our stove or oven on while we're away from home! With a slow cooker you can "set it and forget it"...

Slow cookers can be used for a surprising variety of dishes! Among many other dishes, slow cookers are ideal for soups and stews, roasted meats and vegetables, desserts like cobbler, and chili recipes like the one I'm going to show here!

The multitude of slow cookers on the market range from small and simple with one dial control to select Low or High heat, to large, stylish stainless steel models with built in temperature probes and internal timers.

There are also slow cooker insert bags, like the roasting bags many folks use to cook meats in the oven. You place the insert into the slow cooker, fill it with the ingredients and cook as normal. When you're done, just remove the insert and throw it away - that means no cleanup for the busy cook!

Some Slow Cooker Recipe Ideas

Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

Although this is technically a Vegan recipe, it can easily be modified to include Beef, Chicken or Turkey for a great Chili Con Carne!

It's designed for the slow cooker or crock pot, and takes from 4 to 6 hours to cook on Low heat.The vegan version cooks the quickest...

You can mix everything together in the crock pot insert the night before, place it in the fridge and then cook it the next day.


  • 1 can Black Beans (undrained)
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Garbanzo Beans (aka Chick Peas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can Diced or Crushed Tomatoes in Juice
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Chopped Jalapeno peppers, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 3 teaspoons Cumin
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

That's the Vegan Option. If you want to add meat, use about 1 pound of your preferred meat.

I like to use Stew Beef cut into 1 inch cubes - I simply layer it on the bottom of the slow cooker. I mix together the other ingredients in a separate mixing bowl and then add them on top to ensure that the meat cooks all the way through.

You can also use Ground Beef, Chicken or Turkey. If using Ground Meat, I would suggest cooking it before adding it to the Bean mixture...


  1. Rinse and drain all the Beans, except the Black Beans - their liquid will help to thicken the Chili as it cooks.
  2. If you'll be adding Ground Meat, you can saute the Onion, Celery and Bell Peppers with the meat to give it some flavor.
  3. Now just put everything in the slow cooker, stir together well and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours.


  • If you're using uncooked Stew Beef I would suggest adding another hour to the total cooking time to ensure that it's moist and tender!
  • If the mixture looks too dry, you can add a little bit of water or Homemade Vegetable Stock, but the veggies and tomatoes will give off a good amount of liquid while the Chili cooks in the slow cooker.
  • If you like, you can add a 16 ounce bag of Frozen Corn about a half-hour before the chili finishes - if you add it too soon it'll just turn to mush...

Serving Suggestions

  • This Chili, both the Vegan and Meat Lovers versions, is great served with Tortilla Chips, Egg Noodles or over Steamed Rice!
  • The leftovers are also great on top of Nachos with some Cheese Sauce poured over them.
  • And any leftovers can be frozen in a reusable plastic container.

Slow Cookers "For Dummies"!


Submit a Comment

  • chechetka profile image

    chechetka 6 years ago from London, UK

    I love veggie chili, I will definitely try your recipe! I just bought a slowcooker so might make it a first dish to cook in it:)

  • Edweirdo profile image

    Edweirdo 7 years ago from United States

    @Springboard - I made it on Tuesday night! Glad you liked it :D

  • Springboard profile image

    Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

    Tried it last night. Turned out rather nice. Thanks again.

  • Edweirdo profile image

    Edweirdo 7 years ago from United States

    Thanks Pamela - I hope you enjoy it ! Let me know how it turns out for you :D

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Sounds and looks good. I'll try your recipe. Thanks

  • Edweirdo profile image

    Edweirdo 7 years ago from United States

    Springboard, that pulled pork idea sounds tasty! I never would have thought of using that in chili -what a great idea ;D

  • Springboard profile image

    Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

    This sounds very good, and since I've never tried to make chili of any kind in the crock pot, it's a bit more interesting. Besides the fact it looks like a fairly thick chili recipe, and the idea of serving it over steaming white rice is something I never would have otherwise given thought to. Makes it a whole new dish entirely.

    As for the meat option, I just made a batch of pulled pork in the crockpot, and I've got a ton of meat—this would make for a VERY interesting dinner idea to use up the meat, plus have chili in a way I haven't before.

    I'll definitely have to give this one a try in the very near future.

  • Meghan Fitz profile image

    Meghan Fitz 7 years ago from Texas

    Yum! This would taste great with or without meat!