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This simple slow cooker vegetarian chili is perfect for cool weather, packed with peppers, onions, beans, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes – this is a great crockpot chili!
I went with a vegetarian option this time around – I cleaned out the pantry because my son’s school is having a food drive, and I found so many cans of beans tucked in the back, as well as some of my favorite fire-roasted tomatoes.
The fire-roasted tomatoes add a lovely smoky flavor to the chili, but you can substitute for regular canned tomatoes if that is what you have!Love this? Me too! Tweet it!
I love to make this at the beginning of the week, or on a weekend – and keep it in the fridge in quart-sized containers so we have an easy dinner or lunch any time we need one. It’s a great recipe that we all enjoy.
Honestly, the thing that will take the longest is chopping the vegetables and opening several cans.
FREEZING CHILI – store in air tight containers in the freezer. It will stay good in the freezer up to 6 months (if it lasts that long!). To eat, just reheat until piping hot.
Serving it with a good cornbread or a skillet bread is a lovely way to make the family pile in from outside to eat!! Chili and fresh bread?? oh yes please!!
Thickening Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
Because of the long cooking time, the sweet potatoes become super tender. I like that and smush a few of them, so it thickens the chili. If you don’t, make sure you stop cooking at around the 6-7 hour mark.
Cocoa powder in Chili
This chili uses cocoa powder, which does sound strange, but cocoa powder adds an amazing depth of flavor Cocoa powder gives the chili a richness that you might find in a meat-based chili, but without the meat (or the calories!). I’ve been known to use espresso in my chili as well, for the same reason.
We love this recipe, but don’t always have time to wait for a slow cooker. You can make this in a dutch oven, or instant pot, too!
- Red Onion – you can sub white onion if you must – but red is prettier
- Red, Yellow and Green Bell Peppers – chop these up into even sized pieces
- Garlic– freshly minced, you could sub garlic powder if you wish!
- Chili Powder – this prepared chili powder that is a blend of spices
- Cumin – Rich and earthy, and perfect for deepening the flavor
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Fire-Roasted Tomatoes – undrained, you’ll need all the juices for the sauce
- Canned Black Beans, Kidney Beans, White Beans – all drained and rinsed
- Sweet Potato – peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- CILANTRO – chopped up finely. This is going to add some fresh flavor to the chili, don’t skip it!!
How to make this recipe:
- Chop the bell peppers and onions, peel and cut the sweet potatoes
- Open the cans of beans and drain. Rinse.
- Open the cans of tomatoes (do not drain).
- Gather the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, and salt/pepper.
- Add onions, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes to the pot, mix through the spices, then add the canned ingredients – mix well.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Mix fresh cilantro through the chili, and.
What to serve with Vegetarian Chili
- I like to make these awesome Crispy Cheddar Cornbread Waffles and pile the chili on top.
- You could also make Southern Style Biscuits – from Bread Booze Bacon (a girl after my own heart)
- My Fluffy Golden Skillet Cornbread is also a winner!
- Want something with a bit of a kick? You’ll love the Skillet Cheddar Jalapeno Sweet Potato Cornbread from Lemon Blossoms!!
FAQs and Kylee’s Notes
- Feel free to add a can of pinto beans or frozen corn to the pot. The more the merrier, right?
- This recipe is gluten-free, but if you have specific needs – please check the packaging of your canned goods and spices before using!
MORE CROCKPOT RECIPES:
- Crockpot Cowboy Casserole – Quick to prep, this is a real family pleaser!
- 15 Bean Soup – packed with flavor and goodness – this meal is a great one to set and forget!
- Beef Stew with Herbed Dumplings – this one makes the family run to the table, with the addition of Herbed Dumplings – it’s a total winter warmer!
- Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole – A family-friendly easy prep and clean up meal that you can set and forget. This yummy tater tot casserole recipe has allll the good stuff – you can’t go wrong!
- ALL SLOW COOKER/CROCKPOT RECIPES
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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- ½ green bell pepper chopped
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 Tbs prepared chili powder
- 2 Tbs ground cumin
- 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- salt and pepper
- 3 cans fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
- 1 lb sweet potato peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
Optional, for serving
- Sour cream and extra cilantro
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato.
- Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, and the chili has thickened, on low for 8-10 hours.
- Uncover, stir the fresh cilantro through, and serve.
- Add a dollop of sour cream, and garnish with a little cilantro