Meat Free Monday: Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili

by Deena on December 5, 2011

A friend of ours sent us this meat free recipe to try out.  I love that Angela and I (along with our families) have become “official” taste testers for meat free recipes.

My oldest son, Owen, and I loved this recipe.  The rest of the family not so much – which I expected since they don’t like black beans.  I had a back up pasta dish for them.  This recipe made a large amount of chili – I ended up freezing half of it for Owen and I to eat at a later date.  And that was after taking out some to eat as left-over’s the next day at lunch.   I would say for a family of 4 you could easily half the recipe and have plenty for everyone.

Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili


1 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mustard seeds
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds or ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon  cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
2   medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound  mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and sliced (4 1/2 cups)
8 ounces  tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped (about 4 tomatillos)
1/4 cup  water
5 1/2 cups  mushroom broth or vegetable broth, homemade or canned
1 6-ounce can  tomato paste
1-2 tablespoons  minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 1/4 cups  grated Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup  reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup  chopped fresh cilantro
2   limes, cut into wedges



1.  Soak beans overnight in 2 quarts water. (Alternatively, place beans and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour). Drain beans, discarding soaking liquid.

Black beans post-soaking over night

2.  Meanwhile, combine oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds.Add onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, tomato paste and chipotles (with sauce); mix well.


Cooking vegetables prior to adding to beans in slow cooker

3.  Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the hot mixture over the beans. Turn heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy to bite, 5 to 8 hours.
4.  To serve, ladle the chili into bowls. Garnish each serving with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Pass lime wedges at the table.

Happy Eating and keep those recipe suggestions coming!

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