Slow cooker black bean chili with fluffy easy cook Quinoa is an ideal choice for busy families, students, and budget-conscious cooks who crave flavorful meals that are easy to prepare and brimming with plant-based nutrients.
All you need to do to prepare the best vegan chilli is to toss the ingredients into a slow cooker and let it cook for 4 hours. The simplicity and deliciousness of this meal are sure to make it a family favorite.
Origins of Chilli Con Carne
Chili con carne is often considered an American creation heavily influenced by Mexican cuisine and flavors.
The dish likely originated in San Antonio, Texas, dating back to the 1800s when women known as chili queens sold bowls of chili as a form of street food. The first chili was essentially a tomato-based, spicy meat stew.
By the early 1900s, chili parlors had become commonplace eating establishments in Texas and across the Western US.
In 1977, chili con carne was designated as the national dish of Texas, affectionately referred to as "a bowl of red."
Beans were a later addition to chili con carne, although not a universally accepted one among Texans, who argue that beans have no place in chili.
However, in the meat-free version called chili sin carne, beans are typically the primary delicious ingredient.
What Is Chilli Sin Carne?
Chili con carne prepared without meat is commonly called chili sin carne, which essentially means chili con carne minus the meat.
Though the name may sound like the dish is lacking or deprived in some way, I assure you that beans are wholesomely delicious, making a perfect pairing with the chilli tomato sauce.
Growing up in Scotland, chili con carne was a popular dish, and I always associated it with kidney beans.
I recall a dried packet of vegetarian Mexican chili called Bean Feast, which required only water and a 20-minute simmer to transform into a delicious meal. As there weren't many vegetarian options back then, I cherished what seemed like an exotic dish! Unfortunately, Bean Feast has since been discontinued.
Slow Cooker Chilli Sin Carne
This black bean chili is prepared in a slow cooker, also known as a crockpot. I adore using my slow cooker because it's incredibly easy to toss in all the ingredients and forget about the meal for a few hours, without worrying about anything sticking to the pan.
The slow cooker's versatility allows you to control the cooking time by selecting low, medium, or high heat, so this type of cooking just fits easily into your lifestyle.
Chili sin carne is the perfect dish to prepare in the crockpot, as the flavors develop beautifully during the slow cooking process.
For this chili recipe, I use black beans and white kidney beans that are otherwise known as Cannellini beans. But of course, feel free to use whatever beans you have to hand such as navy beans, Great Northern beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, etc.
The typical chili seasonings are included, such as chili powder, paprika, and cumin. I also add a pinch of cinnamon and oregano for an extra burst of flavor.
The veggies in this dish are celery, bell peppers, onions, and carrots. The recipe calls for grated carrots, which I find cook better in the slow cooker, becoming tender and releasing more sweetness.
Quinoa makes the perfect accompaniment, providing a soft, fluffy, and interesting texture that complements the bean chili wonderfully.
Altogether, this chili is delicious, easy, and incredibly budget-friendly. It's likely to become a favorite go-to meal for your family, just as it is for mine.
How To Prepare Black Bean Chilli and Quinoa
Recipe Notes And FAQs
Leftover chilli and quinoa can be stored in the fridge, in a covered container, for 3 days.
Or frozen for up to 4 months.
Chilli can be reheated in a saucepan or skillet and simmer over a medium heat until piping hot. A little extra veggie stock can be added to loosen up the sauce if required.
Leftover quinoa can be mixed through the chilli in the saucepan and reheated with the chilli. Or place the quinoa in an oven dish, add a cover, and heat in a hot oven until piping hot. Or microwave for a few minutes.
* vegan garlic bread
* tortilla wraps
* taco shells
* crusty bread
* corn bread
* American biscuits
* bread sticks
* quinoa, as well as tricolour quinoa
* rice, including red and black varieties
* tortilla chips/crisps
* corn chips
* guacamole/sliced avocado
* salsa/ fresh diced tomatoes
* vegan sour cream/mayonnaise/yogurt
* vegan coleslaw
* vegan potato salad (boiled new potatoes with a little vegan mayonnaise, chopped chives, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Enjoy hot or chilled)
* potato skins
* sliced spring/green onions
* mixed salad
* chopped coriander/cilantro
* steamed greens
* roast broccoli
* sweet potato wedges/fries/chips
* white potato wedges/fries/chips
* baked sweet/white potato
* vegan refried beans
* use scoops of this chilli to top vegan carrot hotdogs (perfect way to use up small amounts of leftovers)
All the ingredients work together to create an amazing flavour profile but a few substitutions can be made:
* use any beans you prefer
* use 2 cans of chopped tomatoes instead of passata
* 4-6 fresh minced garlic cloves instead of dried garlic
* 1 tablespoon of dried onion to replace the fresh onion
* sweet or regular paprika instead of smoky
* apple cider vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar
* dried mixed herbs to sub for oregano
A few ideas:
* small can of sweetcorn, drained
* small can of green chilli's, drained
* a fresh green chilli, sliced and added to slow cooker
* fresh chopped tomatoes
* a few squares of vegan dark chocolate
For a gluten-free chilli check your flavouring labels carefully especially your vegan stock, soya sauce and any spices. Especially if you use a spice mix. The vegan stock I use (link in the recipe card) is gluten-free and I also use tamari soya sauce which is usually gluten-free.
Simply add all the ingredients to a skillet or similar pan, and stew for 30-45 minutes. More vegan stock may need to be added as the chilli cooks as the liquid will evaporate much more compared to the crock-pot.
More Delicious Vegan Dinner Ideas
Vegan Refried beans (quick, easy and no-oil/fat recipe)
Mexican rice and bean casserole (with a crispy cheesy nacho topping)
Loaded black bean potato wedges (tasty fake away or enjoy as a side dish)
Slow Cooker Black Bean Chilli With Fluffy Quinoa
- slow cooker/crockpot (at least 3.5 litre/ 3 quart plus)
- Saucepan for cooking quinoa, optional
- 2 cans black beans 2 x 400g/14 oz cans, drained, or 240g cooked beans
- 1 can kidney beans red or white variety 400g/14 oz can, drained, or 240g cooked beans
- 120 grams carrot 1 medium, grated
- 95 grams celery about 2 sticks/ribs, diced
- 120 grams red onion 1 small-medium, diced
- 100 grams bell pepper 1 small-medium, diced.
- 500 grams tomato passata or use two 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes.
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree concentrated tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder or 4-6 cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder use more to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoon smoky paprika or regular
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper more if liked
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce use Tamari if needing gluten-free
- 2 teaspoon soft brown sugar or your regular sugar
- 125 millilitres vegan stock
optional, stir through chilli before serving:
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 200 grams quinoa Cooking the quinoa in vegan 'chicken' flavour stock is tasty. Alternatively use rice.
- 550 millilitres vegan stock or water, to cook the quinoa.
- Turn on your slow cooker to the high setting.
- Add all the ingredients, including a pinch of salt and some black pepper, and give everything a good stir.
- Place a lid over the slow cooker and leave for 3 ½- 4 hours.Check the seasoning and add enough salt to taste. Mix through nutritional yeast flakes if liked.
To cook the quinoa:
- Wash the quinoa using a sieve to catch the tiny seeds.
- Place the quinoa in a saucepan.Pour boiling vegan stock over the quinoa. I used a vegan 'chicken' flavour stock.Mix well, breaking up any clumps of quinoa seeds.
- Bring to a boil, lower the heat, simmer for 15-20 minutes.Remove from the heat and pop a lid over until ready to serve.Fluff up the grains with a fork.
- Serve the quinoa with black bean chilli.A little vegan grated/shredded cheese and a sprinkle of chopped parsley are optional extras.
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional data includes 200g dried quinoa.
- For a lower sodium meal use low-salt vegan stock.
- This recipe may seem like it has a lot of spices and herb ingredients but once purchased your spices will last a long time and can be used in so many more meals.
- Prepare this bean chilli on the stove-top by adding everything to a skillet or similar pan, and stewing for 30-45 minutes. Add extra veggie stock when required during cooking.
- Increase the time needed to cook this chilli in the slow cooker set on medium for 5-6 hours, low for around 6-8 hours. Exact times will depend on your crock-pot.
- Leftover black bean chilli will stay fresh in the fridge, in a covered container, for 3 days.
- Or freeze for up to 4 months.
- This recipe is perfect for batch prepping, especially if you have a larger slow cooker or crock pot and can double up the ingredients. Freeze portions for quick future meals.
- Defrost before reheating. Reheat by adding to a skillet or saucepan and bringing to a simmer, heat through for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently until piping hot.
- Serve with quinoa or rice, or simply with a chunk of crusty bread.