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Slow Cooker (or not) Two Bean Chili
with zucchini / bell peppers

Active: 30 Total: 510

This is a classic vegetarian chili - two types of beans and a simple blend of dried spices. To give it a Cook Smarts twist, we made sure it includes some vegetables, too. This meal was first featured in 2021.
Smarts #1: Chili is a great meal to make ahead and / or freeze for the future. It tends to taste even better a day or two after it's made.
Smarts #2: Even though it’s an extra step, sauteing the onions and spices before adding them to the slow cooker helps to draw out their flavors.
Cooking methods: This recipe includes instructions for using the slow cooker or stovetop. Select your preferred method.

Tags
Proteins
Cuisines

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Two Bean Chili:
  • Zucchini - 10 oz , diced
  • Bell peppers, any color - 1 , diced
  • Onions, medium - 1 , diced
  • Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
  • Chili powder - 1 Tbsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 2 tsp (sub regular paprika)
  • Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Beans, red kidney (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Beans, black (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
  • Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire-roasted (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
  • Cheese, cheddar - 4 oz , shredded (look for pre-shredded to save time)
  • Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped; green and white parts combined
  • Sour cream - for serving (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
  • Tortilla chips (opt) - for serving

Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Zucchini / Bell peppers / Onions / Garlic - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make spice blend - Combine chili powder, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, salt, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Saute onions - In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and spice blend and saute until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Beans - Drain and rinse.

  5. Slow cook chili - In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine onion-spice mixture, zucchini, bell peppers, beans, tomato paste, stock, and tomatoes (including liquid). Stir everything well to combine. Gently press down ingredients until they are mostly submerged in liquid (it may seem like you don’t have enough liquid, but the ingredients will release moisture as they cook). Cook chili on low for 8 to 9 hours. (Note: This is best cooked on low because the low liquid content and tomatoes can cause burning if cooked at higher heat.)

  6. Cheese / Green onions - Prep as directed.

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Make

  1. Give chili a stir. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. If you’d like it spicier, you can add some hot sauce (not on ingredients list).

  2. Serve chili with cheese, green onions, sour cream, and chips for topping. Enjoy!

Prep

  1. Zucchini / Bell peppers / Onions / Garlic - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make spice blend - Combine chili powder, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, salt, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Beans - Drain and rinse.

  4. Cheese / Green onions - Prep as directed.

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Make

  1. Heat a Dutch oven with oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. To onions, add garlic and spice blend and saute until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  3. Stir in zucchini, bell peppers, beans, tomato paste, stock , and tomatoes (including liquid). Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer chili for 20 to 25 minutes to let the flavors come together (reduce heat as needed to maintain a low simmer).

  4. Give chili a stir. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. If you’d like it spicier, you can add some hot sauce (not on ingredients list).

  5. Serve chili with cheese, green onions, sour cream, and chips for topping. Enjoy!


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