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Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Chili

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Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Chili

Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Chili

Jessica Braider
This is a recipe I like to use when I feel like I need to boost my kids' (or my own) vegetable intake. We love eating it over rice and served with our favorite chili toppings like shredded cheese, diced avocado, and hot sauce for those who want an extra kick.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil optional
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced, any color
  • 3 carrots halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced, about 1 1/2 tsp.
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef, chicken, turkey, or meatless crumbles or use an extra can of black or kidney beans
  • 15 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans (or use any variety)(or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can), with their liquid
  • 15 oz. reduced-sodium canned kidney beans (or use any variety) (or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can), with their liquid
  • 28 oz. diced fire-roasted tomatoes with their liquid
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 sweet potato diced (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels optional
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach optional
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese for serving (optional)
  • 1 avocado diced, for serving (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco) for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • If your slow cooker has a sauté function use that; otherwise, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onions, bell peppers, and carrots and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt and stir well for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the meat (if using) and break it up with your spatula or back of a spoon as it browns. When the meat is browned, pour everything into the slow cooker. Pour about ¼ cup of water into the skillet. Scrape up the remaining bits and pour that into the slow cooker as well.
  • Add all the beans, tomatoes, cocoa powder, sweet potatoes (optional), frozen corn (optional), and 1 cup of water into the slow cooker, and stir it well.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. If using the frozen spinach, add it for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve the chili with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, avocado, or hot sauce, refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Stovetop Directions:

  • In a large pot, heat the oil on a medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions, bell peppers, and carrots, turn the heat to medium, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt and stir well for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the meat (if using) and break it up with your spatula or back of a spoon as it browns.
  • Add all the beans, tomatoes, cocoa powder, sweet potatoes (optional), frozen corn (optional), and 1 cup of water into the pot, and stir it well.
  • Raise the heat to high, to bring the chili to a boil, and then turn down to low and allow it to simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the chili has thickened and the sweet potatoes (if using) are tender. If using the frozen spinach, add it for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Notes

Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion and bell pepper, halve and slice the carrots, peel the garlic, combine the spices, saute the onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, spices, and meat (if using) and refrigerate, chop the sweet potato (optional), or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the chili.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 2 tsp. dried oregano to the spice mixture and/or top the chili with hot sauce such as Tabasco.
Tip: Fire roasted tomatoes are given their name because they have a subtle smoky taste as if they have been roasted over an open fire. They are not spicy (something I used to assume) unless you buy a variety that has additional ingredients to give them a spicy flavor.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 218, Total Fat: 7g, 10.5%; Saturated Fat: 2g, 6.5%; Cholesterol: 17mg, 5.5%; Sodium: 584mg, 24.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 27g, 9%; Dietary Fiber: 10g, 38.5%; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 14g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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