With cooler temperatures blowing in over the weekend, it’s finally starting to feel like fall.
After trading flip-flops for tennis shoes before my weekly trip to the grocery store Sunday, I decided it was time to break out the slow cooker for my first batch of chili since spring.
Wanting a lighter meal than my favorite chili recipes with ground beef, pork or chicken, I opted to try a vegetarian version that makes the most of seasonal squash still in stores.
It took less than 30 minutes to chop vegetables, open cans of beans and tomatoes and blend them together in the slow cooker.
By the time I finished yard work a few hours later, the chili was ready to serve for dinner with some fresh bread.
It was the perfect way to warm myself up after spending time in the cooler fall air.
Spicy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours
- 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes, fire-roasted with garlic
- 3 tablespoon canned tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 large uncooked zucchini, cut into ¾-inch dice (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium poblano chile, seeded and diced (about 1¾ cups) (For a milder flavor, use bell pepper instead.)
- ¾ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
- ½ cup water, or up to 1 cup if needed
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, oil, both types of chili powder and cumin.
Add zucchini, corn, both types of beans and poblanos; stir to mix well.
Cover and cook on low until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.
Stir in cilantro and enough water to desired consistency; season with salt.
Yields about 1½ cups per serving.
Note: For a heartier chili, ground beef or diced chicken can be added to this vegetarian chili base. Brown the beef in a skillet and drain off the fat before adding it to the slow cooker with the other ingredients.