Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Refried Bean Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili

This chili is a mystery to me, although I use all mild ingredients it still turns out pretty spicy. I love spicy, but adding some heat on top of this stuff almost makes it too hot. Maybe you can figure out what happens, as I don’t have a clue. By the next day this stuff loses its spice, and I end up dousing it in hot sauce. I thought things were supposed to get hotter the next day! Go figure.

I love to dump this healthy chili on top of greasy french fries and then top it all off with diced onions and a mound of shredded cheese. I'm a pro at turning something healthy into a pile of tasty junk. I suppose this could be served with a side salad instead, but that never captures my interest. I'd rather eat the fries and cheese.


1 medium sized onion

1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans

1 (15 ounce) can black beans

2 (15 ounce) cans chili beans in chili sauce

1 (16 ounce) can vegetarian refried beans

1 (7 ounce) can fire roasted mild diced green chilies

1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa, mild

1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos

1 cup beer, amber or darker

1/3 cup brewed coffee

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ Tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

Olive oil for brushing slow cooker

At the end of cooking time add:

1 teaspoon white vinegar or a few diced up Mezzetta tamed jalapeno slices.

Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste


  1. Brush a large slow cooker crock with olive oil. Dice the onion and place it in the crock.
  2. Place the kidney beans and black beans in a strainer over the sink. Rinse the beans in cold water until foam is gone. Do not strain the chili beans. Add all the beans to the crock.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, placing the refried beans on top and stir together. Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours stirring every couple hours so the refried beans do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar or diced tamed jalapenos and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with desired toppings.

Serves 6

Recipe by Laura Flowers


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Jar of jalapenos??? (listed in the directions, but not in the recipe)

I know heat is toned down when allowed to cook, so maybe next time add them in the beginning instead of at the end.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

PS - How is your mom?

Chef E said...

Have you made this before? Sounds like I would love it! Some feel that when cooking with heat it tones down after cooking, but not always, heat upon heat can indeed be hot, especially when you eat it hot. Taste buds are layered with heat, so it appears to get warmer and warmer as you eat it, and addition of vinegar as in pickled chilies, even in water they can do this...oh well, it depends...but vinegar does influence...

:) Send me a bowl, I would eat it right up, even if I do not feel so well right now...just let me suffer LOL!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

#4 ;)

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Thanks for the great info Chef E!!!


The Cooking Photographer said...

Thanks for the help Chef and Patricia. I have made this many times Chef. It started off being non-vegetarian a few years ago, but slowly evolved into this. It's so flavorful I never miss the meat.

I do add chopped up cilantro if I have it. I should have put that in the recipe.


Thas said...

I can take the heat, so I will definitely love this chili. A bowl of this chili will be perfect for this freezing weather.

Sue said...

This looks so good for a cold winter day, but I am kind of wimpy, so would probably leave a couple of things out:) For my husband though "the hotter, the better!" I should make it "as is" for him:) Looks nice and easy too! Thanks, Laura!

Cristie said...

Sounds like a wonderful chili. Around the holidays I'm looking for recipes that I can put together and come back to in a meal that is ready- this looks perfect! Thanks. Happy Holidays!

Fresh Local and Best said...

The recipe looks good. Maybe chili powder makes it spicy. The brewed coffee is interesting.

Veronica M. said...

I love vegetarian chili but add Morningstar soy crumbles to it. Since chili has so much flavor, you really can't tell it's not real ground beef! Love the fries and cheese idea. :)

Chef E said...

Oh the know it all chef, silly me, came back to see if you said anything else, and of course I am wishing I had a bowl right now!

You know how the food geek comes out in me...

Hope I did not seem intrusive...

Holiday Recipes said...

sound's like great!looking delicious.
i like this recipe. thanks.

shaz said...

Ha ha ha, I'll take fries over salad any day :) Great looking chilli. Happy Holidays Laura :)

Trissa said...

Im not vegetarian but this chili could probably convert me! Have a great Christmas!

Feistygirl said...

The chili looks great, although I'd probably make it unhealthy and add meat and lots of cheese....will have to try it.

Since today I'm having uncontrollable food cravings, what is that picture of deliciousness up on the top left of your blog title next to the cute Gingerbread family? Looks delicious!!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Fiestygirl,

Those bars are cherry almond bars and my all time favorite. Here's the link: http://www.thecookingphotographer.com/2009/04/impatiently-waiting-for-summer-cherry.html


Renata said...

Great recipe Laura, looks delicious and healthy!

Merry Christmas 4 u!!!

EMC said...

I've been addicted to my slow cooker for quite some time, so at time point you are an enabler!

I'm sooooo making this for after holiday comfort.

2 Stews said...

I'll have to dust off the slow cooker! Tis the season...I didn't have a slow cooker chili recipe until now...thanks, Laura. This looks great.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!
xo Diane

Sherri Murphy said...

Enjoy a wonderful Christmas Laura!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I loves me some veggie chili! Haha, that ever-changing spiciness is a mystery, but I'm glad it didn't get even hotter and become inedible. I love your defiance toward healthy food though I probably shouldn't as a future-dietitian. Oh well 8p.

Anonymous said...

What a great chili recipe. Love it!

love lives in the kitchen said...

wow! i just love veggie recipes and yours looks just great (it's perfest after christmas exageration :)
have a sweet day!

Ginger said...

Happy Holiday Laura!

The chili sounds PERFECT to me! I could use a bowl after yesterday. I went to a fudge tasting party. I am still trying to recover from all the sugar! I hope that you have a awesome 2010 and I look forward to spending it reading your AWESOME blog and looking at your incredible pictures!


Sarah said...

Yum, yum, yum! Yes, I would take the fries and cheese over the salad anyday also! :)

Velva said...

Chili over greasy fries-YUM! I never tought of that as an addition to my chili experience.
My experience has always been that the heat intensifies as time progresses. I love heat in my chili. Don't have a clue why the heat disappears in your chili recipe. Still, your recipe looks wonderful.

Sherri Murphy said...

Another perfect recipe Laura! You rock! Have a wonderful 2010!

Chef Fresco said...

What a greattt combo of ingredients! (esp. the beer & coffee :) Looks so yummy and I could totally go for some about now!

Melissa said...

8th ingredient says "1 16oz jar___
Jar of what?

The Cooking Photographer said...

Sorry about that. It was a jar of mild salsa.


Crepes of Wrath said...

Oh man! This looks absolutely delicious!

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