Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 9h 15m
  • Rating ****

10 servings, generous 1 cup each

Earthy mushrooms, tomatillos and a subtle layering of spices combine to give this full-bodied vegetarian chili a deep complexity of flavor. Note that dried beans need to be soaked before going into the slow cooker. Once that's done, the chili can gently bubble for hours, adding flexibility to your schedule.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, if necessary, and reheat on the stovetop or in a microwave.


  • 1 pound dried black beans (2 1/2 cups), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and sliced (4 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped (see Ingredient Notes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 1/2 cups mushroom broth or vegetable broth, homemade or canned (see Ingredient Notes)
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (see Ingredient Notes)
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Ingredient Notes:
  • Popular in Mexican cooking, the tomatillo looks like a small green tomato with a papery husk.

  • Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapenos with a fiery taste, canned in adobo sauce.

  • Mushroom broth can be found in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores.


Soak the beans overnight in 2 quarts water. (Alternatively, place beans and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour). Drain the beans, discarding soaking liquid.

Meanwhile, combine the oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add the onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are juicy, 5-7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10-15 minutes. Add the broth, tomato paste and chipotles (with sauce); mix well.

Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the hot mixture over the beans. Turn the heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy to the bite, 5-8 hours.

To serve, ladle the chili into bowls. Garnish each serving with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Pass lime wedges at the table.

Stovetop method: Total: 4 1/2 hours

In Step 2, increase broth to 8 1/2 cups. Omit Step 3. Add the beans to the Dutch oven; cover and simmer the chili gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until beans are creamy to bite, about 3 hours.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 7490

nutrition information per serving

310 calories; 10g total fat; 4g total saturated fat; 20mg cholesterol; 415mg sodium; 40g carbohydrates; 13g fiber; 18g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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