Slow Cooker Supper: Three-Bean Chili

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When I decided to venture deeper into the vegetarian world, I have to admit that I was a bit lost. However, this presented a great opportunity to test those “best of the slow cooker” recipes that arrive in my inbox. I was skeptical after trying so many bad recipes when I first started using my Crock-Pot but I was also up for a challenge, or better said, challenging the recipes that call themselves the best.

Typically, a chili recipe for me must involve meat, but  not poultry. There have been plenty of opportunities to try a white meat or white bean chili, and I have never been brave enough. Somehow though, going meatless all together didn’t seem quite as scary, and as I learned with this recipe it was actually quite enjoyable. I started with a Betty Crocker Three Bean Chili recipe that landed in my e-mail inbox, made a couple of modifications based on my pantry, and the result was delicious. If you’re feeling skeptical about going vegetarian when it comes to chili, this is a good place to start. It was delicious!

Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can small red beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 envelope chili seasoning mix

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (don’t drain)

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

I rinsed all of the beans together

What’s next:

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

For an optional added garnish, add 1/2 an avocado, sliced, and grated cheddar cheese.

Notes from my experience:

This recipe was so easy that I literally threw it together.

If the chili seems a little thick at the end of cooking, go ahead and add some water, 1/2 cup at a time.

I don’t believe in chili without cheese and while the chili alone was tasty, the added avocado and cheese were really amazing.

This recipe was originally published six years ago as part of Tracy Bermeo’s “Crock-It” series. Tracy’s goal was to create slow cooker recipes that would simplify dinner for Verona’s busy parents. Non-vegetarians can also try her Spicy Sweet Chili and Chorizo Chili slow cooker recipes.

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