Monday, June 3

Chipotle Black Bean Zucchini Chili (Slow Cooker)

Confession: I used to use my slow cooker ALL of the time when I was in college. I loved my classes. I enjoyed most of my teachers, but by the time I got home each day, I was exhausted. Messy freeway clogged commutes (approx 100 miles each day through Los Angeles) doesn't grant well to standing and cooking incredible meals. Being home was about eating, sleeping, trying to not have pizza every night of the week, and finishing homework. So I admired and thoroughly appreciated my crock pot. BUT, every since those fun paper filled years, this wonderful appliance has just collected dust majority of the time. Ugh... time to pull it out and re-invent some healthy, flavorful, and easy recipes - like this one! This recipe is so good.....

Its Monday and I know how rough Mondays can be. So this is a perfect Tuesday meal to help you relax after your crazy Monday, beginning of the week craziness. You can skip the first step its not necessary. Its a textural thing for me. I love the texture of meat cooked on the stove versus solely in the crock pot.

Chipotle Black Bean Zucchini Chili 
Makes 9 1/2 cups
Serves 4-6 people
Freezable or use in another meal like this one
Recipe adapted from: Real Simple (Sept 2012 magazine)

1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
Two 14.5oz or One 28 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
Two 15.5 oz cans black beans, rinsed
3 zucchini, sliced down the middle and then diced again (small triangle shapes)
6oz can of tomato paste
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 oz green chilies chopped*
1 chipotle pepper chopped (approx 1/4 oz)*
1 heaping Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper (I did 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper)
Toppings such as: chips, chopped avocado, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt, fresh spinach, sprouts - whatever you like on your chili

* These were previously frozen staples that I had used for another recipe and threw the extras into a freezer bag and just chopped a chunk off of for this recipe.

Directions: (the night before)
1. Double check to make sure you have your meat pulled out of your freezer and starting to defrost in your fridge. 

Directions: (the morning of)
1. Saute the zucchini and onion with olive oil with salt and pepper for 5 minutes in a skillet. Add beef to the skillet and brown until done. (probably another 5-10 minutes) Don't stir too much to create those brown caramelized pieces.

2. Put the chipotle, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, minced garlic, black beans, and tomatoes in a crock pot. Add into the onion/beef mixture.

3. Cook on low for 7 hours.

4. Taste it and adjust any seasonings to your taste (add salt or pepper or red pepper flakes if it needs heat). Stir in the frozen corn right before serving so it retains its shape and color.

5. Serve with your choice of toppings (see list above) & if you are really on your game serve it with cornbread.

Wow this meal was awesome! It makes me want football season to start right now. This might be a first... making chili in 100 degree weather (hahah). Yes there is something wrong with my head but my mouth is singing a very happy tune. Excellent flavors all in one easy pot . Try it. Tell yourself you are practicing for a chili cook off and/or football season. Because most good food is eaten in front of a sports game anyways, right?  Take care. The NBA playoffs are still going on. Chili could be a playoff food sort of, maybe with the a.c. really cranked :)  
From my kitchen to yours. 

Related Links of Stews/Soups/Bean Recipes:
Steak Potato Stew 
Crock Pot Chipotle Apple Turkey Chili 
Honey Cornbread
Smashed Black Bean & Butternut Squash Burritos 
Veggie Tamale Pie 


  1. This looks and sounds really good. I like to have soup every now and then during the summer and best way to do it is in the crockpot so my kitchen doesn't heat up. Do you think this was thick enough to put into tacos or burritos?

    1. Glad you liked it. Yes not heating up a kitchen is a good thing. I froze some of the leftovers in 2 cup portions for lunches later in the month. Yes it is a thicker chili. I actually added a bit of water to mine while serving but I really like broth in my soup. Going to post a recipe idea I did with the other leftovers (I have a smaller size family) in a day or so. I filled mild/sweet peppers with the chili and topped it with cheese. So good. Great way to play with different kinds of cheeses too.... can use a smoky cheese like gouda or pepperjack for a kick. Tacos might be messy so maybe burritos would be better. Great idea!!


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