Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili

Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili

60 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2004

Black beans, earthy mushrooms and tangy tomatillos combine with a variety of spices and smoky chipotles to create a fantastic full-flavored chili. It can simmer in the slow cooker all day, which makes it perfect for a healthy supper when the end of your day is rushed.

Ingredients 10 servings

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  • 1 pound dried black beans, (2½ cups), rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, or ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, or ground cardamom
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces tomatillos, (see Ingredient Note), husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 5½ cups mushroom broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1¼ cups grated Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack cheese
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Soak 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.
  2. Combine 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 onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, tomato paste and chipotles; mix well.
  3. Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the hot vegetable mixture over the beans. Turn heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy, 5 to 8 hours.
  4. Garnish each serving with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
  5. Stovetop Variation:
  6. Total: 4½ hours
  7. In Step 2, increase broth to 8½ cups. Omit Step 3. Add the beans to the Dutch oven; cover and simmer the chili gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are creamy to bite, about 3 hours.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
  • Ingredient notes: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
  • Tomatillos are tart, plum-size green fruits that look like small, husk-covered green tomatoes. Find them in the produce section near the tomatoes. Remove the outer husk and rinse them well before using.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 299 calories; 10 g fat(4 g sat); 13 g fiber; 38 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 192 mcg folate; 20 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,030 IU vitamin A; 9 mg vitamin C; 167 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 413 mg sodium; 722 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (48% daily value), Iron (22% dv), Vitamin A (21% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 2½ vegetable, 1 medium-fat protein, 1 fat

Reviews 60

June 20, 2017
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By: Garrett
This is a great and tasty recipe. Side note for dieter's: all the cal's are in the add on's (sour cream/cheese). if you just eat the chilly as is, it is ~~145cals per cup. super diet friendly.
June 12, 2017
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By: Dustin Gamarra
If you have a ninja blender makes chopping things up a breeze. The flavor is amazing w/ a little spicy zing. Would make a again
November 05, 2016
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By: Linda Burns
In regular rotation at my house. This is the best vegetarian chili recipe I have found.
July 22, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Question about the chilli powder I am currently making this, and as usual, I mistake chilli powder for cayenne and hot pepper powder. Some recipes mean chilli seasoning as in the cumin ect variety and others don't. Which one is it?
July 01, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
So delicious! My husband isn't usually a fan of anything completely meat-free and he gobbled this up. I made it with no changes and it is de-lish! I will try roasting the tomatillos next time I make this, as recommended by another review. This was my first time using tomatillos (I don't know why, but I was always intimidated by them, even though I'm adventurous with other ethnic ingredients). I was going to freeze the leftovers but my husband doesn't think that will be necessary :) Pros: Healthy and low-fat Cons: A little more prep than many slow-cooker recipes
January 27, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious if done right! I have a cast iron skillet that I roasted all the veggies on prior to give it that tasty brown crust, especially on the tomatillos. That deepened the flavor profile so much more than simply throwing them in the cooker and wishing them luck I believe. I did add a little ground turkey but I don't think it needed it -he won't eat anything without meat. I also did the quick soak method on my beans (bring to boil in pot, boil 2-3 minutes, sit for hour and rinse) and after being in the crock pot for 8 hours they came out perfectly cooked. I highly recommend getting on the dried bean train, you will save so much money!! Also I wasn't sure what kind of mushrooms to use (recipe doesn't specify) so I used sliced baby portabellas on sale and the fancy blend of mushrooms in a package. Those were expensive but I feel like they deepened the flavor. Overall this was a rich dish with a hearty full feeling after. I can see how some people may not like it if they didn't add some browning to veggies, they may just melt and be boring. Try it again! Pros: Healthy and very filling, tasty start to someone just learning about dried beans.
November 24, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
How anyone could omit Tomatillo's is beyond me! This recipe is one of my best sellers. I have a soup business in 2 different regions in Mexico and though this is not Mexican it is AMAZING! The Tomatillo's are such an important flavor in this recipe as well as the mustard seeds and Cardamom. I make at least 49 different soups and this is everyone's favorite!!!
September 20, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Easy and Tasty This was a great weeknight dinner with just a little advance planning. I also used canned beans. I had never put mushrooms into a chili but they melted right in beautifully.
April 14, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Great for a week (or more) of lunches I made a batch of this yesterday for a week of lunches. I ended up using a full pound of tomatillos because I misread the recipe, and I used 1/4 cup of dijon mustard in place of the mustard seeds (I don't like them). I also added about 1/4 cup of anchovy fillets to give it a fuller flavor. By the time I had lunch today, the flavors had melded really well, and the chili was spicy and delicious. Pros: Tasty and filling
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