Black Bean and Quinoa Slow Cooker Chili

I feel like you generally think of slow cooker recipes as being a cold weather thing. But personally, I try to do everything I can to avoid cranking up the oven on a hot day. Our poor little A/C window unit works hard enough that I feel bad turning on the oven. But since we can’t live on just salads (I mean, I probably could but Alex might divorce me) so I’ve found that the slow cooker is the perfect way to make a hot meal without turning the oven on.

There are a few things that I require in order to make a slow cooker recipe:

  •    It has to be able to cook for 9+ hours (hello, I can’t come home in the middle of the day to turn it off)
  •    It all has to cook in the slow cooker. (None of this, cook it over the stove and transfer it into the slow cooker stuff)
  •    It has to use simple ingredients I’m already buying. (If I have to take a trip to the grocery store, it’s no longer a convenient recipe.)

Luckily, this recipe hits all of those requirements. I’m guessing you’ll have all of these things in your pantry as well, since it doesn’t really require a lot of fresh ingredients. Sometimes canned goods need a little love, too.

black bean and quinoa slow cooker chili

5.0 from 1 reviews
Black Bean and Quinoa Slow Cooker Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 15oz can red kidney beans
  • 2 15oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayanne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh cilantro for topping (optional)
  • Cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
  1. Add everything into a large slow cooker, except the cilantro and cheese, and stir.
  2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  3. Serve with fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese, or even a dolop of Greek yogurt!

black bean slow cooker chili

I should mention, this recipe is that it made a LOT. You could easily serve 6 or 8 people. That meant a lot of leftovers for Alex and I but luckily this stuff reheats perfectly. It’s also pretty cheap to make so it meant we saved money on dinner and lunch at work. Winning all around.


This weekend was awesome but definitely a busy one. We had a little date night on Friday which included dinner and a movie… and a trip to Lowes. No Friday night is complete without a trip to the hardware store! We stripped the wallpaper out of the linen closet which was very much a team effort. I have no idea how people do that on an entire room. I also helped my very dear friend unpack after her move to Virginia Beach! All the driving was worth it to catch up with her and her family for a few hours. And Sunday, we spent the morning reading the paper before taking a trip to Southern Season for the first time. That place is magical. They have every specialty ingredient you could imagine! It was such a fun weekend, which sets the tone for a great week!

What’s your favorite slow cooker recipe?

I’m linking up with Katie on this Marvelous Monday!


  1. I’m pretty sure I need this chili in my life! I love the addition of quinoa. I need a new slow cooker. One that turns on/off automatically.

  2. I need to invest in a slow cooker! I think its going to become super handy once baby comes out.

  3. Yum! I am totally with you- it must ALL cook in the the slow cooker. LAtely I’ve been experimenting and just throwing random things in. Luckily, it’s kind of hard to mess up!

  4. I love slow cooker recipes all year round! Although, I have to admit that there is something extra comforting about them during the fall/winter months.

  5. Ooh, this looks so good! I’m always looking for easy meals I can make and either eat all week or serve in individual portions and this looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I agree with you on the timing aspect! Most crockpot meals take way too long for my work days. I typically make them on the weekend to have on hand!

  7. I’m sure you can, but I was wondering if you’ve tried rice in place of the quinoa? Hubby’s not a fan of quinoa (crazy man!).

  8. We made slow cooker turkey meatballs for Vishnu this weekend. And I totally agree with your three principles, especially #2. If I’m going to be using a slow cooker, it must be a truly one pot dish!

  9. Mmmm… This looks just wonderful! & I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating cooked things during the summer. I just had tomato soup the other day! But I guess I am a little weird like that 🙂

  10. Yes, I need this!! My slow cooker rules are the same as yours. If I have to dirty a pan to make the recipe, it’s no good. I love that this makes a lot of leftovers too. I’ve been on the lookout for good lunch ideas. Definitely saving this one!

  11. I am always looking for easy meals like this! Definitely good to have in your arsenal, especially since I like you could probably just eat salads and grilled fish and fruit all summer but later in life I expect a family won’t be up for that 🙂

  12. yummo! I definitely think I’ll try this one!

  13. I want that chili…..NOW!

    I am adding it to next weeks meal plan. I cannot wait because I want to start meatless Monday so this may kick it off!

  14. I still don’t have a slow cooker!!!

  15. Liz, your recipes give me life! I am glad someone else other than myself understand the true glory that is a slow cooker! Making this dish this week 🙂

  16. Yummy! this looks delicious. Slow cookers are THE BEST!

  17. People do tend to have a seasonal bias towards crock pots! We LOVE ours and use it year round. I love this recipe; quinoa takes everything over the top!
    Oh, and stripping wall paper is the worst!! When we bought our house last year there was wall paper ev.ry.where! It was no fun! We (sadly) ended up gouging lots of holes in our walls that needed to be patched.
    Now, I hate wallpaper…

  18. I love my slow cooker and making pulled pork in it this week for dinner. I really like the addition of quinoa in this for an extra protein kick!

  19. I have those same requirements when it comes to a slow cooker recipe! This one sounds amazing!


  20. They crank up the AC so much in the office buildings that I enjoy a warmer meal at lunch sometimes!

  21. That sounds like it is super good. I haven’t used our slow cooker in a while but you just reminded me!

  22. This looks delicious! I also hate when I read a slow cooker recipe that calls for cooking it on the stove first. Like,….what?

  23. Yum, looks great! And I 100% agree with you about the slow cooker requirements. If I had time to pre-saute veggies or brown the meat, I wouldn’t need the freakin’ slow cooker! (not that you’re generally browning any meat..)

  24. I have this in the crockpot right now! Thanks for the recipe – so easy! I’ll let you know what I think 🙂

  25. This is a great recipe. I made a few additions that took it over the top (for me, anyway!)
    – 1 jalepeno pepper
    – 1 green pepper
    – 1/2 onion, chopped
    – 2 cloves garlic, minced

    • Ohh love that! If I had any onion on hand I definitely would have put some in and I bet the flavor was great! I don’t know if I could get my husband on board with the jalapeno but I love spice! 🙂

  26. this sounds great, and I love the idea of using a slow cooker in place of the oven on these hot HOT days! we always love chili around here!

  27. Love this recipe…one because of the slow cooker and two, because I’ve never tried chili with quinoa! I don’t know why, because I use quinoa all the time! Can’t wait to try this!

  28. So, this is going on our meal plan this week! But as I was re-reading I noticed your 9 hour caveat. We like to use a timer for our crock pot! You know like the kind you use for Christmas lights? It just plugs into your outlet and you set it, then you plug the crock pot into it…it works perfectly!


  1. […] mentioned on Monday’s post that we had a pretty busy weekend but I thought I’d recap my meals from Sunday in honor of […]

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