Slow Cooker Spicy Black Bean Chili


Monday I really didn’t feel like going to the grocery store, but I wanted to make a big pot meal that would last us several days and give my husband something he could take to work for lunch.  So I wracked my brain, searched the cabinets, fridge and freezer and decided we had the perfect ingredients to make black bean chili.  We had a bag of dry black beans in the pantry, some chili sauce that my husband made and froze a few months ago, some grass fed ground beef and chopped organic peppers, onion & garlic mixture in the freezer.  Just the right ingredients for chili, which is great for this cool, rainy, fall weather we’re having here in Tennessee.  I took the ground beef and chili sauce out of the freezer and let it thaw while the beans were cooking.


  • 1 8 oz bag of dry black beans
  • 1 qt of spicy chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 lb lean grass fed beef
  • 2 cups mixture of chopped organic bell pepper, onion, garlic
  • 1 tbsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tbsp each of black, white, and red pepper
  • 1 tbsp each of garlic & onion powder
  • Spices can be adjusted according to your own taste of course – this is what I used to make it spicy

Chili Sauce Recipe

  • Place 1 lb dried red chili peppers, 1 large red bell pepper, 2 red jalapenos & 2 red Habanero peppers, tops removed (you can remove the seeds if you want your sauce less spicy) in just enough water to cover the peppers, and add 1 tbsp salt, 1tbsp black pepper, 1 tbsp garlic powder.  You can use other colors of peppers, but we stuck with all red for the color.
  • Boil for 20 minutes, or until the outer skin of the peppers softens
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the peppers with the water to make a sauce
  • This method makes quite a bit of sauce, so it’s very likely that you’ll have some leftover.  My husband used this as enchilada sauce a few months ago and we had sauce left over, so we froze it.  I’m very glad we had this because making this chili was so much easier as a result!


  • Cook the beans separately in the crock pot (I used the quick cook method where you put the beans in 8 cups of water, add seasonings & cook on high for a few hours)
  • Once the beans are soft, add the thawed chili sauce and the bell pepper, onion & garlic mixture (it can be frozen or fresh, whichever you prefer – I used frozen because we already had some that I had pre-chopped & frozen a few weeks ago)
  • Brown the beef in a cast iron skillet & season with salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic & onion powder.  I didn’t measure the seasonings here, I just coated the meat with it.  It’s important to season the meat before you add it to the chili because it adds another layer of flavor to the chili
  • Leave the crock pot on high without the lid for another hour or so which allows the chili to thicken a bit

This was definitely more labor intensive than last week’s slow cooker meal.  It took most of the day so it wasn’t ready for dinner Monday evening.  You could always cook the beans the night before you plan to make the chili by leaving them in the slow cooker on low over night & add the rest of the ingredients in the morning.  If you’re short on time in the morning you could wait until the evening to brown & add the ground beef.  Of course, if you want to make this vegetarian simply omit the meat.

I realize this may be quite a bit of work if you don’t already have these items on hand.  This made such an awesome chili though, so I had to share!  The sauce in this recipe could be used for enchiladas or chili.  Since switching to clean eating two years ago, my husband and I have teamed up to find ways to make things we used to buy in a can or a jar in order to avoid the chemicals that are added to preserve the food.  So far we’ve been able to recreate most of the things we love and we don’t feel deprived!  Coming up with these creations gives us both a sense of accomplishment and builds a stronger bond as a couple.  Definitely a win-win in my book!

Now my hubby has something to take to work for lunch, I have lunch without much effort, it’s perfect for fall, and best of all, it’s yummy!  I hope you find this helpful.  Thanks for stopping by!

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