A vegetarian chili made in the slow cooker for all of you busy bodies! Prep the veggies ahead of time, throw them in the slow cooker and dinner will be waiting for you at the end of the day.
Slow cooker week is here! I’ve been testing these recipes for the past month and I’m SO excited to share them with you! I love slow cooker meals because you can dump everything in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a healthy, home-cooked meal. AND your house smells amazing too. Such a great perk!
To kick things off with slow cooker week, I thought I’d answer a few questions for ya!
Are crock pots and slow cookers the same thing?
Pretty much! Up until writing this blog, I actually thought CrockPot was just a brand of a slow cooker, but looks like I was wrong! Both have three main components: pot, lid and heating component. The difference is that crockpots have porcelain or ceramic pots and slow cookers have metal pots. I have a Hamilton Beach slow cooker and I’m in love with ours because it’s programmable (so it switches to warm after the cook time).
Is it safe to leave a slow cooker on all day?
If you watch This Is Us, you may be questioning the safety of a slow cooker, and you might be scared to death to use your slow cooker while you’re not at home. While it’s not impossible for a fire to break out from a slow cooker, it’s highly unlikely. Just make sure your slow cooker isn’t a million years old and check for out of place metal pieces and wires. If something seems off, I recommend buying a new slow cooker!
Can I cook on high instead of low in a slow cooker?
I came across mixed reviews when researching for this post. The most common answer was no, don’t mess with the cooking temperature and time. The food in the slow cooker is meant to reach a simmer point, and then simmer for a set period of time, so I’d recommend following the directions!
Can you overcook food in a slow cooker?
Not if you follow the directions, but yes… it is possible. Most slow cookers are programmable and can be set to low or high and for a set number of hours. Once that time has been reached, they’ll turn to “warm” which just means they’ll keep your food warm until you’re ready to eat.
How to Make Chili in a slow cooker
Chili is a quintessential slow cooker meal, am I right?! I’m so excited to kick off slow cooker week with this sweet potato black bean chili. This chili does require a little bit of “pre-prep” because you’re cooking some of the veggies ahead of time, but it’s worth it for the extra flavor. Plus it is such an easy recipe once everything is in the slow cooker.
I start by roasting the sweet potato chunks. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper, throw them on a baking sheet and roast for ~30 minute (or until tender). While the potatoes are roasting, sauté your veggies in a skillet. Fun fact: you can actually sauté right in your slow cooker pot if it’s stovetop safe. One less dirty dish! Once the potatoes are roasted, just add them in with the sautéed peppers and onions to your slow cooker and add the canned tomatoes and black beans. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours. Badaboom, badabing, dinner is done! Serve with your favorite toppings and maybe even a side of tortilla chips or cornbread. I love serving chili with my pumpkin cornbread.
If you make this slow cooker sweet potato black bean chili, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Add sweet potato chunks to a baking sheet, toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender. This step can be done a day or two in advance.
Start prepping chili by adding 1 Tablespoon olive oil to a skillet. Once oil is hot, add in the chopped onion, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until onions are fragrant and translucent. Add chili powder, salt, cayenne and cinnamon. Toss to combine and cook for 1 minute longer.
Transfer cooked onions and peppers into your slow cooker. Add in roasted sweet potato chunks, black beans and diced tomatoes. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours.
When ready to serve, top with your favorite chili toppings like avocado, cilantro, jalapeño or even cashew sour cream.