Drag that slow cooker out of the cupboard and put it to work with food writer Claire Thomson's slow cooker bean chilli recipe, then check out our vegan quinoa chilli, sweet potato chilli, aubergine chilli and vegan chilli.

For more vegan options, check out our vegan risotto, vegan moussaka and vegan curry recipes.

Black beans cooked down with onions, green peppers, celery, tomato and smoked paprika make for a brilliant taco topping. Be bold with the chilli if you like – the beans can handle it. Quickly pickling the onions turns them a gorgeous shade of brightest pink. Soured cream, chopped coriander and more chilli sauce are essential for these flavoursome slow-cooked beans.

Energy-efficient and reliable, a slow cooker is the must-have appliance for batch cooking. Read our tried-and-tested reviews of the best slow cookers.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large red onion, ½ finely chopped, ½ thinly sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 limes, ½ juiced, rest cut into wedges
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, (use hot or sweet depending on your taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2-3 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 2 x 400g tins black beans, rinsed and drained
  • soured cream to serve
  • a small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • soft corn tortillas to serve
  • chilli sauce, to serve, (jalapeño or habanero are good)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the slow cooker to high or low, depending on desired cooking time.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the cinnamon, bay leaves, finely chopped onion, celery, green pepper and garlic for 10 minutes until the veg is soft, turning golden and smelling fragrant.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, put the sliced onion in a small pan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 1 minute, drain well and add a pinch of salt and the juice of ½ the lime.

  • STEP 4

    Add the tinned tomatoes, ground spices and chipotle paste to the softened vegetables in the pan and bring to the boil. Add the beans, mixing thoroughly, then tip into the slow cooker.

  • STEP 5

    Season and cook for 1-2 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low until the beans have absorbed all the flavours and the sauce is rich. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and chilli to taste.

  • STEP 6

    Serve the tortillas topped with the beans, soured cream, pickled red onions, coriander and remaining lime wedges.


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