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Slow Cooker Veggie Chili

Though the original chili was all meat — traditionally served on a plate with a side of beans, the two mingled and were eventually incorporated — there’s no reason it needs to contain meat at all. Chili is a great vehicle for a big assortment of veggies, particularly winter ones like squash, sweet potatoes, rutabaga and root vegetables. It’s also a great way to get more beans into your diet — beans are inexpensive, high in fibre and protein, and as good for the planet as they are for us.

- Julie Van Rosendaal

Slow Cooker Veggie Chili

Total Time:




Skill Level:



  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium dark-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1-2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (use the stems, keep some leaves for garnish)
  • 1 19 oz (540 mL) can red or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 19 oz (540 mL) can black beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 19 oz (540 mL) can diced or whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup salsa (hot, medium or mild)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt, to taste

How to Make It


Combine all ingredients in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.


Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are very tender and chili has thickened.


Serve warm, topped with sour cream or crumbled feta, if you like, and extra cilantro. It also freezes very well, so you can tuck extras away for another day, or double the batch and share the surplus, or get a head start on future meals.

Feel free to play around with the veggies in this pot of chili — you’ll never miss the meat! And though this works in a slow cooker, you could easily make it in a pot on the stove—start with some vegetable oil and sauté the onion for a few minutes, add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the veggies are tender and the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasonings according to your taste.

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