Crockpot Four Bean Chili

  • Servings : 6-8
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 4:00 h
  • Ready In : 4:30 h

This is the easiest, laziest and cheapest recipe of all time. I’ve made it for countless omnivorous friends and family members and have had a 100% success rate! Always an inexpensive, low-fuss crowd pleaser!


  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (OR 2 large fresh tomatoes diced)
  • 2 cans black beans, drained (OR 3 cups cooked fresh black beans)
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained (OR 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh pinto beans)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained (OR 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh kidney beans)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained (OR 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kennels
  • 3 tbs cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt, to taste


Step 1

Throw all the ingredients in a crock pot and mix thoroughly. Cook on low for at least four hours, stirring occasionally (every hour or so).

Step 2

Alternatively, if you don't have a crock pot and you have an hour or so to watch the pot, you can saute the vegetables and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

"They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy. My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy, 'Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways... we got to start taking better care of ourselves " - Dead Prez

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Comments (20)

  1. posted by barbara on October 22, 2012

    I made this chili and will not make it again. I love each of the many ingredients individually, but cooked together they were a major disappointment.

    • posted by Toni on October 22, 2012

      I’m sorry you didn’t like it. Do you have any suggestions to make it better?

      • posted by Jessica on August 3, 2013

        Personally, I’d consider pre-frying/toasting the spices to bloom them and open up their flavour. I might also pre-fry the onions to get them that bit extra caramelisation (can even do both at the same time!).

  2. posted by Taylor on October 23, 2012

    I tweaked the spices on this – I knew it wasn’t going to be spicy enough for me. I changed it to 3 tbs of chili powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne, and 3 tsp of cumin. Turned out perfect!

    • posted by Toni on October 24, 2012

      Good! I’m glad you liked it. I also love hearing modifications made to our recipes, I’m a huge fan of spice so I’ll definitely try adding more chili powder next time. 🙂

  3. posted by Katie on November 15, 2012

    Thanks for this! This is a great go-to chili recipe. I also tweaked the spices (3T chili powder, 2T cumin, and added 1t cinnamon and a few shakes of cayenne) and dropped a can of beans so it could fit in my tiny slow-cooker, but it’s so easy and adaptable. I use grated veggies in more recipes now because of this one.

  4. posted by Najwa on April 16, 2013

    I’m not normally a fan of chili, but I love this recipe! I also adjusted the ingredients a bit: 3t cumin, 2T chili powder, 1C corn, and added green chilis.

  5. posted by kelly on April 18, 2013

    Had this for dinner and my husband and my boys ate it up! My husband loves meat, but said that he didn’t even miss it while eating this! Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. posted by Sue on May 10, 2013

    Never would have thought to use zucchini in chili, but otherwise this is pretty close to the recipe I’ve been throwing together- looking forward to trying this version!

  7. posted by Larissa on August 2, 2013

    I’ve never really had chilli before. What do you serve it with? Or do you just eat it by itself? Also I’ve never heard of black beans. Would cannelli beans be a suitable substitute?

  8. posted by redpepperflakes on November 1, 2013

    Could I use dry beans and just leave it in the crock forever?

    • posted by Summer P on November 3, 2013

      You could, but I think I would cook dry beans in the crockpot first, then drain the water, add the rest of the ingredients, and cook as usual. The salt and acid in the canned ingredients will take “forever” much longer than it otherwise would be. You’ll get tough beans and mushy veggies.

  9. posted by Sarojini on November 2, 2013

    Looks like a great recipe to me 🙂 I sometimes make something like this for cheap, nutritious and tasty lunches during the school holidays, although I usually only use one or two kinds of bean. A spoonful of cocoa powder is also a great, easy enhancement for a basic chilli like this. To fill up teenagers, it’s good to serve this with a jacket potato as well! (Provided you can afford the power to heat the oven )

  10. posted by LPM on November 4, 2013

    First attempt at this recipe is in progress now. I used 3 cloves garlic, added a pinch cayenne and red pepper flakes. My zucchini wasn’t all that small, and I used a can of fire roasted organic tomatoes instead of plain. Fingers crossed!

  11. posted by Jen on November 21, 2013

    How big of a crock pot do you need for this? I have a 3-quart one, will it be big enough?

    • posted by Toni on November 21, 2013

      That should be perfect.

      • posted by Jen on November 21, 2013

        Cool thanks! 🙂

      • posted by Jen on November 21, 2013

        Okay, so I just finished prepping this – I could fit everything in the 3-quart crockpot other than 2 cans of beans. But there’s still 2 cans of beans in there, so I think it will turn out pretty good still! Just more veggies and less beans. It smells great, I’m excited for it to be ready 🙂

  12. posted by Nancy on December 1, 2013

    my question is how long should it take to cook on the stove? surely not four hours. looks good, smells good and I’m hungry!


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