Black Bean Chili Recipe with Cornbread

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This slow-cooker Black Bean Chili Recipe is not your ordinary chili. Serve it with plenty of cheese, sliced olives, scallions and cilantro.
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In "50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker," author Lynn Alley shares 50 new vegetarian recipes that are as hearty as they are flavorful.
7-9 hrs COOK TIME
6-8 servings SERVINGS



    • 2 cups dried black beans
    • 6 cups water
    • 6 allspice berries
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 1 tsp cumin seed
    • 1 tsp coriander seed
    • 1/4 tsp aniseed
    • 3-1/2 cups (28 ounces) crushed canned or frozen tomatoes
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
    • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 to 2 tbsp chile powder
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

    Cornbread Crust:

    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 cup buttermilk

    Toppings (optional):

    • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
    • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


    • To make the chili: Rinse the beans thoroughly and place them and the water into a 7-quart slow cooker.
    • Grind the allspice, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and aniseed with a spice mill or a mortar and pestle.
    • Add the spices to the beans, along with the tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell peppers, oregano, and chile and cocoa powders.
    • Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours until the beans are tender, and then turn the slow cooker to high and prepare the cornbread. To make the cornbread:
    • Pulse the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a food processor until thoroughly mixed.
    • Add the eggs, vegetable oil and buttermilk and pulse until the liquid ingredients are thoroughly mixed in with the dry.
    • Drop large spoonfuls of the cornbread mixture onto the surface of the chili, and continue cooking on high with the lid slightly ajar for 1 hour longer, or until a toothpick inserted into the crust comes out clean.
    • Serve with toppings. Want more one-pot meals? Find more recipes in Easy Meals: One-Pot Recipes for Every Season
      This recipe has been reprinted with the permission of 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker, by Lynn Alley, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011. Buy this book from our store: 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker.

    Chili is a hearty one-pot meal on its own, but this slow cooker recipe offers a bonus—cornbread made inside the same vessel. You can also easily adjust this recipe to make pressure-cooker chili: Spoon the cornbread batter into a heat-proof dish, cover the dish with aluminum foil and lower it into the cooker using a foil sling. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes, followed by natural release. For a different chili flavor, try substituting a 12-ounce bottle of dark beer for 1 cup of the water, as well as adding 2 tablespoons of finely ground coffee.