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Crockpot (or stovetop) Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro

I love this favorite slow cooker black bean chili, thickened with refried beans and flavored with lime and cilantro, and this tasty chili is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet Phase One. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

One thing that’s frustrating about food blogging is that the greatest recipe in the world won’t get much attention if the photo is bad, so I was happy to finally take new photos for this favorite Crockpot (or stovetop) Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro. The ultra flavorful chili includes a can of refried pinto beans as part of the base, which makes it extra thick, and I’ve been enjoying this the last few days with a dollop of low-fat sour cream on top.

Lime and cilantro are two of my favorite ingredients, but if you’re not a cilantro fan I’d replace it with thinly sliced green onions, and if you don’t have a crockpot, just skip the step of reducing the beef stock, and you can make this in a regular pot on top of the stove. I hope lots of you will try this; it just might become your favorite easy chili recipe!

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Start with two finely chopped onions which get sauteed in olive oil until they are nicely browned. (This adds flavor, but if you’re short on time you could skip browning the onions.) Put onions in the slow cooker. (While the onions and ground beef are cooking, simmer the beef stock on the stove until it’s reduced to 2 cups.)

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Add a tiny bit more olive oil and cook the ground beef until it’s well done, breaking apart with the turner as it cooks.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Put ground beef into the slow cooker with the onions.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

When the beef stock has reduced by half, mix it with the can of refried beans.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Put the black beans into a colander in the sink and rinse well with cold water.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Add the stock-refried beans mixture, beans, tomatoes, dried cilantro, chile powder, Ancho chile powder, and ground cumin to the slow cooker and start to cook.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

The cooking time is pretty flexible for this recipe, but after 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on high it should be getting done.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Stir in the chopped cilantro (or sliced green onion if you’re not a cilantro fan, and serve (with more lime to squeeze in when you eat the chili and a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.)

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Crockpot Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro
(Makes about 6 generous servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

Equipment:
(I used my 5-Quart Smart-Pot Crock-Pot to make this chili, but I think any size that’s close to that will work. Be sure the crockpot is at least half full when you use it to make soup or chili.)

Ingredients:
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 tsp. olive oil + 2 tsp. more for browning meat if needed
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 quart beef stock, simmer to reduce to 2 cups (I used my homemade beef stock, but you can use two cans beef broth. Don’t reduce for stovetop cooking.)
3 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) refried pinto beans
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes
2 T dried cilantro
2 T chile powder (preferably New Mexico chile powder)
2 T Ancho chile powder (or 2 T more regular chile powder)
1 T ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, plus sliced limes to squeeze into chili if desired
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish if desired
low-fat sour cream for serving if desired (optional)

Instructions:
Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions and saute 4-5 minutes, until softened and barely starting to brown. Add onions to crockpot. Add ground beef to same pan, adding more oil if needed, then brown beef well, breaking up with metal turner as it cooks. Add beef to crockpot.

While onions and beef are being cooked, put beef stock into saucepan and simmer until reduced to 2 cups. (Skip this step if cooking the chili on stovetop.) When stock is reduced, add refried beans and whisk to blend into stock, then add to crockpot.

While stock is reducing, place a colander in the sink and add canned black beans. Rinse beans well with cold water until no more foam appears. (This removes some of the salt from canned beans and makes them much more digestible.) Then add beans, stock-refried beans mixture, tomatoes, dried cilantro, chile powder, ancho chile powder, and ground cumin to crockpot. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours, or until beans are soft and flavors are well blended. When chili is done, stir in lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro and let cook 15 minutes. Serve hot, with slices of lime and additional chopped cilantro to add as garnish if desired. I like this with a dollop of low-fat sour cream.

Cooking on the Stove:
For stove-top cooking, skip the step of reducing the beef broth, but follow all other directions, adding ingredients to large soup pot and simmering at low heat about an hour.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Chili is a perfect South Beach Diet food, since dried beans of all types are very low-glycemic, and this would be great for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Beans are limited for Phase One, so use portion control, but for a dish like this with lots of other ingredients you can have a normal serving size. With beans and added carbs from the refried beans that thicken the chili, this probably isn’t suitable for a stricter low-carb diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe intothis nutrition analyer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member ofYummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Delicious Chili with Black Beans:
Black Bean Chili with Chocolate ~ Healthy Green Kitchen
Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Smoky Turkey Chili with Chipotle Peppers and Black and White Beans ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Not Just For the Superbowl Chili ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

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68 comments on “Crockpot (or stovetop) Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro”

  1. This is really, really delicious. I used a different kind of chili powder and I left out the cilantro but it was still fantastic. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Love this recipe! I've made it twice, and both times it was delish…perfect North Texas winter food! I couldn't find refried pintos, so I just used one can of regular pintos and mashed them up a bit. I did the stovetop vision, and used my immersion blender a little at the end to thicken it up a bit more… Yum!! Kalyn, your site is my go-to to recipes, I have never made anything I didn't love! Thanks for all that you do!!

  3. Love the idea of using refried beans to thicken the chili. I'm definitely going to try that.

  4. Lydia, I really loved how the refried beans added body to the chile. Seems like a good technique for slow cookers in general, even with other types of mashed beans.

  5. This has been my go-to recipe for chili for three years now and I can't imagine making any other chili recipe ever again!
    It's so yummy, so easy, and feeds the two of us for days.

  6. Aunt Sat, so glad you've been enjoying it!

  7. Just loved this! I made it to my taste on the milder side, and substituted oregano for the dried cilantro because that is what I had on hand. We loved the flavors. Kalyn, what would I do without you and your fabulous recipes?

  8. Amy, you're sweet. So glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Oh my goodness! This recipe is the best. I have made this three times in the last month and every time I make it it seems to be better and better. It's my new best recipe for chili! Today for Halloween 2013 I made it for my husband to take to work for their chili cook off and he got third place! Woo Hoo… Love it! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  10. Eva, so glad you've been enjoying the chili!

  11. Just made this tonight and it was fantastic! There's nothing better than coming home to a great-smelling house and fresh-cooked food after a long day at work. I didn't have any lime or cilantro so I substituted dried oregano and added a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. It was still delicious, and I can't wait to try it with lime when I make it again.

  12. Gwynyor, so glad you enjoyed!

  13. Can anyone give me an estimate of how long it takes to reduce the beef stock to 2 cups? I really had no way to measure it once it was simmering without making a mess so I just decided it was good enough, but a time would be a nice little addition to the directions!

    • It’s very hard to give an estimate for that, because it depends ENTIRELY on what the temperature of the stove is, and even if you say “Simmer on high heat” the high setting one one stove could be completely different than the high heat on another one. If you want me to just give you a guesstimate, I’d say 15-20 minutes on most stoves at medium-high. But that’s only a guess, since I don’t know how hot your stove is compared to others.

  14. Great Recipe! I have used venison, elk, and wild pig in place of hamburger, and I replace one can of black beans with a can of chickpeas for some different textures. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like this chili.

  15. How many servings in this recipe?  And any idea about calories, etc?  Thanks!!!  I’m making my shopping list now to get everything and make it for the week.  Can’t wait to try it, so many good reviews, it’s making my mouth water!

    • The recipe says “Makes about 6 generous servings, so that could be 8 small servings.
      I’m not able to provide nutritional information for the recipes for several reasons, including the additional time it takes, the difficulty in doing it accurately, and the sheer number of recipes on my site. If you look after the recipe itself, I give two links (where it says “Nutritional Information”) for suggestions of two ways to get that information.

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