Crockpot Southwestern Beans

Finally! Here is the recipe that I was telling you about for Southwestern Beans in the crock pot.  I love using the crock pot in the summer! Usually you think of crock pots for winter meals like soups and stews, and while it’s probably true that most crock pot meals are a little on the heavier side, I love that I don’t have to turn on my oven; that I can throw everything in in the morning and then spend the time before dinner outside, instead of in a hot kitchen; and that I can even plug in the crock pot outside to cook so it doesn’t heat up the house at all! 

This recipe came from my wonderful sister, (who’s getting married later this month, I might add!) and we both had our own ways of adapting it to fit our tastes – or really we didn’t follow the directions of the recipe and it still turned out good! :)

This is a great meatless meal, good flavor and still really filling, and especially if you used dried beans, it is so super frugal.  This will probably become a regular for our Meatless Mondays.  

Southwestern Bean Medley in the Crock Pot

14 ounces vegetable broth – (I used homemade chicken stock)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained) – (I used the equivalent of cooked dried beans)
1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 can white kidney beans (cannellini) – (I used the equivalent of uncooked, dried Great Northern Beans, because white kidney beans are a little bit more expensive.)
1/2 C dried lentils
1 C diced tomatoes with green chilies
Copped fresh cilantro leaves

Mix all ingredients except tomatoes and cilantro in 3 1/2 quart slow cooker (or whatever size you happen to have). Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours.  Add tomatoes.  Cover and cook for 1 hour.  Sprinkle with cilantro.

Now for my my sister and I’s personal notes:
She put the tomatoes in at the beginning and they were fine.  I didn’t put the tomatoes in at the beginning, and then forgot to put them in at all! Still tasted fine, but we think it would have been even better with the tomatoes.  Next time I’ll just put them in at the beginning, just so I don’t forget.

The recipe suggests serving over rice, which we both did, and really enjoyed it that way.  My sister told me that it turned out more soupy than she expected, so the last hour or so, she left the lid vented to cook off some of the liquid.  I lifted the lid for maybe the last 30 minutes, and we didn’t think it was too soupy, but I did use some dried beans that weren’t cooked yet, so that might have soaked up some of the liquid.

If you are going to use uncooked dried beans for this recipe, you need to make sure that you soak them ahead of time.  I just soaked mine overnight and then put them in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients the next morning.  I also added some extra chicken broth to make sure the beans were cooked through.

My sister and I both added extra seasoning toward the end of the cooking time to increase the flavor – you could add salt, pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and/or cumin to suit your tastes.  My sister also added some chopped jalapenos, and though my hubby would have loved them, I’m not a jalapeno person, so that didn’t happen at our house.  So, just taste it as your nearing the end of the cooking time and add spices accordingly.

Sorry I don’t have any good pictures to go along with this post – this is why I am *not* a food blogger! :) 


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This post is linked to:
Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom
Recipe Swap at Grocery Cart Challenge
Food on Fridays at Anne Kroeker


  1. Emily says

    @frugalurban – I've only made it once and I made it with a mixture of dried, cooked, and canned beans. My chickpeas beans were from a can, my black beans were dried beans that I had previously soaked, cooked and frozen, and I took them out of the freezer to use for this, and my great northern beans were dried beans that I had soaked overnight, but were not cooked yet. I hope that all makes sense – I was just using up what I had in my freezer and pantry!

    I'm not sure if you could use all dried beans without having to add a lot more liquid and cook it for a lot longer to make sure the beans are cooked thoroughly. In the future I will probably use dried beans that I have already soaked and cooked, because I like to cook a lot of beans in batches and have them on hand for recipes. That way I get the convenience of having canned beans with the savings of using dried!

  2. Billie says

    This sounds good, thanks for sharing. I'm going to try with dried beans, since I happen to have alot. Sounds super easy!

  3. zentmrs says

    I'm just learning about cooking with beans (I only recently discovered that I LIKED them!) and this recipe sounds great! I love crock-pot recipes too. Thanks for sharing!


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