Chili from Dry Beans

Chili is easily one of my favorite foods. I know real Texas chili is supposed to be just meat, but I grew up in California eating predominately vegetarian chili. For me, the all meat chili might as well just be odd flavored spaghetti sauce. 

I had my fair share of chili growing up, but my parents never made chili. They would get it from a can or they would buy canned beans and make chili that way. I didn't realize how easy, flavorful and cheap it was to make chili from dried beans until recently. Now I won't make chili any other way.

Add or edit this recipe in any way you see fit. These are just the basics and they are totally flexible. You can use whatever beans you want as long as they add up to the same total amount. This time, I used cannelini beans instead of garbanzo because that is what I had in stock.

You can also cut this recipe in half, because this amount makes a full crockpot to feed a large party or a large family for many nights. We usually cut it in half and have more than enough for the two of us.

Chili from Dry Beans
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (or 2-3 fresh whole tomatoes)
  • 1 lb ground beef (or chicken/turkey or omit completely)
  • 2 cups dry kidney beans
  • 1 cup dry black beans
  • 1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 7 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock, or water)
  • avocado, cheese, cilantro and sour cream for garnish

  1. Brown meat and drain off the grease completely
  2. Rinse beans but do not pre-soak
  3. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low at least 8 hours. Adjust seasoning to taste if needed.


  1. Oh, I love that you do this in the slow-cooker with dry beans! I've been wanting to cook more with dry beans (and less with canned, as they have so many preservatives - this is a great way to start). YUM!


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