Homemade Garden Chili Slow Cooker Recipe

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Chili is one of those foods that I get burned out on by December, but every time the next September rolls around, I’m ready for it all over again. My cravings for it this year started this past week, and they are just about spot on, considering we are moving towards the end of the month.

As you can probably tell from my posts, it has been a great garden year. We are still bringing in more tomatoes than I know what to do with, and I have plenty of frozen veggies from harvests earlier in the summer. With the weather turning cooler here, chili seemed like the ideal way to use them up.
My goal was to use a lot of fresh tomatoes, so this recipe does take some prep work. For me, this is just the kind of thing I enjoy doing on a quiet Sunday. Once it’s all in the slow cooker, it’s low maintenance from there on out. 
Feel free to substitute different kinds of vegetables. I’ve been shredding and freezing zucchini all summer, and we also had some sweet corn tucked away in the freezer. Both ended up being a great addition to this chili.

Homemade Garden Chili Slow Cooker Recipe

6 – 8 lbs of tomatoes (you’ll need about 6 cups of sauce)
5 cloves garlic
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups black beans, soaked overnight
2 cups shredded zucchini, thawed if frozen
1 cup sweet corn, thawed if frozen
1 cup water
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 scotch bonnet peppers (or your favorite hot pepper)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut de-stem and core tomatoes if necessary, and cut in half. (I used a mix of San Marzano, Beefsteak and heirlooms.) Arrange cut side down on a baking sheet with the garlic and drizzle with a little olive oil. In batches, roast for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add the onion and black beans to your slow cooker. Remove the skins from the tomatoes and place the pulp and the garlic cloves in a blender. Blend in batches until a smooth sauce results. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker. Set to high.
Add the zucchini and corn. Add the water. Stir in the chili powders, cumin, salt and black pepper.  Take the scotch bonnet peppers and de-stem them. Cut a small slit in the side of each. Place the whole pepper in the soup. Put on the lid and cook on high for about 4 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender.
Before serving, remove the two peppers and discard. Serve with your favorite toppings. Makes about 6 servings.

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  1. says

    Sounds a little like my recipe. But the reason I can 40+ quarts of tomatoes each year is for chili and soup and casseroles etc. So I use the canned juice I make, which is thicker than juice, but not as thick as sauce. Also I never cook things like chili and soup until it starts getting cold in the house.

    I use a mix of dark red kidney, white cannellini, black and red beans. I also pull frozen vegetables that is have done up in 1 c measures, like zucchini, diced carrots and onion. 2 each of those, a quart bag of frozen corn. I just add spices willy-nilly til how I want. I never tried the whole pepper bit, may do so.

    I have never tried the slow cooker but more and more times I am reading that is what people do. I should try. The “recipe” I use fills my largest kettle so I always pack extra into quart containers and freeze for quick meals.

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