This might be the easiest slow cooker black bean chili you’ll ever find. Be sure to look over your beans before adding them to the pot to remove any grit or tiny pebbles. No one loses a tooth on our watch! A combination of beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and spices simmer away while you make the best part: the fried plantains. Sweet caramelized plantains are a delicious contrast to the earthy starchy beans. Look for plantains that are mostly black, a good indicator of their ripeness, but keep an eye on them in the skillet: ripe plantains are quite sweet and their natural sugars can burn quickly if you don’t watch carefully.
1 pound dried black beans
1 (15-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large (10 oz.) white onion, chopped (2 cups)
1 large (8 oz.) red bell pepper, chopped (1¼ cups)
3½ cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 medium (2 oz.) jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise
2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large (14 oz.) very ripe plantain, sliced on an angle into ½-in.-thick pieces
1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Garnishes: sour cream, thinly sliced scallions
How to Make It
Combine beans, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, broth, cumin, oregano, jalapeño halves, and 2¾ teaspoons of the salt in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until beans are tender, about 8 hours.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add plantain slices in batches, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
Remove jalapeño halves from chili; stir in vinegar. Pour 1 cup of chili into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid to prevent splatters. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stir back into unblended chili. Spoon chili into 6 bowls; top with plantains, and garnish with sour cream and scallions.
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