Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
9 Hours
Serves 12 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups chili, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and about 1 tablespoon crushed corn chips)

The classic munchy--corn chips--adds a little salty, crunchy punch to each bite.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine 1 cup onion, 1 cup bell pepper, cilantro, oregano, garlic, and ancho chile peppers in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion mixture to pan; cook 8 minutes or until liquid nearly evaporates, stirring frequently. Add cumin and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 2

Transfer mixture to a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in remaining 2 cups onion, 1 cup bell pepper, broth, beans, tomato puree, and beer; cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.

Step 3

Stir in remaining 1 cup bell pepper, zucchini, and diced tomatoes; cook on LOW 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Top chili with sour cream and crushed corn chips.

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Ratings & Reviews

Beans did cook.. however

October 09, 2016
I really didn't care for the flavoring.. Yes, it had spicy heat, which I like, but something was 'off' about the flavor.. Too bitter tasting.  I didn't use the stout beer, perhaps that is why?  I just used a wheat beer, however, I do think it has something to do with the ancho paste.  I have a huge pot of something I don't care for.. sigh.. and I like most of Cooking Light's recipes!  I will go back to the other Vegetarian Chili recipe from Cooking light.. but this one.. meh.... I can definitely do without.. However, my beans, which were dry, did cook in less then 8 hours.  Maybe others had 'older' beans, or .. it may be because I used Northern Beans. Sorry to say.. I can only give this two stars..

Not worth the effort

August 31, 2015
So after reading the last reviews, I opted not to go with dried beans because I didn't want crunchy beans in my chili.  Unfortunately, the final product came out too soupy and not thick like a chili should be.  I even omitted the final fire-roasted tomatoes.  The zucchini needs more time - like 45 minutes to an hour to fully cook.  The prep was quite intensive for the pay off and frankly, there are much better chili recipes from CL.  I will stick with those and won't make this one again.


August 15, 2015
The flavors of the chili were ruined by the beans being crunchy in the end. I re-read the recipe to make sure I hadn't missed a step about soaking or pre-cooking them in some way but no, they were just added in along with the broth, beer, etc at step #2. I was disappointed to have invested the prep work time, ingredients, and anticipation of a hearty chili meal that turned out as a flop. 

Joycat3's Review

August 08, 2014
A failure- the beans (which I even soaked overnight to reduce gasiness) did not get soft! Research on web indicates it was probably due to the acidic tomato purée. Also this recipe involved too much prep-I don't think cooking the puréed ingredients did anything other than dirty a pan. Not all that tasty either

sharird's Review

July 24, 2014
This was fantastic! It's a lot of prep up front but lots of flavor and TONS of leftovers.

SarahSz's Review

May 31, 2014
This recipe did not work out for me. With all that tomato puree, vegetable broth and beer, there was too much liquid. There was not enough room in the crock pot to add the diced tomatoes. I also did not like the beer taste.

eireannlass's Review

May 19, 2014