Dishing Up the Dirt

slow cooker black bean, corn & zucchini chili

Slow cookers (or crock pots) are not just for the winter months. We’re so damn busy in the summertime that making dinner at the end of the day can sometimes be a bit daunting. Luckily, this big old pot of chili needed minimal prep and was ready for us after a 12 hour day in the fields. It’s hearty, spicy, fresh, and made with entirely local ingredients (minus the chili powder which is from our favorite spice shop but not totally local) that are easy to find this time of the year.  I love when the end of the summer produce is still available when the first chill of the fall season is in the air. Stews and soups are my favorite way to transition from summer to fall and this tasty number did the trick! Pair with some homemade cornbread and a pint of your favorite beer for a lovely weeknight dinner.

Slow Cooker Black Bean, Corn & Zucchini Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 4-8 hours    Serves: 6-8

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound black beans (soaked overnight and drained)
  • 2 poblano peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 2 cups fresh sweet corn (from about 3 ears of corn)
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • one 28 ounce jar of diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder (we used 3)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Plenty of salt and pepper
  • yogurt or sour cream for serving
  • minced parsley or cilantro for serving


  1. In a large cast iron pan brown your meat, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat a bit. Once browned remove the meat and add the onion to the drippings. Cook the onion until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the black beans, meat, onion, garlic, peppers, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, chili powder, oregano and plenty of salt and pepper to a 6 or 8 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours.
  3. Divide between bowls and top with plain yogurt, minced parsley and more salt and pepper to taste.


*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

Leave a Reply

2 thoughts on “slow cooker black bean, corn & zucchini chili

  1. Jenny says:

    Hello! For those of us who don’t have crock pots, how would you recommend cooking the chili? Thank you 🙂

  2. theguardianonline says:

    This recipe not only looks scrumptious but very easy to make since everybody tries getting away with slow cooker recipe, this one seems to require minimal prep time saving your precious time on a very busy day and also giving you the yummiest weeknight dinner!

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