Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Pasta

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This is a delicious and easy slow cooker recipe for vegetarian chili with pasta.  Chili is a hearty and healthy meal which is one of our favourites (especially in the fall and winter as temperatures become cooler). It also freezes beautifully, so you can make up a big batch and freeze it. Reheating it provides your family a healthy meal in minutes.  Frugal living at its finest (and tastiest).

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Pasta
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Pasta

My daughter and I have recently started going meatless on Mondays.  The transition to meatless Mondays was an easy one for us because we already really enjoyed many vegetarian dishes and we never really ate a lot of red meat to begin with.  When we do eat meat, it is most commonly chicken or fish. Since we have started this new tradition, we have had lots of fun trying out new vegetarian recipes. It is one small way for us to contribute to reducing our impact on the environment and to explore healthier food options in our home.

This slow cooker vegetarian chili with pasta is one of our favourites.  One of the nice things about this recipe is that you can really add or subtract ingredients to suit your own tastes.  I tend to use more of an ingredient if we already have it in the refrigerator so that it does not go to waste. It is a very forgiving recipe.   My daughter and I also enjoy spiciness, so we tend to add a bit more chili powder and garlic as well. She enjoys wagon wheel and elbow pasta as well as rotini, so this is what we tend to use.  It is fun experimenting.

We use a Black and Decker 7-quart slow cooker at home. It can easily accommodate a doubling of this recipe which would make about ten portions (for freezing). The quantities listed here will make about five portions.

Another thing, while this recipe calls for canned beans, you can easily use hard uncooked beans if you prepare them properly in advance. This is a much cheaper option, but it does require soaking the beans overnight and cooking them before adding them.  Most packages of uncooked beans will have directions on how to do this properly. 

Prep Time: about half an hour

Cook Time: 4-5 hours on the low setting or about 2-3 hours on the high setting

The recipe makes about five portions.

Ingredients

1  15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed well and drained

1  15-ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed well and drained

1  28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (the big can)

1  small can of tomato paste diluted with an equal portion of water

1  large onion (very finely chopped so that it cooks properly)

1  cup of chopped green pepper

½  cup of finely sliced celery

2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic (according to taste)

2 to 3 teaspoons of chili powder (again, according to taste), We use three.

½ teaspoon of crushed dried oregano

A bit of cayenne pepper (according to taste). I use about ¼ teaspoon.

1 cup of a dried pasta (wagon wheels, rotini, and elbow pasta work great). Of course, the pasta will expand in volume once it is cooked.

Directions

1    Put all ingredients (except for the pasta) into your slow cooker and mix them together thoroughly.

2    Cover and cook for about 4-5 hours on the low setting or about 2-3 hours on the high setting.

3    Near the end of the cooking time, cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package and drain the cooked pasta.  Stir the cooked pasta into the cooked chili mixture.

4    Put the chili into bowls and top with a nice old or sharp cheddar cheese (if desired).

5    Enjoy. It’s also really good with garlic bread. 

Check back soon for further instalments of great, healthy and cheap recipes. Frugal living at its best (and tastiest).

Here are some of our other Favourite Recipes!  Please feel free to try them and comment on them as well.

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Author: Jason Milburn Google

Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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