Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew – Vegan + Gluten-free

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Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew

This post will be quick and easy, just like this recipe. Which is exactly what I need right now with everything going on. I made this the other night in an effort to make something hearty, healthy and satisfying without having to spend at least an hour in the kitchen. Since we are getting ready to hit the road this weekend for SXSW in Austin, every minute counts. This is where cooking dinner in a crock-pot comes in. No matter how busy I am though, I insist on eating as healthy as I can, especially at times like this. It is when you need nutritious goodies and healthy energy the most!

Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew - Vegan + Gluten-free

This stew was super easy to toss together and it made the house smell amazing all day long while it cooked. Plus, we’ve been enjoying the leftovers ever since. You can have fun with the toppings on this or keep it as simple as you’d like. Additionally, if you want to saute the veggies first, you can do that too, but I like keeping my crock-pot cooking as easy and quick as I can. After all, that is the entire point of it, in my opinion anyway.

This recipe is similar to my crock pot black bean soup, but I thought leaving the beans whole and adding in the quinoa and diced tomatoes would make it more stew-like and a fun change.  The quinoa was a subtle addition but it was nice. I think I could actually get away with adding in 1 full cup, but I didn’t want the quinoa to steal the show! The bonus, this stew is naturally vegan and gluten-free. Feel free to play around with the spices making it to your liking, maybe adding in some cumin or leaving out the cinnamon, etc. Make it your own.

Do you have a favorite crock-pot meal? What do you like most about cooking in a crock-pot or slow-cooker?

Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew
[print_this]Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew – Vegan + Gluten-free
serves 6-8

  • 1-2 dried chipotle peppers
  • 1lb of dried organic black beans, rinsed and picked over, soaked overnight
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 28-ounce can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 dried cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 7 cups water
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

for topping:

  • cilantro
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • lime wedges
  • avocado

Load all of the ingredients, except the salt, into your slow-cooker, stir to combine. If you wish to saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper first, you can, but I like to make crock-pot cooking as simple and quick as possible. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the black beans are tender. The time to cook the beans can vary based on the strength of your slow cooker and also the freshness of your beans. Add the salt at the very end, as it will affect how the beans cook, if you add it at the beginning.

Remove the chipotles (if you don’t want a mouthful of a whole spicy pepper) and the cinnamon stick before serving. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with fresh cilantro, green onions, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, diced avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, tortilla chips, etc.


It seems due to the varying cooking power and strengths of crock pots and other slow cookers, unfortunately the cooking time for the dried beans can vary significantly. For some, this time works great and for others the beans are still crunchy even after 12 hours. If your crock pot is older or is known for not being very strong, I would suggest soaking a bit longer and/or pre-cooking the beans first, before putting them in the crock pot. This time has always worked for me and my crock pot and I have made this recipe many many times. Sadly without being able to test it on other slow cookers, I have know way of knowing how much that time can vary.

Older beans can take longer to cook, so that is also something to keep in mind.


Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives?

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75 Responses

  1. Ambika says:

    LOVE this stew! Such wonderful flavors and gorgeous photos! You have an awesome blog, glad to your new follower 🙂

  2. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum says:


  3. Lindsey says:

    Looks great! I will have to try this sometime soon. The weather sucks in Dallas right now, so I really want a bowl of this right now. Enjoy Austin!

  4. Adriana says:

    I am so making this tomorrow, it looks and sounds amazing! I don’t have a slow-cooker but that won’t keep me from making it:) Thanks a lot for sharing this Beth.

  5. I’ve pinned so many recipes from your site today and just had to say thanks for all the yummy healthy eating inspiration!

  6. I love one pot complete meals. this stew looks so gorgeous!

  7. […] stew was inspired by the Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew from Tasty Yummies, I did not have dried black beans, red onion, chipotle peppers or a crock-pot…so I made a few […]

  8. Trudy says:

    Thanx for the inspiration. I’ve adaped it slightly to what was in my cupboard, and posted on my blog (

    Love your blog!

  9. […] and we enjoyed being inside and eating this great meal. Here’s the link for the recipe: We had to make a number of adjustments (no chipotle peppers, fresh tomatoes, green peppers, or […]

  10. Adriana says:

    I’m a bit late with the feedback but the stew was AMAZING! I cooked it on the stove and had to make a few adjustments (didn’t have chipotles and quinoa). The smoky flavour and the addition of cinnamon made it so appetizing. I’ve blogged about it and linked back to your page. Thanks again for this wonderful recipe:)

  11. Valeria Wicker says:

    The flavors are great, but I think I will add some molasses to settle down the acidity. I also threw in a teaspoon of cocoa powder.

  12. Sara says:

    This is what I’ll be making to get through Hurricane Sandy. Let’s hope my power doesn’t go out while the crock pot is still running. I’ll leave out the bell peppers but definitely not the chipotle!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Sara, first off please stay safe and I hope you guys stay out of harms way. Sending you good thoughts, it isn’t supposed to hit here until later tonight.

      I hope the stew helps you get through the day and I hope your power stays on long enough for it to cook 🙂 Take care.

  13. Nicole says:

    This recipe sounds delicious! I would like to make this for dinner tomorrow but am wondering if I were to use canned black beams how much do you suggest I use?

    Thank you!

    • Melanie says:

      I used three cans of beans, only three cups of veggie broth and uped the quinoa to one cup and it turned out delicious. Beans were a little mushy, but not bad at all. LOVE the cinnamon stick. It adds a unique flavor!

  14. Hi Beth!

    I just found your recipe on the Bembu 101 Quinoa Recipes list and should have known when I saw it that it was a Tasty Yummies recipe!

    Every recipe I’ve tried from your site is delish! 😉

  15. Jennifer says:

    If you only have canned black beans how much would you reduce the water by? Thank you

    • tastyyummies says:

      Jennifer, I am not exactly sure as I have never made these with already cooked/canned beans. Putting the cooked beans in the crockpot could result in a soggy bean and could significantly change the recipe, so I am not sure I have any specific suggestions. The water in this recipe is absorbed by the dried beans, so you certainly wouldn’t need nearly that much, but I would have to suggest that you just experiment and see how it goes for you. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Let me know how this turns out if you do make it with the canned beans. Thanks.

    • Tim says:

      You only need 2 parts water to one part Quinoa.. If it is too watery in the end cook on high with the lid off to reduce..

  16. […] Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew at Tasty Yummies (GF, DF) […]

  17. […] few weeks ago I saw a crock pot recipe floating around Pinterest for black bean soup with quinoa and I have been craving it ever since!  I didn’t have all the ingredients, so winged it a […]

  18. […] freezer, and dishwasher.  The larger bottom section I’ve got show here (left) with Chipotle Black Bean stew leftovers and on the top tray I cut my cornbread muffin in half keeping my topping of cheese […]

  19. […] Chipotle Black Beans and Quinoa Stew // Tasty Yummies […]

  20. Marne says:

    Hi there!
    Question for you as I am newer to cooking with dried beans. Do I need to soak the black beans overnight or literally just rinse and go? I wanted to check as I’ve heard (maybe not accurately), that some beans need this.

    Thanks so much for combining 2 favorites (quinoa & BB)!

  21. […] Thursday: slow cooker chipotle, black bean, and quinoa stew […]

  22. Laura says:

    What does “rinsed and picked over” mean?

    • tastyyummies says:

      Laura – rinsed as in rinsed with water, picked over as in pick over the beans with your hands. Occasionally dried beans can have tiny rocks or stones mixed in. Always best to pick over them to be sure, biting down on a rock is never fun.

  23. rothweg2 says:

    I made this stew last night, but I wasn’t able to get the beans to be soft enough. What am I doing wrong?

    • tastyyummies says:

      Dried beans can be funny that way sometimes. It just happens once in a while and there isn’t always a reason why. If they are older beans, they can sometimes require more than twice as long to cook. I always recommend using as fresh of beans as you can and if they aren’t super fresh or you don’t know how fresh they are, allow for longer cooking time.

      • Kari says:

        How do I have a clue as to how fresh the beans are? I had the same problem & am super disappointed. Wanted to eat it tonight. Would soaking have helped?

        • tastyyummies says:

          One way to know is when you bought them. If they have been in your pantry for a long time, then it is safe to assume they aren’t as fresh. I also updated the recipe with the suggestion of adding the salt at the end of cooking, since adding it early on can affect how the beans are cooked (and can keep them from getting soft) I have learned recently. I have made this twice in the last week and both times it came out perfectly. Another thing to note is that not all slow cookers cook at the same speed and intensity, so it is possible your slow cooker isn’t as strong as mine and this recipe could require a longer cook time for you. Unfortunately this is one of the drawbacks to sharing slow cooker recipes, I have no way of knowing what brand of equipment the reader is using, how strong it is, etc. Sorry this didn’t turn out for you, I do hope you will give it another try, maybe with more cook time?

  24. Kevin says:

    Don’t have a crock pot and need to use the stove. Any adjustments I need to make or should I be good?

  25. […] Chipotle Black Beans and Quinoa (vegetarian) from Tasty Yummies with some tortillas? Forgetaboutit. […]

  26. […] Find the complete recipe and instruction here. […]

  27. Sarah says:

    I can’t find dried chipotle peppers anywhere but I do have chipotle chili powder. Do you think this would work? How much would you suggest using?

    Thanks! Looks great, can’t wait to try it.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Sarah that should totally work just fine, I would say it depends on how spicy you like things. I would maybe start with a teaspoon or two, you can always add more later. Hope you enjoy.

  28. jennifer says:

    With four kids in three years the crockpot is my newest friend. Chicken and anything might be my favorite. I’m excited to venture into the world of dried legumes, so thanks for keeping it simple!

  29. Jeremy says:

    Awesome. This christened my new (first) slow cooker and I’m really excited to own one now. The lime made the dish. Nice work!

  30. Lori says:

    Made this on Sunday before the big snowpalooza hit Indiana. Wonderful soup with great flavor!!

    Do you have the nutritional information on this soup? Thanks again!

  31. Sarah says:

    Hi. Any answer to the question about soaking the beans first? Or just start from dried and let the crock pot work its magic?

  32. Sue says:

    This was delicious, except for the fact that the beans were still crunchy after almost 10 hours on low :o( I had just bought the beans, and I used our large Kenmore crock pot, as our smaller one wouldn’t hold all the liquid. Maybe next time, I’ll cook on high for a bit, then switch to low.

  33. Alexis says:

    My boyfriend and I were really excited to try this recipe, however, when it came time to actually eat the soup (after 8 hours of cooking in the crockpot) we were quite disappointed. It lacked flavor and there was nothing good about it. To those considering making this recipe, I would you suggest you don’t. Or tweak the recipe to make it more flavorful right off the bat.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Alexis I am so sorry to hear this. I have made this several times, as have many others and I have never heard of a lack of flavor. Did you follow the recipe exactly to a T? There are sooo many different flavors happening with the chipotle and the cinnamon, among others, so I am so surprised it lacked flavor, to you. Did you add salt at the end of cooking? Could it have possibly needed more? At any rate, I am so sorry to hear you didn’t care for this recipe. I think, as with everything in life, not everything is for everyone. I am sad to see that you are telling people not to make it, but to each their own, I guess.

  34. jeanne N. says:

    Sounds great !

  35. Jessica says:

    Hi Beth,

    This sounds like a great recipe. I see that it serves 6-8 people. Seeing as how I am just one person I would like to store the rest in the fridge. Do you know how long it normally stays good for?

    Thanks for your help!

  36. Rhonda says:

    Hi. I looked for the answer and could not find it unless I just missedit. Another woman had this question: do you soak the beans overnight first? Thanks. Want to make this ASAP.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hi Rhonda, nope no soaking needed, which is why it isn’t listed above in the instructions. However since they won’t be soaked, it is important that you still rinse them and not add the salt until later in the cooking, since it can affect the cook time.
      I have made this once by soaking the beans and it takes the cooking down slightly, so if you do wish to soak them, take that into consideration.

      • Julie says:

        I’m reading the instructions as follows:

        1lb of dried organic black beans, rinsed and picked over, soaked overnight

        Is this incorrect?

  37. Kiara says:

    Lots of science says adding a *little* salt at the beginning is best with beans…. as for me, the jury is still out – I’ve had great results both ways. But this link is interesting anyway. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks for the link Kiara. I have personally had successes both ways, but I always suggest holding off to the end with it if people are having a hard time getting their beans to cook. Cooking dried beans is so so awesome when it works. But when it doesn’t, so frustrating. I have never had much of a problem, but it just seems to be finicky for some.

  38. Leo says:

    This is fantastic.

  39. Tammy says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. LOVED IT! Even hubby who thinks dinner should include meat. I added a small can of diced green chiles and an extra cup of liquid. This is a keeper. Thanks

  40. Joan says:

    This is now my go to recipe for entertaining when I am broke. Last time I made it I served it with a dollop of yogurt and avocado w/ tortilla chips on the side. This time I am going to serve it with some creamy polenta for dinner for the family, and with chips & guacamole with chips for the guests.

  41. Delea says:

    Hi All,

    I used dried pinto beans instead of black beans and I found it lacked flavor. I’m thinking it’s probably the bean. In hindsight, I would also change the 7 cups of water to 7 cups of low sodium vegetable broth, and possibly add some tomato paste to heighten the tomato flavor. 🙂

  42. Heather says:

    I was unfortunately disappointed in this stew. The flavor is great but 12 hours have passed and the beans are still a bit crunchy. They were just purchased so I don’t know how else to ensure freshness. Maybe I am just used to using canned beans but I don’t think they should be this hard.

    • Beth @ Tasty Yummies says:

      I am sorry to hear that Heather. I actually just updated the post, since it seems due to varying strengths of slow cookers this just seems to be the case for some but not all that make this. I have made this recipe many many times in my crock pot, same way every time and I have never had an issue with the beans not cooking. Sadly without being able to test it on other slow cookers, I have know way of knowing how much that cook time can vary. I am sorry this didnt work out for you. I would suggest not throwing the recipe out and instead cooking the stew longer either in the crock pot or on the stove top. If your crock pot is older or is known for not being very strong, I would also suggest soaking and/or pre-cooking the beans first, before putting them in the crock pot. Cooked dried beans should be nearly as soft as canned, maybe a little less so, but definitely not crunchy.

  43. Catherine B says:

    I found your blog few weeks ago and I tried your Butternut Squash & Chickpea Coconut Curry 2 times. I loved it so I want to try this one next.

    I personally (and I know I’m not the only one) cannot diggest most of legumes if they haven’t been soaked overnight, and preferably pre-cooked and rinsed out throughfully. I’m going to try this one and maybe add the (pre-cooked) beans halfway through cooking time so they don’t get too soggy.

    • Beth @ Tasty Yummies says:

      Catherine I actually was thinking of updating or adding some notes to this recipe, for precisely that reason, like you, these days I tend to only eat legumes that have been soaked and many times even sprouted, as well. They are so much easier to digest that way!

  44. Patricia Grand says:

    The key to getting Dried Black Beans to the correct softness, is to soak them for at least 8 hours, rinse them and re-soak for another 2 hours(also decreases their fart value)……but the magic is to NOT add anything salty until after they are cooked, this is what makes them hard and extra cooking time will not remedy this….remember most canned tomatoes are loaded with salt, add them at the end….they ARE ALREADY COOKED

  45. Lisa says:

    I just made this for dinner tonight (and lunch tomorrow). It was delicious! I made it exactly as you wrote it and had no problems. My house smells great too! Thanks for sharing!

  46. Anne Griffin says:

    Made this last week; AWESOME – YUMMY!

  47. Jennifer Crozier says:

    Do u know the nutritional facts? Protein grams, carbs, fat, etc?

  48. Tracey says:

    Hi Beth! I am also a huge fan of all your recipes, have not found one yet that I didn’t LOVE. Question regarding the beans, I was going to substitute canned beans – could you tell me how many ounces I should use?

    Thanks so much!

  49. Suzanne says:

    Hello, it’s in my crockpot simmering away right now :o) I was also interested in if you had serving size and calorie count for this recipe. Thank you!

  50. Tamara says:

    Hi Beth!
    I tried this recipe and turned out to be delicious! I live in Montreal so it was more difficult to find all the ingredients but still i could manage to find chipotle peppers after asking many people in the Local farmers market.

    I put my Crockpot (i have this one on low for 6 hours and the black beans got to be as smooth and tender as i like.

    Thank you for sharing you delicious recipes with us!

  51. Bob B. says:

    Just made this today and was really happy with it! Wonderful depth of flavor, and I didn’t miss the meat at all (and I’m definitely not a vegetarian!)

    I think soaking the beans the night before would be a good idea, as even after 10 hours, some of my black beans were a bit chewy.

    I added some leftover roast chicken to later bowls, and added some shredded pepperjack cheese for garnish; it worked out well.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  52. Miriam says:

    Could I use pre-rinsed quinoa?

  53. I have extra love for this stew, thanks yummies….

  54. june says:

    Well, I added 1.5 tsp of cumin….that made it marvelous… I didn’t like the flavor until cumin was added to the mix! Thanks! Also I cooked the beans in the crockpot on high for 7 hours…then followed the recipe…beans are soooo tender now..unlike the first time when I soaked them..

  55. Leigh says:

    I didn’t care for this recipe — I think it was the cinnamon stick. It somehow made my beans really bitter.

  56. Candy Allen says:

    Can you substitute canned chipotles instead of dried chipotles?

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