Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua

The only active, time-intensive part of this recipe is chopping the aromatics (onions, garlic, etc.). You can do this a day before, and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, until you're ready to cook. If you don't have Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur), it's fine to substitute beer, broth, or even coffee. Use a favorite chili powder - I call for a range here, use more if you think you can handle it, less if you like a milder chili.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (~1/4 cup)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt or to taste
  • 1 pound of black beans soaked 4-6 hours or overnight
  • 1 28- ounce can of whole tomatoes in juice
  • 3 1/2 cups water / broth
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the chipotle, chili powder, and salt. Stir until combined and cook for another minute or so. Transfer to a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker.
  2. Add the beans, tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands as you add them, their liquid, the water, and Kahlua. Stir to combine, cover, and cook on the LOW setting until the beans are tender, 5- 6 hours. Stir occasionally, if convenient. Adjust seasoning, ladle into bowls, and top with any of the suggested toppings you like.
  3. Store leftover in the refrigerator for up to a few days, or freezer for a month or two.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Serves 12


Instant Pot Pressure Cooker method: If you don't have 5-6 hours for the slow cook, you can use the Instant Pot to pressure cook this chili. Use the SAUTE function, to start, and once you've made it to the point where you've added all the ingredients, press CANCEL. Close the pot, secure the lid, set the pressure release valve to SEALING. Press MANUAL for 15 minutes at high pressure (bump up to 25-30 if you think your beans might be old). When cooking is complete, carefully QUICK RELEASE. Gently shake or tap the pressure cooker, and THEN carefully open away from you.

Conventional stovetop method: Bring everything to a simmer (after all the ingredients have been added). Cover, and cook, over the lowest heat (while still maintaining a low simmer), until the beans are tender. If you need to add more broth or water at any point, do so, and re-season. I think you could likely cook this in a Dutch oven in a 300F for a long stretch as well.

For reference, this recipe was tested in this Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1, as well as this Breville Fast Slow Pro (Breville sent me one after I received a damaged one purchased through Amazon). It's great, because I can experiment with both now, and at some point I'll try to write a review/comparison.