Crockpot Black Bean Stew with Roasted Red Pepper, Chicken, and Cilantro

Crockpot Black Bean StewWith the recent braces on the lower teeth completing the set, soft foods have become a hot menu item around here, and this black bean stew is something soft that I made with leftover roast chicken and the rest of the jar of roasted red peppers from Caper Vinaigrette. I always feel proud of myself when I can manage to use ingredients that are leftover from another recipe, so I had a good feeling about this. I decided to call it stew because it seemed too thick to be soup, but does anyone really know where exactly the line is drawn between soup and stew? If soup is more your style, it’s fine with me if you add an extra cup of chicken stock and call it soup. Whatever you call it, if you happen to have new braces, this will be soft and comforting.

Black Bean Stew with Roasted Red Pepper, Chicken, and Cilantro
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

I used a 4.5 quart Crockpot slow cooker to make this, but any size from 3.5 to 4.5 quarts will work. Check after recipe for instructions for cooking on the stove.

1 onion, chopped
3 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed well (could also use several types of beans)
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red pepper, diced
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles (I used Anaheim chiles, only mildly hot)
4 cups chicken stock (I used homemade chicken stock.)
3 T dried cilantro (or less, if you’re less enthusiastic about cilantro)
2 T ground cumin (or less if you’re not sure how much you like cumin)
1 T minced garlic
2 tsp. dried Mexican Oregano (probably optional, but good in this)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken (or more)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Chop onion, and saute in olive oil if desired, or put raw onion in crockpot. Empty black beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse until no more foam appears. (Don’t skip this step, which removes some of the salt and makes the beans much easier to digest.) Let beans drain slightly, then add to crockpot. Drain jar of red pepper and chop into small pieces and add to crockpot, along with the diced tomatoes and juice.

Add diced green chiles, chicken stock, dried cilantro, ground cumin, garlic, and Mexican Oregano to crockpot. Cook on high 4 hours, or until flavors are well blended.

Add diced chicken, turn heat to low, and cook 15 minutes, then add chopped cilantro and cook 15 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.

Stovetop Cooking Instructions:
Chop onion and saute in a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of large soup pot. Add drained black beans, tomatoes, diced red pepper, and green chiles same as above. Increase chicken stock to 6 cups, and slightly decrease spices for stovetop cooking. Simmer stew at medium simmer about 45 minutes. Lower heat slightly and add diced chicken, cook 10 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and cook 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired and serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:

This stew is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other low-glycemic eating plan. For phase one, this would taste great with something like Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro. For phase two or three, you could add some 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

More ideas for Black Bean Soup or Stew
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Black Bean and Rice Soup with Cilantro and Lime from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Crockpot Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup with Five Peppers and Ham from Andrea’s Recipes
Mexican Black Bean Soup for Sher from Karina’s Kitchen
Cuban Black Bean Stew from Batter-Splattered
(Want even more black bean soup or stew recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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52 comments on “Crockpot Black Bean Stew with Roasted Red Pepper, Chicken, and Cilantro”

  1. oh my goodness, that looks so yummy. I haven’t had black bean soup in a while and this is a great way reason to have it again before it gets too warm!

  2. That looks so good and rich!

  3. Kalyn…this looks ‘right up my alley! Love Cilantro and roasted red pepper.

  4. Why dried and fresh cilantro? Stew looks really good. I am going to make this for our next week’s dinner. Thank you!

  5. My youngest son just got braces this week, too! It will be worth it!

  6. Cheryl unfortunately it’s still plenty cold here for soup. Only 30 degrees yesterday!

    Pam, thanks.

    Trish, me too!

    Anonymous, dried cilantro is never used as a substitute for fresh cilantro, but it’s a good ingredient for long cooking dishes with lots of liquid. I like to use it in soups because I enjoy the subtle undertones of cilantro it gives to the broth. It’s much different than the flavor that fresh cilantro adds, in my opinion. If you don’t have the dried cilantro though, you could make this without it.

    Italian Dish, hope so! I got the top braces first because my top teeth were shaped in too narrow of an arch, and I admit, they look a lot better already in 7 months!

  7. 2 tablespoons cumin?

  8. Anonymous, yes I did use that much, but I love cumin. Feel free to use less if you want, or maybe add half and then taste later and see if you want more. I would also definitely use less for stovetop cooking, as I said.

  9. Anonymous, edited the post and added a caution for people to use less cumin if they aren’t sure how much they like it. I do like strong flavors, especially if it’s a spice I like.

  10. Great idea for a dish! Is the dried cilantro the actual leaves dried as opposed to being cilantro seed (i.e., coriander)? I haven’t noticed dried cilantro at the store, but probably I just haven’t looked. I love both cilantro and coriander.

  11. Lulu, yes the dried cilantro is the dried cilantro leaf, not coriander. It’s not anything like fresh cilantro, but I think it adds a lovely cilantro undertone to long-cooked soups. I buy it at Penzeys if you can’t find it in the store.

  12. Thanks, Kalyn, I’ll have to order some to try.

  13. Absolutely gorgeous colors in that stew- or is a soup? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Soup or stew, it’s all good. I love your Southwest flavors.

  14. That dish looks awesome! Great flavor combination.

  15. Chewing with braces must be so challenging, but I have to say that this stew looks wonderful even for those of us who are not living with braces!

  16. I’ve never used roasted red peppers from a jar. Are they as good as when you roast them yourself? Do they have a pickled taste at all? Are they more salty? This looks really wonderful, can’t wait to try it this week. This is my first time to post, but I’ve been watching your blog for a long time. Thanks for all the recipes!!!

  17. Lulu, hope you like it.

    Karina, soup or stew who cares. Love those southwestern flavors!

    Olga, thanks!

    Lydia, I was unprepared for just how challenging the braces would be!

    GCL, definitely the freshly roasted peppers are better than the ones from a jar, but they’re pretty good. They don’t really have a pickled or salty taste, they must be packed in water. I love them as a convenience product. Glad you’ve been enjoying the blog!

  18. that pic is beautiful.

  19. Bee, thanks! From a great photographer like you it really means a lot to me!

  20. This looks amazing –now I know what I am going to make for dinner tomorrow night. I’m leaving the computer now to get the black beans soaking!


  21. Wow – that’s colorful! Absolutely gorgeous! I’m learning the value of putting leftovers together into new and interesting meals, myself.

  22. Would you add more liquid if you used dried beans you soaked overnight? Planning to try this tomorrow…

  23. Elana and Amber and Tom,
    If I was using dried beans, I’d cook them first on the stove and then use the cooked beans in this, because when you cook beans with tomatoes they are very unpredictable in the cooking time.

    TW, thanks. I do surprise myself sometimes with these attempt at being frugal!

  24. I’m set to make a black bean soup using the Rancho Gordo black beans… I may play off some of these flavors. Nice creation. I’m sure it’s lovely, and comforting, new braces or not. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. What a great looking recipe, combines pretty much all of my favorite ingredients. I’m always looking for a good hearty stew that will keep me full, satisfied, high in protein and of course healthy!

  26. Oh my, this is gorgeous. So many of my favorite foods combined in a very pretty stew! Thanks, Kalyn!

  27. Getting used to braces is a challenge. When I first got mine I popped one off the very first day eating a potato chip. I love all the spices in this, it sounds wonderful!

  28. Rachel Ray would call it a stoup. She uses that term quite frequently.

  29. Have to try making that myself. It looks sooo delicious. Cheers for sharing.

  30. this is so colorful….looks great

  31. I tried this recipe today. The flavors were wonderful. I had to substitute a fresh red pepper for the roasted and I used thyme instead of Mexican Oregano. Big flavors are so satisfying.

  32. Both your substitutions sound great to me. Glad you liked it.

  33. Wow, I think you wrote this recipe especially for me.. cumin, black beans, chicken and cilantro..right up my alley. I made this today, followed your instructions exactly and found it to be perfect. Hubby had his with a little shredded cheddar over the top, I had it without and didn’t feel like I was missing a thing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  34. Sarah, so glad you liked it. I do like the idea of cheese on top too, or maybe even sour cream!

  35. This was a great recipe and I found it through a Google search this morning. I made the stovetop version and used a mixture of the frozen cilantro (for the dried) and fresh. I roasted both the red and chili peppers and used 3/4 of a rotisserie chicken (saved 1 breast). Topped it with a little 3-cheese mix and a dollop of yogurt. You know, as I am typing, I realize that I forgot to add the oregano but it tasted fine. The commentary was “this is as good as what you get in a restaurant” so thank you for posting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. John, so glad to hear it got good reviews, thanks!

  37. I made this stew vegetarian by using vegetable stock and substituting “fake” Quorn chicken instead. It was SO delicious and excellent with the Spicy Mexican coleslaw (made with Veganaise instead of mayo). Thanks!

  38. Emily, thanks for sharing those ideas. (I’m just nuts about that Spicy Mexican Slaw!)

  39. This was great! Lots of flavor. It was good enough to make my husband to stop complaining about our diet.haha. He had 3 bowls and is looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. Def. a keeper. (and I've never been one for black beans – so that says something)

  40. So glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know.

  41. Yummy! Had this tonight. Thrilled that I have 4 servings to put in the freezer. Unfortunately I was almost out of cumin so it got about half of what it needed. Also, my husband isn't the cilantro fan that we are so I cut the fresh portion in half. While I was eating it I started wondering if shrimp would make another great addition. What do you think? I think I might try it next time.

  42. Melissa, shrimp gets tough when it's cooked for a long time, so if you used that, I would add it for the last 1/2 hour of cooking time. Taste-wise I think it would be good though.

  43. Ah, excellent point regarding cook time for shrimp. I think I will try that next time. I'll let you know how it goes.

  44. I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I just put this in the crockpot for tonight, and I couldn't be more excited! I just wanted to give you a heads up that your crockpot instructions never mention putting in the diced tomatoes. It's obviously not a big deal, but I thought I would mention it, as I almost neglected to put them in before looking over the ingredient list once more. Other readers may have experienced something similar.

    Thank you for all that you do! My wife and I love the recipes on your blog! We made the mujadarra the the other day, and I honestly wondered if I had died and gone to heaven.

    Thank you!

  45. Brandon, so glad you are enjoying the recipes. And thanks for catching that boo-boo, will fix it right now!

  46. I made this recipe yesterday and my husband loved it…..and so did I. It smelled so good when I arrived home after work and walked in the house. I really need to use my crock-pot more often…..because it is such a treat to come home and have a meal ready to eat.

  47. Glad you liked it, and I agree that coming home to food in the crockpot is such a treat.

  48. Dumb Question: Do I mix all these ingredients together once I layer thenm in the crock pot as you instruct, or let them cook unstirred?

  49. You can definitely stir the ingredients, but don't stir too much after you've added the chicken.

  50. I had the hardest time finding a jar of roasted red peppers. Is there something else to use as a substitution?

  51. You could use chopped fresh red bell pepper.

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