Crock Pot Challenge Recap + Crock Pot Black Beans Recipe

It all started with a challenge – a Crock Pot Challenge hosted by Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers. A few weeks down the road and 10 crock pot recipes later, I’m hooked. Not only does it make for delicious and flavorful breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (Yep, that’s right. As I’ve found out, there are crock pot recipes for every meal of the day!), but it makes cooking and clean-up crazy easy.

Today, I’m linking up over at Peanut Butter Fingers with who knows how many other fellow bloggers to share our Crock Pot Challenge experiences and recipes – the good, the so-so, the OMG delicious, and the complete flops.

Here’s a recap of the 10 crock pot recipes I made and/or tried for this challenge:

1. Slow Cooker Banana Steel Cut Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Banana Steel Cut Oatmeal

This one is definitely a keeper and I look forward to making it again soon! I loved how satiated it kept me all morning and how it just got better and better as the days went by.

2. Crock Pot Vegetable Korma

Crock Pot Vegetable Korma

I’ve made vegetable korma before, but this was my first time trying it in the crock pot. It was really tasty and I think I’ll probably continue to make it in the crock pot going forward. It’s so much easier in terms of being able to just throw everything in the crock pot and forget about it for several hours.

3. Crock Pot Black Bean & Vegetable Enchiladas

Crock Pot Black Bean and Veggie Enchiladas Recipe

This recipe was probably one of my favorites out of this challenge. These enchiladas were loco flavorful and loaded with veggies. They will be reappearing in my crock pot again, no doubt about it.

4. Crock Pot Caldo de Pollo

Caldo de Pollo Recipe

Did I say the enchiladas were my favorite? I take that back, this was probably my favorite. Though, to be fair, this was a recipe handed down to me from my mother-in-law and there’s really no competing with family recipes that are passed from one generation to the next. ;) I enjoyed every single bite and slurp of this soup and already can’t wait to make it again.

5. Slow Cooker Spinach & Mozzarella Frittata

Crock Pot Breakfast FrittataLike I mentioned in a previous post, this recipe was an epic failure. I think it just might be that eggs don’t really cook well in the crock pot. If anyone thinks differently and knows of any crock pot egg-based breakfast recipes that totally rock, please pass along the info.!

6. Crock Pot Moroccan Lentil Stew

Crock Pot Moroccan Lentil Stew

This was a recipe I tried from A Full Measure of Happiness blog. I made some modifications to it, but completely forgot to note them. Whoopsie. I know for sure that I veggified the recipe a bit by adding in some zucchini, celery, and cauliflower. I also upped the cinnamon and tweaked the spices a bit. But, that’s as far as my memory serves me. It was really, really good stuff. I highly recommend trying out the recipe and tweaking it to your taste.

7. Crock Pot Blueberry + Peach Steel Cut Oatmeal

Crock Pot Blueberry + Peach Steel Cut OatmealBecause my banana steel cut oats turned out so good, I thought I’d experiment a bit with some different fruits and flavors. Unfortunately, this recipe turned out only so-so and isn’t quite share-worthy yet. But, it has a lot of potential so I’m not giving up that easily! I’m going to work on tweaking the recipe some more and will share it when it has a bit more of a “wow” factor.

8. Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Burgers

BBQ Pulled Pork BurgerThis was, as I’m sure you can imagine, a complete and utter delicious mess. I don’t think there was a single finger or inch of my face left unscathed by BBQ sauce when I was finished munching this burger. So, a bib might be in order to eat this, but the flavor’s worth looking like a fool. ;) This was all just a major tease, though, because I won’t be posting the recipe until later this week or next week. [*Update* The recipe has now been posted!]

9. Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla SoupOne of my all-time favorite recipes is my husband’s Chicken Tortilla Soup. In the spirit of the challenge and completely enamored with my crock pot, I got the wild idea of seeing if I could make this soup in the slow cooker. I’m very happy to say that it turned out great! I’ll be posting the recipe soon (in the next week or so), so keep checking back because, trust me, you don’t want to miss this one. [*Update* The recipe has now been posted!]

10. Crock Pot Black Beans from Scratch

Crock Pot Black Beans from Scratch

Since I’ve been such a tease with the last two recipes, I’m gonna make up for it here. Being the bean lover and healthy cheapskate that I am, I thought it’d be fun to save some money and experiment with making my own beans from scratch rather than purchasing canned beans. These turned out great and were surprisingly easy to make.

Crock Pot Black Beans

Crock Pot Black Beans from Scratch

by Ali

Keywords: slow-cooker

Ingredients (Makes equivalent to 5 cans of black beans)

  • 1 Pound dried black beans
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion (halved)
  • 1/4 jalapeno (large chunk)
  • 1 Heaping tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Handful of fresh cilantro


  • Rinse the beans with cold water
  • Discard any stones or other debris
  • Place the beans in a large bowl
  • Add warm water to the bowl so that the beans are completely covered plus a couple inches more
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the beans soak overnight (~8-10 hours)
  • After soaking, drain the water and discard it
  • Rinse the beans off one more time and then place them into the crock pot
  • Add the remaining ingredients (except the cilantro) and stir
  • Set the cilantro on top of the mixture where it will float (do not mix it in)
  • Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours
  • Once cooked, discard the jalapeno, bay leaf, cilantro, and onion
  • Store the beans in their juice in ziploc bags or air-tight containers in the freezer
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Although it takes a bit more effort and forethought to use homemade beans as opposed to canned beans, I think I’m gonna try and stick with the homemade ones. I’m not too savvy when it comes to canning and all that good stuff, so I just opted to store my beans in a ziploc bag in the freezer in 1.5 cups increments, since that’s equivalent to one can.

Crock Pot Black Beans StorageI’ve already gone through several of the bags and they taste great. Although, I probably wouldn’t use the frozen beans (defrosted of course) in a fresh salad. I’d either opt for a can of beans or a fresh batch of homemade beans.

I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the crock pot recipes I’ve been throwing at you lately! :D

Thanks to Julie for hosting this fun challenge and be sure to head over to her blog to scope out everyone else’s delish crock pot recipes.

21 thoughts on “Crock Pot Challenge Recap + Crock Pot Black Beans Recipe

  1. I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of water instead of the chicken broth. I also didn’t use cilantro because I don’t like it. I followed all the other directions and ingredients. It turned out fantastic. …. Just saying. Thanks for the recipes.

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    • Of course! I’m with you – black beans rock. I also love just about every other bean there is. Can’t think of even one, off the top of my head, that I don’t like. :D

    • I know, it was such a bummer about the frittata. Definitely try out the steel cut oats – they were great and it’s so easy to adapt the recipe to your liking. :D

  4. Your chicken enchilada soup looks perfect with that cheese and the chips! Yummy!

    All of these look so ridiculously healthy. I want to pin every one and do the challenge all over again!! I did it too. It was seriously one of the best things I’ve done to step outside the box in the kitchen. Nice to have found your blog!

    • Aw shucks, thanks Melissa. :D You just made my day. So glad you found my blog, too. I’m 100% with you on wanting to do the challenge all over again!

  5. Your steel cut oatmeal recipes look amazing. I always want to try them, but know they won’t work out well with old fashioned oats. I just need to remember to get steel cut next time I’m at the grocery store! Too bad the frittata didn’t work out – I was looking forward to trying it!

    • Thanks so much, Kim. I was soooo looking forward to the frittata, too. It actually smelled delicious. So I was doubly disappointed when it didn’t turn out. You win some, you lose some – especially in the kitchen. ;)

    • Definitely! I loved cooking with my crock pot so much that I’m planning on keeping it up. Now that I’ve tackled black beans, I think I’m ready to move on to pinto and kidney beans, too. :D

  6. The banana steel cut oats look amazing! Thanks for sharing your recipes- I’m going to have to try at least a few of these.

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    • Thanks, Hannah! I know what you mean – the slow cooker’s great but it’s easy to forget to utilize it. I’m really glad this challenge spurred me to bust it out. So excited you’re going to give some of these recipes a try. Let me know how it goes! :D

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