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Veggie-Packed Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

A hearty, healthy slow cooker black bean soup that’s packed with vegetables, and only takes a few minutes to prepare!

A ladle taking a scoop of black bean soup from a slow cooker.

If you want a hearty, healthy dinner, but you don’t want to actually have to spend more than 5 minutes making it (I feel you), this slow cooker black bean soup is the answer to your prayers. It’s packed with veggies, and practically cooks itself. Just chuck everything in the slow cooker, and a few hours later, it’s ready to eat. Hallelujah!

A bowlful of black bean soup topped with spring onions and sour cream.

Summer slow cooking

I don’t often think to use my slow cooker at this time of year. Slow cookers are obviously great for cooking wintery stews and casseroles – but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy slow cooked food in the warmer months too.

This black bean soup is great year-round. In the winter, you can make it extra hearty with some melted cheese and crusty bread and butter. Or, in the summer, keep things light by topping it with some extra veggies and a dollop of sour cream.

A bowl of black bean soup topped with spring onions and sour cream.

Slow cooker black bean soup

Black bean soup is one of my favourite soups of all time, and this slow cooker version checks every single box.

  • It’s full of healthy, whole ingredients like fresh vegetables and beans.
  • It’s completely delicious, with heaps of flavour.
  • It can easily be adapted to use up whatever veg you have lingering in the fridge.
  • It’s very low effort, and cooks itself in the slow cooker.
  • It reheats beautifully, if you have any leftovers.
  • It can be personalised with your own choice of toppings.

I’ve never had a more perfect soup.

Grated carrot, spinach and red pepper in a slow cooker.

Veggie-packed soup

The soup begins with the vegetables.

I like to chop the veg fairly small (I even grate the carrots), and they cook down so much that they become almost invisible in the finished soup. If you’re trying to hide the vegetables – either from picky kids, or just from yourself – it’s perfect. And if you’d prefer a chunkier soup with bigger pieces of veg, just don’t cut them as finely.

Hiding in this black bean soup, there are two big carrots, a huge handful of spinach, and a whole red pepper. They bring extra flavour and goodness to the soup, without putting off any veggie-haters.

Black beans, chopped tomatoes and refried beans in a slow cooker.

Refried bean soup

Next up, add the black beans, and a tin of chopped tomatoes. I also love to add a tin of refried beans. I’m obsessed with these things – they may look like cat food when you first open the tin, but they’re unbelievably tasty, and they help to make the soup extra thick and creamy.

Make sure your refried beans are vegetarian, if necessary. In the UK, I’ve never seen non-veggie ones, but I’ve heard that elsewhere, they can contain lard, so just make sure you check before you buy. The Old El Paso refried beans* are my favourite ones on the planet. I could eat them straight from the tin (in fact, I regularly do…).

When you’ve added all the ingredients to your slow cooker, just give it a good mix, and it’s ready to go.

Uncooked black bean soup in a slow cooker.

Slow cooker soup

This slow cooker black bean soup is pretty forgiving. It doesn’t really matter how long you cook it for – anything from 5 to 7 hours will be totally fine (or even a little longer), so just serve it up whenever is convenient for you.

Obviously the longer you cook it, the richer it will be, and the more the vegetables will have cooked down – so I’d err on the side of slightly longer, if you have the time.

When it’s ready, it should look a little bit like this.

Black bean soup in a slow cooker.

Chunky vs smooth soup

I left my black bean soup chunky, because that’s how I like it, and seeing little flecks of green and red vegetables in my soup doesn’t put me off (considering I put the vegetables in myself, it would be a bit odd if it did).

However if you really want to deny the vegetables’ very existence (or you just like a smooth and creamy soup), you could always blend your soup before serving so that nobody suspects a thing.

I actually blended up my kids’ portions, and it worked really well as a smooth soup, too. The beans make it nice and thick, so just add a splash more water if you prefer a thinner soup.

A ladle scooping some black bean soup from a slow cooker.

Soup toppings

You know I love a good topping, especially with Tex-Mex style food. This black bean soup is absolutely perfect for topping!

The soup itself is vegan, but you can add whatever toppings you fancy. Here are a few ideas:

  • melted grated cheese
  • sour cream
  • fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • sliced spring onions
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • diced avocado
A spoon taking a scoop from a bowlful of black bean soup.

Can I reheat the leftovers?

Since it’s already been cooked to oblivion, this black bean soup is just as good reheated the next day. It’s the perfect thing to make in batches, to last you a few days for lunch.

If it were me, I’d pop some cheese on top before you reheat it, and it’ll get nice and melty. The perfect black bean soup.

A spoon taking a scoop from a bowlful of black bean soup.

Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup

A hearty, healthy slow cooker black bean soup that's packed with vegetables, and only takes a few minutes to prepare!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main meals, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 366kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 large handful spinach, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 x 400g tins black beans, drained (480g, or ~ 2 1/2 cups, when drained)
  • 400 g tin (~ 1 1/3 cups) chopped tomatoes
  • 435 g tin (~ 1 1/3 cups) refried beans (spicy or mild)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder optional
  • 200 ml (~ 3/4 cup) water
  • Optional toppings: chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), grated cheese, crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients (apart from your toppings) into the slow cooker, and mix well. Cook for at least 5 hours on high (longer is also fine).
  • You can blend the soup before serving (add a splash more water if it ends up too thick), or leave it chunky. Add your chosen toppings to serve.
Nutrition Facts
Veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 0.9g5%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 450mg19%
Potassium 1453mg42%
Carbohydrates 66.8g22%
Fiber 22.5g90%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 21.7g43%
Calcium 134mg13%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe, not including toppings.

Love black beans? Check out my huge collection of 60 vegetarian black bean recipes:

51 Seriously Easy Vegetarian Dinners
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Recipe Rating




Annabel Smyth

Monday 10th of May 2021

I often use my slow cooker - or my Instant Pot - in summer, as it makes the kitchen less hot than having the stove on.

Gill

Monday 10th of May 2021

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of refried beans - should I use another tin of black beans, or just leave them out?

Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Honestly I would leave them in anyway, they melt away into the soup and just make it rich and creamy. If you really don't want to include them, I'd use another tin of black beans instead, up the spices and seasoning a bit, and maybe mash / blend the beans a bit before serving to help it thicken up.

sue

Monday 10th of September 2018

This looked like an interesting recipe, but the pale gray print makes it impossible for some of us to read.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Monday 10th of September 2018

Hi Sue, sorry about that! I'm actually having the site redesigned later this year and one of my priorities is to make the font much darker :)

Davey

Sunday 15th of April 2018

I have been making a stovetop black bean soup for years. Decided to try this one as it looked interesting and I liked that it is for a slow cooker. The stated prep time of 5 minutes seems impossible to achieve. It took me 30 minutes to prepare. I followed the recipe and didn't make any changes. Overall, we liked the outcome. My wife thought it tasted a bit smokey. I thought it was somewhat sweet. We will probably spice it up more the next time. Good to have new recipe to throw into the mix.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Monday 16th of April 2018

Thanks Davey, glad you liked it! I'm surprised it took you 30 minutes to prepare - it's mostly just opening tins! :)

Abby

Wednesday 9th of November 2016

I love this recipe because it's full of healthy goodness and I can alter it to my family's tastes. I use dried black beans for the value, boost the spices, add cumin and Spanish hot sauce such as Tapatillo plus lime juice. Can you tell we like Mexican flavors? Thank you for the springboard recipe! For those curious, I've made this basic recipe with my spin at least 10 times.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Friday 11th of November 2016

Wow you have been busy! :D I can never follow a recipe to the letter myself, so I totally understand the need to put your own spin on it haha. Glad you like it so much :)

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