This recipe comes from the Fix It and Forget It crockpot cookbook. The first time I made this, I followed the recipe exactly, then I made a few alterations to make it easier and less gooey.
1 T oil (don’t really need)
1 onion, chopped (I use about 1/2 c)
1 green bell pepper, chopped (I use about 1/2 c)
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz can pinto beans, drained (I use 1 28 oz can)
16 oz can kidney beans, drained (light or dark is fine)
15 oz can black beans, drained
4 oz can sliced black olives, drained (I usually use closer to 6 oz)
4 oz can green chile (You can also substitute this and one of the diced tomato cans for 1 can Rotel)
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder (I use 1 T instead)
1 tsp ground cumin
6-8 6 in flour tortillas (don’t need)
2 cups shredded Co-Jack cheese (add after, not before)
Ground Beef (optional if you want a meatier version)
The original recipe asks you to sautee the onions, garlic, and green peppers in oil until soft. Then it wants you to add the beans and spices and cook a little longer. I did this the first time and later decided it was completely unnecessary.
It’s much easier and a huge time saver to chop the onions and peppers and then simply toss everything into the crockpot all together.
The original recipe asks you to layer the beans and tortillas in the crockpot. I tried this the first time, and while it didn’t taste bad, the tortillas dissolved into goo. It was weird and we ended up eating around most of the tortilla goop. It’s much better without the tortillas. Instead, you can eat it with tortillas or chips after it’s done cooking.
This part of the recipe could go either way. I’ve added the cheese at the beginning several times and left it out to use as a topping. Adding the cheese at the beginning gives the beans more flavor, but if you need to start this before work and it will cook all day, the cheese separates and has an odd texture. I like to add a little extra salt and leave the cheese as a topping instead.
This can easily cook in 4 hours, but I usually leave it in 8 hours on low because I don’t always get to come home for lunch. It works well either way. We like to top it with cheese and sour cream and eat with tortilla chips. It’s become a weekly staple at our house.