Enjoy a hearty and delicious meal with this Charro Lentil Beans in the Slow Cooker recipe. This dish combines the rich flavors of lentils, bacon, tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapenos, and fresh cilantro, slow-cooked to perfection. It’s an easy-to-prepare recipe that offers a comforting meal for any day of the week.
Lentil Beans: One cup of rinsed lentil beans. You can use any variety you have on hand.
Onion: A small onion, chopped.
Roma Tomatoes: Two large Roma tomatoes, chopped.
Garlic: Two to three cloves of garlic, roughly chopped.
Bacon: Seven slices of thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped. If you prefer not to use raw bacon, cook it on the stovetop before adding.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro for flavor and garnish.
Dehydrated Jalapeños: A tablespoon of dehydrated jalapeños, rehydrated in hot water. You can substitute with one to two fresh jalapenos, chopped.
Chicken Bouillon Powder: One and a half to two tablespoons of chicken bouillon powder.
Water: Four to five cups of water, depending on your preference for soup consistency.
Black Pepper: Crushed black pepper to taste.
Making The Charro Lentil Beans in the Slow Cooker
Prepare the Crockpot:
Set up your six-quart crockpot. This will be the primary cooking vessel for your Charro Lentil Beans.
Add the rinsed lentils, chopped bacon, tomatoes, onion, garlic, rehydrated jalapenos, chicken bouillon powder, cilantro, and black pepper to the crockpot. This combination of ingredients will create a flavorful base for your lentil beans.
Pour in Water:
Pour in four to five cups of water. This will depend on your preference for soup consistency. More water will produce a brothier soup, while less water will make it thicker.
Cover the crockpot with a lid and set it to high heat. This will start the cooking process.
Cook for approximately two and a half to three hours. The cooking time can vary depending on the crockpot and the size of the lentils. It’s best to check at the three-hour mark. If the lentils need more time to cook, allow an extra 30 minutes.
Check for Seasoning:
After the lentils are cooked, taste the soup for seasoning. You may want to add more salt or spices depending on your taste preference.
Garnish and Serve:
Before serving, garnish the soup with fresh cilantro. This will add a pop of color and a fresh flavor to your Charro Lentil Beans. Now, it’s ready to serve and enjoy!
Optional Step: Add Extra Veggies:
To make the soup heartier, add extra veggies or aromatics, like carrot, bell pepper, and celery, into the mix. This can be done simultaneously with the other ingredients in Step 2.
Tips and variations for the Charro Lentil Beans in the Slow Cooker recipe:
- Soaking Lentils: Unlike other legumes, lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking. However, rinsing them is important to remove any dirt or debris.
- Check the Water Level: During cooking, if you notice the water level is getting low and the lentils aren’t fully cooked yet, you can add more hot water.
- Adjust the Spiciness: The spiciness of this dish can be adjusted to your preference. If you want it less spicy, use fewer jalapenos or remove the seeds and veins where most of the heat is concentrated.
- Cooking Time: Cooking times can vary depending on the type of lentils and the crockpot. Always check the lentils for doneness before turning off the heat.
- Vegetarian/Vegan Version: For a vegetarian or vegan version, omit the bacon and use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken. Add smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
- Add Veggies: You can add extra vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, celery, or even spinach for added nutrition and flavor.
- Use Different Proteins: Instead of bacon, you can use other proteins like sausage, ham, or even chicken.
- Different Legumes: If you don’t have lentils, you can use other legumes like pinto beans or chickpeas. Just remember that cooking times may vary.
- Add Grains: To make it a complete meal, you can add grains like rice or quinoa. Add them towards the end of cooking to prevent them from getting mushy.
Charro Lentil Beans in the Slow Cooker
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
- 1 cup rinsed lentil beans
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 7 slices of thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped
- Fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon of dehydrated jalapenos
- 1.5-2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon powder
- 4-5 cups of water
- Crushed black pepper to taste
- Prepare your six-quart crockpot.
- Add rinsed lentils, chopped bacon, tomatoes, onion, garlic, rehydrated jalapenos, chicken bouillon powder, cilantro, and black pepper.
- Pour in four to five cups of water.
- Cover the crockpot and set it to high heat.
- Cook for approximately two and a half to three hours.
- Check the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: per serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350 kcalTotal Fat: 10gCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 20g