Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili

Our Parrot Solomon - Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe

Today I’m feeling grateful for the kindness of strangers. The past two days have been harrowing to say the least. Our large hyacinth parrot, Solomon, managed to escape from his aviary yesterday morning. His wings are clipped to protect him, but he’s a huge parrot with a very large wingspan and he can glide if he catches a breeze. We live in a mountain range above Los Angeles surrounded by large expanses of wilderness. Long story short, Solomon caught a breeze. After hours of searching we found him several houses up the road between the yards of two neighbors. He was stuck high in a tree on the side of a mountain, confused and unable to make his way down. We spent hours, tried everything to coax him down. Nothing worked. Even the fire department dropped by; they tried to figure something out, but the tree was too high and too far from the road for their equipment. Both neighbors on either side were tremendously helpful. They spent several hours of their own time throwing around ideas. Solomon wouldn’t budge. He spent the night in that tree, cold and alone. I couldn’t sleep all night for fear of losing him.

One of the neighbors suggested that we call his tree trimmers, who are experts at climbing those very high, hard-to-reach branches. This morning they came and they climbed. As they got close, Solomon spooked and caught another breeze, gliding far into the canyon below. This canyon is difficult to access and filled with wildlife– bobcats, mountain lions. Solomon doesn’t know how to feed himself, he’s been raised by humans since he hatched. I thought it was the last I’d ever see of him. But these tree climbers didn’t give up, bless their hearts. They scaled the canyon walls and located Solomon in a small tree in the center of the canyon. Several minutes and a large net later, they emerged from the brush carrying our beautiful Solomon. Now he’s back cozy in his aviary looking very pleased with himself. What an adventure he had.

Our Parrot Solomon - Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe

What does this all have to do with Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili? Not a whole lot. And yet, on a day like today I can only imagine cooking something comforting to soothe our frayed nerves. This delicious vegan chili fits the bill. Chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and spices slowly cook together till their flavors meld.  The cashews become tender during cooking, giving the chili a hearty texture. This is clean eating, comfort food with no guilt attached. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

To our neighbors, who I hope will have a chance to read this post, thank you for being so kind and generous to a stranger who wandered into your yard searching for her lost parrot. I can’t begin to express my gratitude. Solomon would thank you too, but he’s very busy at the moment munching on bananas and peanuts, two of his favorite treats.

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Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe - Healthy Comfort Food

Slow Cooker Chickpea Chili


  • 5 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or 3 cans chickpeas 15 oz. each, drained)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 2 medium onions, diced small
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeds and stem removed, diced small
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced fire-roasted tomatoes or 1 3/4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock, or more if needed
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro sprigs for garnish

You will also need

  • Large saucepan, slow cooker (6 quart or larger)
Total Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onions, bell pepper and 1 tsp salt. Cook on medium for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, till the vegetables soften and have nice color. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 additional minutes till fragrant.
  • Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe - Healthy Comfort FoodPour the vegetable mixture evenly to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe - Healthy Comfort FoodPour the vegetable mixture evenly to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Return the saucepan to medium heat and add the fire roasted tomatoes and vinegar. Use a spoon/spatula to scrape up any brown bits that remain in the pan. Once the mixture begins to boil, turn off the heat. Continue to scrape up as many of the brown bits as you can. Add the mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe - Healthy Comfort FoodAdd remaining ingredients and spices to the slow cooker (reserve garnish), stir to combine and cover. Cook for 4 hours on high setting.
  • Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe - Healthy Comfort FoodAfter 2 hours, check your moisture level and add more stock if desired. Continue cooking for remaining 2 hours, or until chili is cooked through. Serve warm, garnish with parsley or cilantro if desired.
  • Slow Cooker Vegan Chickpea Chili Recipe - Healthy Comfort Food

Comments (81)Post a Comment

  1. That’s such a scary experience! I’m so glad that you got him back okay!
    And your recipe looks like the perfect thing to warm me up right about now. Perfect for those “chili” days… Sorry– in a mood to be “punny”.

  2. So glad you were able to get Solomon back safely–that must have been an endless night for both of you! Hyacinths are so beautiful! I’ve had a sweet male Eclectus parrot for 26 years.

  3. I remember how scared I was when my dog scooted out the front door, walking around the block in my pajamas, recruiting neighbors to help, calling his name -what a fright!

    Did you try adding all ingredients to the slow cooker without the prior cooking steps? Would that impact the amount of liquid needed?

  4. I am so glad you got the bird home. Having birds myself, I understand how scary that can be. (I also love your recipes.)

  5. I love your cooking blog and follow you on Pinterest. I have made several of your recipes and have never been disappointed! Can’t wait to try this one!
    One question- how do I find out the carb content and other nutritional information per serving for the recipes? I have health issues that require restricting carb content. Thanks!

    1. Hi Barb, so happy you’re enjoying the recipes! I apologize but I don’t currently calculate the nutritional information on my recipes, however there are several nutrition calculators available online that you can use to plug in the ingredients yourself– Google “nutrition calculator” and you should find many options. Good luck!

    1. Hi Teree- yup! Just cook it on low heat and monitor the liquid levels to make sure it stays moist. It will probably take less than 4 hours, but I don’t have an exact time for you because I haven’t tested it that way. Enjoy!

  6. Wow. I love happy endings. He looks quite smug and happy with his adventures…he has no birdly idea what angst he put you through! He is adorable, and the chili is a great celebration. :) He is your blue-feathered son.

    1. Many tears were shed this week Susie, and many prayers said! It might sound strange, but all night when I couldn’t sleep I meditated/visualized Solomon in his cage the next morning. And that’s exactly what happened, despite the odds! Mind over matter, perhaps? We are so grateful everything worked out.

  7. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    The recipe looks great. How would you modify it to be prepared instead of cholent for the Shabbos day meal? I enjoy serving alternative hot dishes instead of the expected. Thanks in advance.

    Wonderful to hear a good pet story always.

    1. Chava, try cooking it on low for 8 hours then keep on warm till ready to serve. Keep an eye on the liquid level– since I’ve never tried the 8 hour cooking process I would double check to make sure it’s not getting dry. It should be fine, but to be on the safe side check it halfway through cooking and towards the end if you can.

  8. hey this recipe looks like channa masala or chole .we eat it with bhaturas (fried fermented whole wheat flour bread). we make chole very spicy ,but this looks really healthy …surely going to try this …

    1. I love channa masala Jaishree! However this has a very different flavor profile from chana masala, it’s not a creamy chili and the sweet potatoes add umami to the flavor.

  9. Oh wow, that is quite a story with your beautiful Solomon. What an anxious time, and what dedicated tree trimmer professionals and kind neighbors. Solomon has very good parents. Thanks for the recipe, sounds delightful.

    1. Janet the first couple of times I tested the recipe it was lacking something for me. I saw a bag of cashews sitting on the counter and thought, why not? It turned out to be a delicious addition, it added a bit of meatiness and texture to the chili.

  10. Thank you for the info. Wouldn’t there be an issue about checking it and/or adding water if needed? Also, Shabbos day meal is more than 8 hours away from licht bentschen. I’m not sure even a timer would work either. Very confusing. But thank you so much.. :)

    1. If you are strictly Orthodox and concerned about touching the device during cooking, then yes there might be an issue. It would be best to check with your rabbi on this matter; I can’t advise you on that because I am not Orthodox. Re: the cooking cycle, most slow cookers have a low setting that automatically switches to warm when the cooking is done. You set the cook time (in this case 8 hours) and then the warm setting automatically kicks in after the cooking is complete, keeping the meal warm but not overcooking it till you’re ready to serve. Every slow cooker is different; you should refer to your cooker’s specific manual to find out how your particular model handles the warm setting. I hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

    2. Chaya
      I do not use the slow cooker but leave items in the oven at 250. I was at the home of a rabbi who just had the oven on at 160. Google Chabad and they have the answers to this question.
      I have also seen it cooked from the refrig and the pan placed on the blech and then they go to shul

  11. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    solomon is a beauty, but you might want to rethink his name.

    the chile looks great, any reason it wouldn’t work on top of the stove. please say it would work, my kitchen is a slow-cooker free zone.

    1. He certainly didn’t act as wise as his namesake! Yes it should work fine in a large pot on the stovetop, cook over low for 3-4 hours and monitor liquid levels to make sure it doesn’t get dry. Enjoy!

  12. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    So glad that everything worked out for you with the beautiful Solomon! Losing a pet is heartbreaking and I’m sure your heart was in your stomach for most of the day! The chili looks delicious and chickpeas are one of my favorite things! I’ll try this recipe soon! Tootles!

  13. The recipe was just what I needed here in cold wet London. Thank you for this one and all the others I have successfully tried. So pleased that your Solomon is home with you.

  14. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner with garlic bread. I was a little nervous about the combination of spices, but it was absolutely delicious. I made it in a pot rather than a slow cooker. I did cook it the full 4 hrs. No prob.

  15. I have just received my chana dal beans aka small chick peas and was thinking how I would use it.
    Tori……chana dal beans are supposed to have a low carb load. My only problem is my son was here and took all my cashews, which might be a good thing because I WILL cook some beans to see if it is a different texture or taste to chick peas.
    Glad Soloman is ok 0-)

  16. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I truly emphasize with your macaw hunt, glad it was successful! 25 years ago we had a green severe macaw(Kona the Barbarian) who took an unauthorized flight(BTW she had just been clipped!!) out of our apartment and into the yards of three different neighbors-who were soooo gracious in helping us retrieve our sweetie. We ended up climbing a grapefruit tree where we grabbed her and proceeded to slowly fall out of the tree-holding our bird wrapped in a sweater. (further coincidences-I’m a convert and have Madonna Inn goblets as well-neeeener neeener) Anywhoo -thanks for your amazing recipes and ideas on your site-I refer my friends who are beginning challah bakers to your site for your detailed instructions.You’re a gem!!!

    1. Aww, thank you Tamar! Nice to know I’m not the only Jewish convert with a parrot and Madonna Inn glasses out there. And here I thought I was unique! LOL 😉

  17. Made the Chili today and it was perfect. All that dicing took a bit of time, but it was worth it. Added just a pinch of cayenne for a little more heat.

  18. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I made this today. It took me a long time to get it into the crockpot, but it is worth every second. Oh my gosh, this is absolutely delicious!!! Very filling, though, so it’s great for a serving a lot of people, and it’s good for my diet! It’s got so many veggies in it, and with the cashews, I didn’t miss meat at all. The only change I made was I used chicken stock, since I don’t care for vegetable stock. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  19. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Always teach your bird to come …start with just walking to you . Clipping wings gives a failse sence of security …if scared enough they can and will fly! If it is twilight or almost dark or dark…then she won’t fly off and ….she will roost in the tree all night and only then should you use this time to go home and work on the computer , put out flyers etc .

    Be sure you bring with you when you go back to the tree she is in your cell phone water for yourself and food for yourself as well as for her ( bring a backpack) have everything you will need for the day …the trick is to NOT have her loose sight of her favorite person . If she is shy it is better to keep everyone else away so she is more brave to climb down the scary tree she has found herself in .

    Get up BEFORE dawn and make sure her favorite person is already under that tree when she wakes up . Have her WATER BOWL as well as food make sure you also have a WATER bottle and make a lot of noise pouring the water into her water bowl …and also make a lot of noise with her food feed bowl. too .. you know make lots of yummm noises yourself .. . .. . make a lot of eating noise …. .it is a waiting game and she will climb down the tree to you .. I promise …especially when she becomes hungry/thirsty ! What works like a charm is have your immediate family bring pizza .. that will get her motivated to overcome her fear and climb down !

    Have his cage / carrier nearby … and oh if he likes bananas have a great visual effect at as well.. but trust moi … get the PIZZA !!!

    How can they become so invisible in the tree shadow is a mystery but they seem to disappear .. but he will stay there .. as long as he sees you there …. after a while ( and this is for sure by the 3 rd day ) he will climb down from the tree to you …. the trick is to locate him .. . so if you loose sight of him then get children involved and keep looking
    Make your flyers at night to have ready just in case if you do loose sight of him then post them up at night only do things at night
    Remember have your cell phone with you at all times and have your message machine at home with the outgoing message give out your cell number so people can call you … because this is really for you and your bird an emergency .
    As I said ( again and again ) if you know where he is stay close right near the tree he is in and make sure he sees you are there …. remember this is a waiting game and what ever you do do not let him know you are upset stay calm and act happy so he thinks it is safe to climb down to you .
    Don’t ask how I know this BTDT … sigh .

    So DO NOT GIVE UP if you still see him up in that tree ! ! Keep saying his name to him … keep saying whatever you do when you give him a drink or a treat … and if it is starting to become evening and beginning to get dark then try and say whatever you say to him just before you tell him it’s time for bed etc .

    1. Angela, you have SO been through this before. :) Sadly this was a somewhat impossible situation due to the tangled undergrowth below the tree (he tried to come to us but couldn’t work his way through it) and the fact that the tree was on a very steep hillside, making it difficult to approach. We were very lucky that it worked out the way it did. I’m sure your tips may help someone else!

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