Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup – $5 Dinner Challenge

It’s Monday night. And time for another $5 Dinner Challenge!  This week’s slow cooker meal comes from Jennifer.

Jennifer is wife to Jason and mom to five-year-old Emma.  She blogs at Saving and Giving where she encourages people to save money and be generous.

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 5 minutes (+ overnight for soaking black beans)

Cooking Time – 4 hours on high in slow cooker


  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • 1/2 pound diced ham
  • 5 cups of water*
  • 5 tsp. chicken bouillon*
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

*You can substitute 5 c. of chicken broth for the water and bouillon.


  • Soak black beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a pan, cover with water, and simmer on low for an hour.
  • Drain beans again.
  • Place all ingredients except cornstarch in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours. (Erin’s note here: From what I know about slow cooking beans, it won’t hurt to cook them longer…say if you’ll be at work all day.  Cook them longer, then proceed with directions below.)
  • After 4 hours, use a slotted spoon to remove 1 cup of cooked beans and ham. Place them in a blender or food processor with a little bit of the broth. Puree, and return to the pot. Whisk pureed bean mixture into the broth.
  • Combine cornstarch with cold water in a small bowl. Mix. Add to the slow cooker. Mix with a whisk.
  • Let cook for an additional 30 minutes or until broth thickens a bit.

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  1. says

    Black bean soup is a favorite at our house! For some reason the last time I made it (from my memory, which is faulty at best) I made it too hot, I think I will use your seasonings as a guideline as it looks flavorful, but without the bite of some bean soups.

  2. says

    I am so excited to make this black bean soup. The days my daughter has dance I have “slow cooker recipe day.” This helps us to get out the door on time. I will add this to my recipe list. Thanks!

  3. Tamara says

    I wonder why the recipe calls for soaking THEN cooking for an hour THEN putting in the crockpot. Seems like a lot of work. When I cook beans in the crockpot, I just soak them and then cook for about 4 hours on high. Seems like I could do that for this soup too.

    Any thoughts? I am going to make this for my in-laws on Tues and don’t want to mess it up.

  4. says

    This black bean soup sounds delicious. For another pulses recipe check out my blog. The Curry Chickpea with Rice dish is great. It’s easy, quick and cheap.

  5. Christine Milczarek says

    This looks yummy but what would I serve it with? Serving over rice wouldn’t work would it? Suggestions?

  6. Marlie says

    It doesn’t say how much cold water to mix with the cornstarch. I did 2 tsp. Hope that’s right.

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