My Favorite Cholent Recipe

Let me preface this recipe by saying that I am not a fan, in general, of cholent. (I know. Blasphemy!)

Something about cooking food on a low temperature for 14 bajillion hours has a tendency to make every morsel of mush taste exactly like the next morsel of mush.

All that pent-up cholent-hating completely disappeared when I discovered the following recipe. After decades of choking down cholent with large gulps of water,  I fell completely under the spell of Shabbos-in-a-crockpot.

{I must give credit where credit is due. The recipe that I’m about to share with you is inspired by one that was originally posted on the Golden West Glatt website. Do you remember them? Gosh, I miss their meat!}

Notes on cost: In an effort to embrace frugality even on Shabbat, I have (for the most part) stopped making a second meat dish to serve with the cholent.

The cholent is now the star of the meal! I do make a number of salads to serve with the cholent.

We’re coming to the end of this post and you know what that means: It’s sharing time!

What’s your tried-and-true-everyone-always-raves-about-my-cholent cholent recipe?

I realize that sharing YOUR cholent recipe may be a bit intimidating after I shared THE BEST CHOLENT RECIPE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. But don’t despair. I’m sure yours is almost as good as mine.


  1. I make chili-ent!

    a couple of handfuls of beans of choice (i like black and kidney)
    1 medium size sweet potato peeled and cut into big pieces
    1/2 lb ground beef (or more if you like the protein)
    optional: 1/2 cup of canned corn, drained
    half a green pepper chopped
    medium onion chopped
    chili powder – to you liking
    cumin powder, a good pinch
    hot pepper flakes or cayenne if you like the spice
    1 can of chopped tomatoes
    1-2 cups of pureed cooked squash of choice
    if you like it more tomatoey can add a bit of plain (ie unseasoned) tomato sauce

    throw it all into a slow cooker and mix a bit. I also add a bit of mushrooms, and greens if i have it on hand. the house smells so good when this is on.

  2. mmm yum! pretty much anything in a crock pot soothes this midwestern girl’s soul! thanks so much for the (mushy! lol) recipe! i can’t wait to try it!

    • Do it, Galit! This cholent was DELICIOUS! (So sad when my 5 yo dropped the Denby crock holding leftover cholent and it crashed into a million pieces. Not sure which was sadder – broken Denby or destroyed leftovers :()

  3. That’s very interesting! My family has been using almost the same recipe for many years, week after week. Things we do differently: leave out the marrow bones and garlic, add some BBQ sauce and some onion soup mix. Also- we don’t use chick peas but use a mix of cholent beans (kindney, lima, etc.)

    • One thing I really like about the chickpeas is that they stay a little firmer than the other beans do… keeps it from being too “mushified”. I sometimes throw in onion soup mix as well — it can never hurt!

  4. My husband prefers cholent with ground beef. Here’s how I make it:

    1 – 1.5 lbs ground beef (can sub ground turkey)
    1/2 c barley
    2 carrots, cut as you prefer
    2 onions, chopped in large pieces
    2 – 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
    3 – 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise
    generous sprinkling of onion powder
    generous sprinkling of powdered garlic
    generous sprinkling of black pepper
    salt to taste
    1/4 c brown sugar (I use turbinado sugar)

    Optional step: Saute onions in a little oil.
    Put onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, barley, potatoes into a 6 qt crockpot. Add spices. Tear off chunks of the ground beef and place on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Add water to almost cover. Cook on high for at least 4 hours. Turn to warm when the vegetables are barely cooked. Before shabbos, push the meat down under the water, stir a bit.

    • I’ve never had ground beef in my cholent, but not only does that sound tasty, it’s also more frugal than the cholent meat — at least a few dollars a pound cheaper! Thanks for sharing, Rivka!

  5. Sephardic – we do Lamb Tagine. Sometimes with okra and other times with raisins and turneric (more sweet/savory). Okra is an under-eaten veggie and I am convinced it is becasue if it is not cooked right it gets slimy. The secret to non-slimy okra is to either soak it in white vinegar for 15 minutes prior or cook it in a tomato broth.

    If anyone is interested in recipes, I can post here. Just let me know.

  6. One of my favorites is the Sweet 16 Cholent:

    1 bottle Tomato Sauce (I used Barilla Marinara)
    1 small can Tomato Paste
    5 heaping tsp garlic
    1 package Goodman’s Kosher Onion Soup Mix
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    brown sugar to taste
    1/2 tsp nutmeg

    1 lb bone in stew meat
    1 large vidalia onion
    1 can Goya Kidney beans with liquid
    1 can Goya White Beans with liquid
    1 bag barley (8 oz?)
    1 white potatoes, sliced in rounds, unpeeled
    2 yellow potato, sliced in rounds, unpeeled
    1 sweet potato, sliced in rounds unpeeled

    The sauce is what makes this cholent unique. Mix ingredient above together and simmer for a while on medium low heat. The red sauce and onion soup is the secret to this cholent.

    In a 12″ circular baking pot
    Dice onions – enough to cover the bottom of the pot.

    Then layer in a mixture of beans and barley.

    Next, put a layer of stew meat.

    We places a layer of the sauce in at this point.

    The next layer was a mix of 2/3rds sweet and 1/3rd regular Yukon Gold/Idaho potatoes (just enough to cover the meat). We did not peel the potatoes. They were cut about 1 centimeter thick.

    Another layer of sauce.

    If there is space, put in another layer of beans, then meat, then potatoes…

    I put the sweet potato rounds on the circumference of the pot.

    Then another layer of the sauce. Add water if needed.

    Cook in 350 degree oven for 3 -4 hours, then just before Shabbat add water if needed and keep warm until Shabbos lunch.

    • Larry – thanks so much for sharing! That sounds wonderful 🙂 Have you ever tried this in the crock pot instead of the oven/plata?

  7. My problem with cholent is that when it’s just me and my husband, the lovely six quart crock pot makes too much, so I end up throwing a lot out, which is no good. Any suggestions for a cholent scaled for two (probably to make on the stove)?

    • Jackie, Thanks for you question. I have a cholent recipe that I learned in Israel – everything is cooked in bags, so all the ingredients are separate. (It’s more Sephardi-style.) I bet that might work for just the two of you. Let me find the recipe and I’ll come back to share.

    • I found a 3 qt stock pot by Belgique (Macys) to be the perfect size for 2-3 people. I use the same recipe for chulent but scale it down. My basic recipe is : potates, meat, onions, beans, barley, onion soup mix, salt, pepper and ketchup with water to cover. Cook until boiling and then put either in oven at 200 degrees or on the blech until lunchtime on Shabbos. B’taayvon!

    • Judith Ginsberg says

      I always freeze my left over cholent. It is just as good reheated. I usually make a vegetarian cholent. For a 5-6 qt pot. 6 potatoes cut in chunks, 2 onions diced, 1/2 c each of barley, baby lima beans and kidney beans, 1 large can of baked beans and a parve kishka. I put 1/2 potatoes and the dry beans in the bottom, 1/2 the onion, onion soup mix, cumin, salt & pepper and then the rest of the potatoes and onions. Cover with water and put Kishka on top and cover tightly. It cooks from early Friday afternoon until 12 or 12:30 on Sat. There wasn’t one bean left after Kiddush at Shul today

  8. I like a sweet liquid-y cholent but can’t find a recipe. I know I’ve eaten this once!

  9. galileegirl says

    I was searching for a good cholent recipe and Google brought up your blog :). Its supposed to be FREEZING this weekend so its going to be a cholent kind of Shabbat. Gonna give your recipe a try.

  10. Rivka Leder says

    Can you do this in the pressure cooker?

  11. Why don’t you soak the beans?

    • Mara Strom says

      I don’t know – this is just how I learned to do it. Soaking them might reduce some of the, er, gassiness. I might give that a try the next time!

  12. No need to soak beans when they are cooking for 15 hours

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