Spicy Mexican-Inspired Cholent Recipe

Slow-cooked Shabbat stew with a modern touch.

I grew up in a traditional Jewish home eating my mom’s cholent, which had been my grandma’s recipe. It was always one of my favorite meals and I often chose it for birthday dinners and special occasions. When I moved out on my own, I took the recipe with me — but decided it was time to modernize it a bit and make it my own.

READ: Lettuce-Wrapped Pulled Beef Tacos with Guacamole

I’ve always loved food packed with flavor, and I’m a big fan of Mexican food, so I decided to take this family cholent recipe and re-imagine it with influences of carne asada or a rustic chili. The result is Mexican cholent. It’s spicy and comforting and a favorite whenever I have friends over. I often pair it with a scoop of guacamole to cool down the heat (but you can always make it less spicy if you want by cutting down on the chiles in adobe or halving the taco seasoning — be bold though!)


Spicy Mexican-Inspired Cholent


Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.

Add brisket. (You can also substitute 4 marrow bones + cubed beef stew, or beef flanken).

Add onion, garlic, potatoes, canned chiles, chipotle in adobo, taco seasoning, beans (or pearl barley + red kidney beans) and enough vegetable stock to cover. Stir gently to make sure everything is mixed. Add brussels sprouts (optional).

Set slow cooker for 8 hours on low. After 4 hours check and add more vegetable stock (or water) if it looks to dry. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with fresh cilantro, guacamole or thin slices of jalapeno.


A 2 lb brisket, fat trimmed (or you can use 4 marrow bones + 1 lb cubed beef stew)

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 16-oz bag cholent bean mix OR 2 cups pearl barley and 1 cup dry red kidney beans, soaked in 2 cups warm water for 10 minutes

1 7-oz can diced green chilese

2-3 Tbsp taco seasoning (or more to taste)

1 heaping Tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or more to taste)

32 oz vegetable broth

1 cup brussel sprouts, cut in half (optional)

fresh cilantro, guacamole or jalapenos for serving

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