Slow Cooker Chili | Chef Dennis

Slow cooker chili is made with a mixture of beans, corn, tomatoes, ground beef, and seasonings. The slow cooking process creates a rich blend of flavors that your whole family will love. 

Slow cooker chili with shredded cheese and sour cream in a white bowl

My easy crockpot chili recipe is perfect for those cold winter months, summertime get-togethers, game day or a busy weeknight. There is no need to spend all day in the kitchen; let the slow cooker do all the work!

Slow cooker chili with shredded cheese and sour cream in a white bowl

I know after one bite this will become your go-to chili recipe. It couldn’t be easier to make and is easily adaptable. It’s a chili your whole family will love!

If you love chili, try my Four Bean, Beef, and Beer Chili, or Chicken Chili recipes.

Table of Contents:

Ingredients to make Slow Cooker Chili

Ingredients to make recipe.

Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my easy Slow Cooker Chili recipe. In Chef Speak, this is called the Mise en Place, which translates into Everything in its Place.

Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.

Can I make adjustments to the recipe?

The great thing about making my slow cooker chili is you get to control the heat. If you like spicy chili, add additional chili powder, chili sauce, or hot sauce. Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper can also be added to the mixture for a spicier flavor profile.

For a touch of sweetness, add brown sugar to the mixture. You can also use your favorite chili seasoning blend to make my recipe.

The tomatoes in this recipe are all interchangeable. You can use all crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes. Using all tomato puree will result in a thicker sauce and may require adding additional water. You can also use tomato sauce and even jarred spaghetti sauce to make the recipe.

As for the beans in this recipe, feel free to use your favorite canned beans or reconstituted dried beans. I like a mixture, but you can use one type of beans or any combination of beans. Pinto beans, chili beans, and white beans are all great choices.

Ground turkey, ground chicken, and even ground pork can be used to make my crockpot chili recipe.

How to make Slow Cooker Chili

Collage showing how to start recipe.
  • Place a large skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat. Then add the olive oil to the pan, and when the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan.
  • Cook until the onions are lightly cooked and tender. Stirring as needed.
  • Add the ground beef to the pan.
  • Cook the ground beef until it’s browned. Stir the beef to break it up into small pieces while it’s cooking.

Set the slow cooker to the low setting for 6 hours.

Collage showing how to continue making recipe.
  • Add the tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  • Add the pink beans, black beans, dark red kidney beans, and corn to the mixture. Stir to combine.
    *Before adding the beans, drain and rinse them in cold water.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and bay leaves to the slow cooker.
  • Stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
    *For a spicier chili, add additional chili powder, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper
Collage showing how to finish recipe.
  • Add the cooked ground beef mixture to the tomato mixture.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and let the chili cook for 6 hours, stirring as needed. Slow cooking lets the flavors build during the low and slow cooking process.
  • Remove the beef chili from the slow cooker and serve with your favorite toppings, tortillas, tortilla chips, corn chips, rice, or pasta.

If the chili is too thick, you can add beef broth, chicken broth or water to thin it out.

Chef’s Choice

Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker PRO 8.5 Quart Multi-Cooker

Chef’s Choice

Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker PRO 8.5 Quart Multi-Cooker

This post includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Slow cooker chili with shredded cheese and sour cream in a white bowl

Serve this delicious slow cooker with your favorite chili toppings. Sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions are some of my favorites.

This hearty chili can also be used to make chili dogs, tacos, burritos, or as a topping for burgers.

slow cooker chili served cincinnati style.

If you’ve never heard of Cincinnati chili, you have to try it. Serve the slow cooker chili over angel hair, spaghetti, or linguine, and top it with chopped onions, shredded cheddar, and sour cream.

You can also serve it over rice or your favorite grain.

Store any leftover chili, refrigerated, in an airtight container for 4-5 days, it’s actually more flavorful the next day. The chili freezes well and can be stored in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Recipe FAQ’s

Why is chili better in a slow cooker?

The low and slow method of cooking lets the flavors blend together, creating a rich and flavorful chili.

Do I have to brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker?

No, you don’t. But browning the meat in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker will help bring out its rich, savory flavors.

How long should I cook the chili in a slow cooker?

6-8 hours is the optimal time for cooking the chili. Low and slow will yield the best results.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Chili

Slow cooker chili is made with a mixture of beans, corn, tomatoes, ground beef, and seasonings. The slow cooking process creates a rich blend of flavors that your whole family will love.

Prevent your screen from going dark

Course: dinner, Entree, lunch or snack, Soup

Cuisine: American

Servings: 8

Calories: 918kcal

Author: Chef Ryan Littley

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups sweet onion finely chopped – white or red onion can be used
  • 1 tablespoon garlic finely minced
  • 1 lb ground beef lean 90/10
  • 28 oz tomato puree
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 28 0z crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz pink beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz corn canned or frozen – drained and rinsed if using canned
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder more or less to taste
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon table salt to taste
  • 2 bay leaves

Prevent your screen from going dark

Instructions

  • Place a large frying pan on the stove over medium-high heat.

  • Add olive oil to the pan and when the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until the onions are lightly cooked and tender.

  • Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until all the beef is browned. Stir the beef to break it up into small pieces while is cooking.

  • Set the slow cooker to the low setting for 6 hours.

  • Add the tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.

  • Add the pink beans, black beans, kidney beans, and corn to the mixture. Stir to combine.Before adding the beans drain and rinse them in cold water.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and bay leaves to the slow cooker and stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.*For a spicier chili, add additional chili powder, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper
  • Add the cooked ground beef to the tomato mixture and stir to combine.

  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and let the chili cook for 6 hours, stirring as needed.

  • Remove the chili from the slow cooker and serve with your favorite toppings, tortillas, rice, or pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 918kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 38g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 386mg | Potassium: 1497mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 792IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 8mg



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