This slow cooker chili recipe is the best dinner solution for busy work nights. This old-fashioned chili recipe is a perfect mixture of zesty tomatoes, hearty beans, and juicy ground meat.
My kids just love mopping the bowls clean with the cornbread I usually serve alongside this dish. It’ll definitely be a winner at the next neighborhood chili cook-off.
Slow Cooker Chili
This chili recipe is simple, but it definitely isn’t boring at all. In fact, there are so many spins you can put on your chili when you need something different.
Covering your bowl with creative toppings is a must. You can even change it into a different dish entirely, like a chili dog, chili mac and cheese, or even into a snack like chili cheese fries. You’re going to have a hard time choosing what to do!
Pro tip: don’t choose. Just make everything!
Chili for dinner definitely a comfort food option. It’s great for any day! But, rather than having to make chili from the can, this recipe ensures that you can definitely have this delicious homemade chili from scratch anytime you want.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s hurry and get the slow cooker started.
SLOW COOKER CHILI INGREDIENTS
Here are some of the absolutely essential ingredients for the perfect homemade chili. In this recipe, we use ground beef, but you can also switch it out with ground turkey:
- olive oil (or other cooking oil)
- bell pepper
- ground beef (I use 80/20)
- kidney beans
- chili hot beans
- diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- chili powder, divided
- onion powder
- brown sugar
- garlic powder
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER CHILI
How do you make this comforting slow cooked chili recipe? Dice up the onion, green peppers, and garlic into small chunks.
In a large pan, heat some oil and sauté the chopped onion, green peppers, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes.
Once the vegetables are caramelized, add in the ground meat and cook until it’s almost browned.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chili powder over the cooked meat and vegetables and keep cooking until the meat is fully done. You’re ready for the last steps of cooking your dinner.
WATCH THIS STEP-BY-STEP RECIPE VIDEO:
HOW LONG TO COOK SLOW COOKER CHILI
Now it’s time for the crock pot or the slow cooker.
Move the meat and the other ingredients to slow cooker and stir well to combine.
Cook your chili on low for 4 hours. Since you’re already cooking it in a slow cooker, feel free to keep in on warm after you’re done until you’re ready to eat.
No need to rush home after work!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SLOW COOKER CHILI
What can you serve with your hot, spicy chili? Chili is great on its own, but it could be taken to the next level with some toppings.
Some of the ones that instantly come to mind are shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, chopped red onions, bacon, or cilantro.
There are some more creative options too!
Try pickled jalapeno, for one! It adds acidity and heat that cuts through the meaty goodness of your chili.
Add some crunch with some crushed tortilla chips or saltine crackers.
Yogurt brings down the heat a bit, but if you want to turn it back up, hot sauce definitely works.
With so many options, there are so many variations. Set up a chili bar and just let your guests loose.
Who said chili nights can’t be creative and fun?
A perfect companion for this chili would be anything that could soak up the yummy spicy juice.
The classic options are your freshly baked cornbread and biscuits.
But besides eating with these wonderful carb options next to your chili, you can actually combine them and make a new dish.
Some of the best snacks are made with chili as a major component.
Grab a hotdog and transform it with a scoop for the best chili dogs. If you want chili cheese fries or nachos, you got it!
Who can resist the combination of hot chili, melty cheese, and a crispy, crunchy base?
For meal options, there are also plenty.
Cook some spaghetti and cover it with your freshly cooked chili.
Sprinkle some shredded cheese on it, and you have the perfect Cincinnati Chili. This is an iconic midwest dish I’m sure your family will love as well.
Stir a scoopful into some mac and cheese to make it comfort food...times two.
Load up a baked potato with some chili, sour cream, and shredded cheese, and you’ll have a full meal there.
You can also construct a sloppy joe with the chili you have and some hamburger buns.
You’ve got so many choices there, I don’t think you’ll run out of ideas anytime soon.
CAN YOU FREEZE SLOW COOKER CHILI?
Can you freeze slow cooker chili? Of course, you can. It’s actually ridiculously easy to freeze.
To properly prep your chili for freezing, let the rest of your chili cool. Separate the leftovers into batches in plastic containers or freezer bags, and just put them in the freezer.
It’s more convenient and organized to store in the freezer when the chili is separated in smaller portions.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge and then heat in a pot to a boil with the lid on so it doesn’t lose too much moisture.
Once your chili is piping hot, it’s ready for round 2! Don’t forget to bake some more of those biscuits!
Slow Cooker Chili
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil or other cooking oil
- 1 Onion
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 lbs ground beef I use 80/20
- 15.5 oz can Kidney Beans
- 15.5 oz can Chili Hot Beans
- 2 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes
- 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
- 3 tbsp Chili Powder divided
- 2 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- ½ tbsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tbsp Salt
- Dice onion, green peppers and garlic.
- Heat oil in a large pan and saute 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground beef and cook until almost browned.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chili powder over ground beef and continue cooking until the meat is done.
- Add meat and remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir well to combine.
- Cook on low for 4 hours.