This easy slow cooker chili is great because you can just set it, and forget it. Your dinner will be hot and ready when you get home, thanks to your slow cooker doing all the work!
Chili made in the crock pot is an easy dinner to make when you are busy. Just like white chicken chili verde, white beans and ham or calico beans, the slow cooker makes getting a hot, delicious meal on the table easy.
With a good crockpot chili recipe, you can put everything in the slow cooker and go about your day. Dinner will be ready when you are!
This chili also freezes well, so if you have a family of four, you'll have leftovers for another meal.
This chili can also be served over a baked potato or used for chili dogs.
What you need
For this kid-friendly chili recipe, you'll only need a few ingredients plus some seasonings to make an easy family dinner.
- ground beef
- crushed tomatoes
- green chilis
- red kidney beans
- spices: chili powder, cumin, onion powder smoked paprika
How to modify this recipe if needed.
- Ground beef - Instead of ground beef, use ground turkey for a leaner chili.
- Dark and light beans - Use any kind of bean you prefer. Besides kidney beans, black beans are a great choice for chili.
- Onion powder - We made this recipe for picky eaters but you can use a medium diced onion instead of onion powder. Brown the onions in the skillet with the meat before transferring to the slow cooker.
- Crushed tomatoes - If you like a more chunky tomato chili, use one can of crushed tomatoes and one can of diced tomatoes.
- Spices - Other spices to use are black pepper and cayenne pepper.
How to make it
Step 1: Brown the ground beef
Brown the ground beef in a skillet on the stovetop and drain any excess fat.
Step 2: Add ingredients to the slow cooker
Transfer the browned ground beef plus the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Step 3: Cook
Place the lid onto the slow cooker and set it to LOW for 4-6 hours.
Once the time is up, give the mixture a stir.
Make sure to give it a taste so that you can adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper if needed.
NOTE: If the chili is too thick, add ½ cup of water or beef broth to help thin it out. If it's too soupy, use a measuring cup to remove some of the excess liquid and give it a good stir. The chili will thicken up as it sits.
Favorite chili toppings
This chili is delicious on its own but you can make it taste even better by topping a bowl with:
- a dollop of sour cream
- shredded cheddar cheese
- diced green onion
- fresh cilantro
- corn chips
- green bell pepper
How to store it
Leftover chili can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop.
While you can put raw ground beef in a slow cooker, browning it beforehand gives the meat a much better texture in the final product.
Not only will browning develop the flavor of the beef, you will also be able to drain off excess fat before adding the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.
Chili that is cooked slowly is more flavorful because the slow cooking process helps to draw out the flavors from the seasonings.
Once the chili has finished cooking, you can keep it in the slow cooker on the WARM setting for up to 6 hours.
Most slow cooker models have a feature that will automatically change the setting from LOW to WARM when the time is up, but, if yours doesn't have this feature you will need to manually turn the temperature down to WARM when the cooking time is up.
More easy recipes to make in the slow cooker
Slow Cooker Chili
- 2 lbs. ground beef (or ground turkey)
- 1 ( 7 oz.) can diced green chilis
- 2 (15 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 (15 oz.) can light red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 (14 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups water (or beef stock)
- 3 tablespoons chili powder (hold back 1 tablespoon if you want a less spicy chili)
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- sliced green onions
- sliced jalapeños
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet on the stovetop. Drain excess fat. Transfer the beef to the insert of the slow cooker.
- Stir in the green chilis, beans, crushed tomatoes, water and seasonings. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
- Serve topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, diced green onions and/or jalapeños.