This slow cooker chili recipe is perfect for families with picky eaters. No need to worry about picking out chunks of onions and tomatoes for the kiddos. The secret to great tasting chili is all in the seasoning!
The ingredients only take a few minutes to prepare so you can "set it and forget it".
Come home to a hot dinner that's ready when you are. Let your slow cooker do all the work!
Family favorite slow cooker chili recipe
This chili recipe is especially great for people who don't like onions in their chili. Onion powder gives you all the onion flavor you need without having to spend the extra painstaking time having to pick every piece of onion from the bowl.
Moms and dads, can you feel me?
A good slow cooker recipe allows you to put everything in the crock-pot and go get what you need done while dinner slowly cooks away. It will be there in the kitchen, patiently waiting, until you're ready to gather the family for dinner.
Chili also freezes great so if you have a family of four, this recipe will give you leftovers for another dinner or lunch. Bonus!
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
See recipe card for quantities.
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.
How to make it
Brown the ground beef in a skillet on the stovetop and drain any excess fat. Transfer the browned ground beef plus the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, stir to combine and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
Give it a stir, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. It's that easy!
Hint: If your chili ends up too thick, add ½ cup of water or beef broth to help thin it out. If it's too soupy, just 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.
What to put in chili to make it taste better
This chili is delicious on its own but you can make it taste even better by topping it with cool sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced green onion, avocado and/or jalapeños.
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.