Slow Cooker Chili is rich and hearty with intense flavour and turns out perfect every single time!
Take regular chili to whole other another level with our slow cooker chili recipe. Sit down to a bowl full of tender meat, beans, optional sausage and a luscious sauce. Serve with tortilla chips, or go all out and make a batch of Easy Buttermilk Cornbread or Savory Skillet Cornbread.
SLOW COOKER CHILI RECIPE
Hours of low and slow cooking in a crock pot creates the best chili! Why? All of the flavours and spices marry into each other and the meat becomes incredibly tender, just the way a GREAT chili should be.
This is one of our family favourite easy dinners. So much so that we make this chili at least once a week! The family love it so much they almost always use leftovers for breakfast the next day with buttered toast. I say almost always because it usually disappears the day I make it, it’s THAT good.
The bonus of slow cooker chili?
- All around comfort food
- Hearty and filling
- Packed full of protein.
- Easy to make
- Food for the soul.
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CROCKPOT CHILI
- GROUND BEEF – Use 80/20 lean ground beef (mince).
- SAUSAGE – (this is an OPTIONAL ingredient). I use Angus beef sausages or Italian sausage. You can also use regular beef sausages, just remove meat from casing before browning. If you don’t want to add sausage, replace with extra ground beef.
- AROMATICS – onion, garlic and green bell pepper (capsicum). The beginnings of great flavour.
- TOMATOES – crushed or diced are both fine to use. Do not drain them.
- TOMATO SAUCE – adds a rich depth of flavour.
- GREEN CHILIES – if you can’t find diced green chilies, use jarred jalapeños.
- BEEF BOUILLON – flavours your chili without thinning it out with beef stock.
- SPICES – a classic combination to create chili greatness.
- COCOA POWDER – THE secret ingredient! Providing all of the richness and intense depth of flavour. (Don’t worry, you can’t taste it!)
- BEANS – we use black beans and red kidney beans. You can omit them if you wish.
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER CHILLI
This is not a ‘dump it all in your slow cooker’ recipe. As much as I appreciate the ease of that idea, you just miss out on the flavours created by browning your meat first and sautéing your aromatics. It truly makes all the difference! Yes, it’s an extra step, but it is so worth it. Once you’ve cooked your meat and veggies, you can dump everything into your slow cooker and let it take over.
The aromas drifting through your house will just about drive you nuts. You’ll be tempted to dig in early (been there, done that), and you can do after about 5 hours of slow cooking if temptation wins. 6,7 or 8 hours though…they are the magic numbers. The longer, the better.
TIP: use a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker.
HOW TO SERVE CHILI
Well, usually, our slow cooker chili stays put in the kitchen and it’s every man, woman and child for himself (or herself).
The best way to serve it, though?
- In individual serving bowls with complimentary toppings.
- With a side of tortilla chips, corn chips, cornbread, or even warmed up flatbreads.
SLOW COOKER CHILI TOPPINGS
There are so many options to top chili with. The BEST would have to be:
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- sliced green onions
- fresh chopped cilantro (or coriander)
- jalapeno slices
- diced or sliced avocado
HOW CAN I USE LEFTOVER CHILI?
- Chili Mac: Use leftover chili for our best Mac and Cheese recipe!
- Chili Dogs: Pour over hot dogs.
- Pasta: Boil your favourite pasta and add it as you would bolognese!
- Baked Potatoes: spoon into potatoes and serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, etc.
- Chili fries: over hot chips with melted cheese
MORE EASY CHILI RECIPES!
Slow cooker chili with tender meat is rich and robust with intense flavours. An easy chili recipe that turns out perfect every single time!
Serves: 8 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
- 1 pound (500 g) lean ground beef mince
- 1 pound (500 g) beef sausage, (Angus beef or Italian sausage)
- 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, (400 g)
- 1 (24 oz) bottle tomato sauce (American) ((700 g Passata for Aussies)
- 1 (4 oz) can green chilies, (or 120 g jalapeños)
- 2 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (adjust to your tastes)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (adjust to your tastes)
- 1 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (425 g)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed (425 g)
- sour cream
- cheddar cheese
- green onions
- fresh chopped cilantro
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and green peppers (or capsicum) for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (30 seconds). Transfer mixture into a 6-quart (litre) slow cooker bowl.
Fry beef and sausage until browned. Drain off most of the fat, reserving about 2 tablespoons of fat with the beef; transfer meat into slow cooker bowl. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilies, bouillon, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and sugar. Season with pepper to taste.
Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours if time allows, (or high heat for 2 hours).
- Stir beans through and allow them to warm through (about 2 minutes). Serve with desired toppings and sides: cornbread, corn chips, tortilla chips, crackers.
Chili can be made 2 days ahead. After cooking, allow to cool completely, cover and refrigerate. On the day of cooking, take out of the refrigerator at least an hour before heating.
Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 891IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 3mg