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Crockpot Chili

close up overhead shot of Crockpot Chili in a crockpot
Incredibly flavorful, full of protein, and very filling, this crockpot chili needs to be added to your dinner rotation when it is chilly outside.
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Table of Contents
  1. CROCKPOT CHILI INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS CROCKPOT CHILI RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Coming home to the smell of this hot crockpot chili bubbling away is the definition of comfort. Cozy, warm, and hearty, a big bowl of this easy recipe featuring saucy ground beef and tender vegetables is the perfect way to end a cold day.

You can’t go wrong with a big bowl of chili. We can help you out with several variations, including our cornbread chili casserole and our classic chili

CROCKPOT CHILI INGREDIENTS

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can of kidney beans
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can of chili hot beans
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder, divided
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon of salt

PRO TIP:

Chili hot beans are a variety of beans you can find in the canned beans aisle of most grocery stores. If you can’t find these chili beans or don’t wish to use them, you can substitute them with another can of kidney beans.

While buying a bulb of garlic would be the freshest option, I often keep a jar of already minced garlic in my fridge to add to recipes calling for garlic cloves. Either option will work for this recipe.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

VEGETABLES: Homemade chili is such a flexible recipe. You can add any vegetables that you enjoy in chili, including red bell peppers, celery, carrots, or corn. You can also add more beans to replace the meat. Add another variety such as black beans, pinto beans, or more kidney beans.

MEAT: In place of the ground beef, you could easily substitute another ground meat such as ground turkey or ground porks in this great recipe.

TOPPINGS: Chili is not complete, in my opinion, without shredded cheddar cheese on top right before serving. Cheddar or a nacho blend would be the best choice. Other favorite toppings include a dollop of sour cream or crushed corn chips, or tortilla chips.

SPICE: Chili is a great recipe to spice up. Add a dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce for an extra kick in this easy crockpot recipe.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS CROCKPOT CHILI RECIPE

STEP ONE: Dice the onion, green peppers and garlic.

STEP TWO: Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes.

STEP THREE: Add the ground beef and cook until almost browned. Drain any excess grease.

PRO TIP:

For an even quicker cooking time, ground beef can be cooked ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. Once the veggies are sauteed for this recipe, you can toss in the already browned meat to warm and then add the chili powder.

STEP FOUR: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chili powder over the ground beef and continue cooking until the meat is done.

STEP FIVE: Add the meat mixture and the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir well to combine.

STEP SIX: Let chili cook on low for 4 hours.

HOW TO SERVE

Serve this crockpot chili con carne piping hot in a bowl or even a fun bread bowl. Top with shredded cheese, and you’ll have the ultimate comfort food. Add a caesar salad on the side for a bit of fresh greens and cheese biscuits, or our cornbread on the side is a must to mop up all of that delicious sauce in the bowl.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store this homemade crockpot chili in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: This hearty slow cooker chili freezes extremely well and can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.

I can’t think of a more comforting and mouth-watering meal on a cold night than a warm pot of chili. This is the best chili recipe with all of those rich flavors mingling together and slowly simmering until ready to serve. Toss a batch in your crockpot today, and you will have a tasty and filling meal at dinnertime to warm up the whole family.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Can you overcook chili in a crockpot?

A: You can cook chili for up to 8 hours in the crockpot, but any longer and the meat and beans will become overcooked.

Q: How do you thicken chili in a crockpot?

A: The easiest way to thicken chili in a crockpot is to add cornmeal. Add one tablespoon and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Q: What should I serve with this easy chili recipe?

A: Crockpot chili goes well with cornbread or dinner rolls on the side. Add a side salad for a fresh side.

​​Q: How do I store chili?

A: Leftover chili can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up overhead shot of Crockpot Chili in a crockpot

Crockpot Chili

5 from 20 votes
Incredibly flavorful, full of protein, and very filling, this crockpot chili needs to be added to your dinner rotation when it is chilly outside.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef I use 80/20
  • 15.5 ounces kidney beans
  • 15.5 ounces chili hot beans
  • 29 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder divided
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Dice onion, green peppers, and garlic.
  • Heat oil in a large pan and sauté 2 to 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.

Video

Notes

PRO TIP: Chili hot beans are a variety of beans you can find in the canned beans aisle of most grocery stores. If you can’t find these chili beans or don’t wish to use them, you can substitute them with another can of kidney beans.
 
PRO TIP: While buying a bulb of garlic would be the freshest option, I often keep a jar of already minced garlic in my fridge to add to recipes calling for garlic cloves. Either option will work for this recipe.
 
PRO TIP: For an even quicker cooking time, ground beef can be cooked ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. Once the veggies are sauteed for this recipe, you can toss in the already browned meat to warm and then add the chili powder.

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 900mg | Potassium: 971mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 6mg
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  1. Treena says

    5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for simple slow cooker recipes that my family will enjoy. This was a hit! Made chili fries the following day with the leftovers.

  2. Lloyd Rhodes says

    5 stars
    Just what I was looking for. When I make chili it is in a large metal pot. When it is cooling down after being made it always sticks to the bottom of the pot. I should have taken a lesson from my Uncle Carr. For as long as I have know him all he ever ate was chili and he used a slow cooker. This may sound a bit strange…That slow cooker was never empty for years.

    ps – I personally put 1 or 2 tbs (s) of corn meal in mine to thicken it up. I have been told corn starch does the same trick though.

  3. Skip Burch says

    5 stars
    Delicious! The only thing that I did different was to add a can of refried beans. That gives the chilli more flavor and helps to thicken it up.

  4. Jacky says

    This was so good. I sautéed an arm roast then cut it into pieces and used 1 lb of ground beef (80/20) I used 2 medium onions instead of 1 large onion. And a yellow, orange and jalapeño pepper for extra kick. I threw in a mix of reduced sodium from McCormack’s for chili. And a 1/4 cup of salsa herdez. It was a hit! Also, I didn’t have onion powder so I went with flakes instead.

    Thanks for putting this recipe together!

    • Layne Kangas says

      It’s not overly spicy at all – it has a nice, rich, balanced flavor! If you’re concerned about spice, you could add less spices if you’re super sensitive. Enjoy!

  5. Michelle Lynn Bonds says

    This is a fantastic recipe!!! The best one so far, one thing I can’t find as I go over this again and again is how do you/I freeze the leftovers of Chilli’s? Being a 2 person household, hubby and I, unless kids, grandkids, great grandkids come over we always have leftovers and eat as long as we can. I’m always looking for new yummy foods to make, I always hope there is a way to freeze for later!!!

    • Layne Kangas says

      I would put it in a freezer-safe bag or container once it’s room temperature and then store inside your freezer. It should last for two to three months. I would put it in the fridge to thaw before you’re ready to serve and then heat up on the stove or in the microwave.

  6. Tamara says

    Who doesn’t like beans….my husband and son. My daughter and I both love them. Is it possible to do without the beans? if so, what could I replace the beans hot chili with so I don’t lose the flavor. I truly don’t like to change recipes but this sounds so wonderful….

    • Alison says

      My brother always said he didn’t like beans… but it seems he just didn’t like the sight/texture of them because mom would always purée them in a food processor and stir them into the chili. That way the spicy hot chili bean flavor was still there, but my brother didn’t have to see them (or even know they were in there). Also, with the beans puréed, it helped thicken the chili. So this may work for you, unless they truly dislike the flavor of beans.😊

  7. Kathy says

    I have this chili in the crockpot as I type. Made just as recipe describes. I little worried it not being enough liquid. Will add more sauce in the future. However ur pics look perfect so I don’t know. 8 oz of sauce to two lbs of beef seems short. What are ur thoughts.

  8. Dannah says

    5 stars
    1st time making chili and it was very good! This recipe was very helpful and it was very easy to make as well! Made this for my boyfriend and he and our other family members loved it! Will definitely follow and make this recipe again.

  9. Lauren says

    If I wanted to add baking soda to this, when should I do it? While I cook the meat? Or stir it in with all the other spices / ingredients?

  10. Vanessa says

    I made this and came out so delicious! But I was going crazy trying to find chili hot beans. What do you suggest for next time?

      • Liz McMahon says

        5 stars
        I love this recipe!!! With the crockpot my house smells so wonderful!! I added a can of whole kernel sweet corn to the crock pot. Next time I am also going to do 1lb of ground pork and 1lb of ground beef for a little bit of a difference. This is wonderful and gluten free which is so helpful because I have 2 children with Celiac Disease. Thank you!!!! ❤️💜❤️

  11. Sandra Racine says

    5 stars
    Thank You for this recipe, I made it will a slight adjustment…. I put in Pinto Beans instead of Kidney Beans and it still came out really delicious. Best chili I have ever had. I put in the pinto beans because my husband and I really don’t like kidney beans.

    Sandra Racine

  12. Heather says

    Hi!
    Why is the stove top recipe different than the crock pot version? Can I use the stove top recipe in my crock pot?

  13. Hannah says

    Hello!
    I’ve made this chili before but I’m forgetting if I should strain/rinse the beans or pour the whole can in with the liquids. I’m also trying to tone down the spice for my toddler so tips for which spices to slim back on would be great!

  14. Nadia says

    5 stars
    Jan 1/2021- Made this tonight and it came out amazing. I was nervous as I’ve always used the chilli seasoning in a packet. Wasn’t sure how if this would turn out successful. I’m glad I decided to try this recipe. Delicious, delicious, delicious!!!!

  15. Leisey says

    I made this for the first time last night. I didn’t have enough time to cook for 4 hours so, I’ve decided to use my instant pot & put it on pressure cooker for about 5 min then back to slow cook for another 30 min. Also, I’ve added a little bit of oregano & beef bouillon & it was so delicious. Family love it…this is definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  16. Kelsey says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I’ve made it multiple times and it never disappoints. I just have one question: do you drain the beans before adding them to the mix or include that bean…juice…with it? I always drain them but I’m curious if you recommend otherwise.

  17. Janelle says

    i only have 1 can of diced tomatoes, would that still work? what should i substitute it with?
    and also don’t have hot chili beans :/

  18. Stephanie says

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. I usually use more ground beef and use two cans of sauce and two cans of diced tomatoes. I add some celery as well. Delicious!

  19. Katalin says

    5 stars
    Been using this recipe for several years for my husbands fishing trip ! Lots of picky men there and this recipe is perfect! (I omit the green pepper to please their pickiness and I usually double the recipe , I don’t double all the seasonings but definitely add extra! I use pinto and light red kidney beans and a little extra brown sugar ! Oh and since I double the recipe I usually drain all the cans of beans n tomatoes so it fits in the pot. ) thanks much!

  20. Felicia says

    5 stars
    This recipe was a HIT! I used 1 can of diced tomatoes- substitute for more tomato sauce. Added a can of beef broth (as I drain the beans). Used 1.20 pounds of ground beef and 1 pound of ground pork. Skipped the Chilli beans and used pinto. Added a tiny bit more Chilli powder and added some corn! I will DEFINITELY be making this again!

  21. Sara says

    5 stars
    Currently pregnant and have been craving constantly. I usually just go get Wendy’s chili but decided to try this recipe out and I was so pleased. It tastes very close to the stuff from Wendy’s except you actually know what’s going into it and you get to have a ton of leftovers. Bonus: my very picky husband and 18 month old son loved it too! Will be making again.

  22. April D Kapanowski says

    5 stars
    I make basically the same crock pot chili, with a little bit easier twist to it. Instead of the onions, green peppers and tomato sauce…..I do a jar of chunky salsa. It has everything in it… NO CHOPPING. And you can omit the sugar if you want. 🥣

  23. Lue says

    5 stars
    My go to recipe for chili. I do add more chili powder, use fire roasted tomatoes and sometimes throw in a de-seeded jalapeño. A batch of homemade cornbread makes a wonderful dinner!

  24. Amy says

    5 stars
    I just tried this recipe and it is AMAZING!

    I highly recommend it to anyone that feels like a feel-good tasty Chili. But if you do have young ones be sure to dial back on the Chili powder.

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