The BEST Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

Nothing beats a warm bowl of chili, especially in the cooler months! This Slow Cooker Chili is super easy to throw together, and simmered low and slow for 5 hours! A quick and easy make-ahead meal that makes tons of leftovers! It’s freezer-friendly as well, and perfect for other fun foods like nachos and chili dogs. This easy, kid-friendly chili recipe will make weeknight dinners a breeze!

We love making healthy chili recipes at home! For something a little lighter, try our Slow Cooker Turkey Chili, and if you want to skip the meat, our Vegetarian Quinoa Chili is a quick and easy stovetop dinner you will love!

Easy Beef Slow Cooker Chili | chefsavvy.comI absolutely love chili. It’s super hearty, meaty, rich, and thick. Chili is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect for lazy fall and winter days, I find that chili is even better in a slow cooker. This easy chili recipe takes little to no effort and tastes amazing. Cooking it low and slow really allows the flavor to develop and the chili to thicken.

This is truly the best Slow Cooker Chili! It’s super healthy and loaded with vegetables like onions and tomatoes, and plenty of protein including ground beef and two types of beans: red kidney beans and black beans. The chili is super filling and hearty and will keep you satisfied throughout the day.

Recipes that come together in minutes are my go-to for busy nights during the week or weekend, and this slow cooker chili recipe is just that. Take 10 minutes to throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, and 5 hours later (or longer if you want to leave it!) this delicious healthy dinner recipe is ready to eat! If you have leftovers, check out my suggestions below, or freeze the leftover chili for next week!

Homemade Slow Cooker Chili Ingredients

  • Beef: Ground beef is the classic ingredient for this recipe, however you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option.
  • Onions and garlic: Onion and garlic add a ton of flavor and nutrition!
  • Tomatoes: Most of the sauce is made of tomatoes. I used 2 cans of crushed tomatoes which are the perfect consistency to this slow cooker chili recipe!
  • Water: Did I mention that this chili is THICK? Adding a little water helps to (literally) water it down a little.
  • Seasoning: Oregano, chili powder, and ground cumin give this slow cooker chili the classic comforting chili flavor.
  • Cocoa powder: Cocoa adds a rich depth and is absolutely delicious in this recipe. It feels really indulgent!
  • Chipotle chili powder: This adds both smokiness and spice to the dish. It’s SO good! Feel free to substitute chilies in adobo sauce if you have that on hand instead!
  • Beans: Both kidney beans and black beans are added to make this chili even more filling. Plenty of healthy, plant-based protein to keep you satisfied!

How to Make Chili in a Slow Cooker

This chili is super easy to throw together and only takes 10 minutes of prep time.

  1. Prep the beef and onion: Firstly, heat a large skillet with olive oil, and then add in ground beef and onion. Cook until meat is browned and no longer pink. Drain off the excess grease.
  2. Add them to the slow cooker: Secondly, add the ground beef and onion mixture to a slow cooker.
  3. Throw in everything except the beans: Next, add in the rest of the ingredients except the beans.
  4. Cook! Cook the chili on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. 30 minutes before serving add in the beans.
  5. Season: Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve: Finally, serve immediately with your favorite toppings!

Best Slow Cooker Chili | chefsavvy.com

How Long Should I Cook Chili in a Slow Cooker

Cook the chili on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. 30 minutes before serving I add in the beans to heat them through. This ensures they are still nice and firm and aren’t mushy.

How do I store the leftovers?

  • Fridge: Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: This chili recipe is great for meal planning and freezing! Freeze it in an airtight container or ziploc freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw it completely at room temperature before following the reheating instructions.
  • Reheat: When you’re ready to reheat the food, heat it in a pot on the stove until it’s piping hot. If it turns out to be too thick, add a little water.

Easy Bean Slow Cooker Chili | chefsavvy.com

How do I serve this recipe?

The options are (nearly) endless, but here are some of my favorite ways to eat slow cooker chili:

Toppings:

  • Shredded cheese (I like cheddar)
  • Sour Cream
  • Green Onions
  • Tortilla Chips (on top or underneath)
  • Avocado slices

Sides

Recipes to add this slow cooker chili to:

What is the best secret ingredient for chili?

I have two secret ingredients for this recipe:

  • Cocoa Powder: This adds an amazing richness to chili. Who knew that adding a little chocolate to dinner could be so good?!
  • Chipotle chili powder: A kick of spice and a hint of smoke is what Chipotle chili powder brings here. However, if I can’t find it in powder form I use adobo chilies instead.

Crockpot Chili | chefsavvy.com

Love this Slow Cooker Chili? Here are some more Mexican inspired recipes to try!

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Slow Cooker Chili

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Slow Cooker Chili simmered low and slow for 4 hours! A quick and easy make ahead meal that makes tons of leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder you can substitute chilies in adobo sauce as well. Add to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

For serving

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet with olive oil.
  • Add in ground beef and onion. Cook until meat is browned and no longer pink. Drain excess grease.
  • Add the ground beef and onion mixture to a slow cooker.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients except the beans.
  • Cook the chili on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. 30 minutes before serving add in the beans.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!

Recipe Notes

Original recipe from chefsavvy.com. Please do not publish my recipe or pictures without linking back to the original post. Thank you!

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 149mg6%
Potassium 645mg18%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 820IU16%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 55mg6%
Iron 5.4mg30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Slow Cooker Chili

 

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