We love a great chili recipe served with a chunk of cornbread and our favorite toppings.
This crockpot chili recipe combines browned beef, tomatoes, and beans in a hearty seasoned tomato broth. It simmers effortlessly in the slow cooker all day.
Rainy days, snowy days, busy days, any day is a good day for a hot and hearty meal from the slow cooker! We love it for dinner and it reheats and freezes well for meals throughout the week.
A Favorite Crock Pot Chili Recipe
This is a very simple beef chili recipe made in the Crockpot without a lot of extras; just beef, onions, seasoning, and flavor.
- This recipe makes a big batch, great for large families, to feed a crowd, or if you’d like leftovers!
- It’s budget friendly and a great way to stretch a meal.
- Chili is famous for being a completely different recipe anywhere you go, we love this one because it has the heartiest ingredients and is relatively simple.
- Chili is healthy with lots of lean beef, veggies and beans.
- The crock pot makes this so easy. Crock-Pot chili can simmer all day and will be ready when you are!
Set out small bowls of add-ins, toppings, and shredded cheese so everyone can DIY! Fave toppings include black olives, green chilis, jalapenos, sour cream, guacamole, nacho cheese sauce, salsa, and chopped onions. For the not-so-faint-at-heart, set out a bottle or two of mild and hot sauce.
Crock Pot Chili Ingredients
While I do make a classic chili recipe on the stovetop, this slow cooker chili recipe is amazing for busy days! We love coming home to a ready meal and crock pot dishes are great in the warmer months too with no need to turn on the oven or stove.
Chili can be adapted to whatever you have or love! Some believe chili should be all beans (chili sin carne) or all meat (chili con carne) and as far as I’m concerned, there’s no wrong way to make chili.
SAUCE: This recipe is all about the foundations of the rich tomato sauce so that anything added to it will taste great!
MEAT: Seasoned ground beef is the meat of choice for this recipe, however, ground turkey or chicken can be added. Choose a lean beef with a little bit of fat but not too much.
VEGGIES: This recipe keeps the veggies simple with just onions and a bit of green pepper. You can add extra veggies if you’d like but we really do love this recipe as is!
BEANS: While we skip the beans when making Texas chili, we do love kidney beans in this version. They are large, firm, and hold up well with the other hearty ingredients. Other good beans to use are black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, or white beans. Rinse canned beans in cold water before using.
SEASONING: The seasoning is what chili legends are made of! Generous amounts of chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika give chili that deep, savory, smoky flavor. In this recipe, I double up the seasonings and mix some right into the meat before cooking.
Spice it up a bit more jalapenos, extra chili powder, or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
How to Make Crock Pot Chili
Crockpot chili is as easy as 1, 2, 3, and it’s ready to eat when the family returns home!
- Brown seasoned beef with onions and garlic in a skillet.
- Drain fat, add beer, and simmer until evaporated.
- Place cooked beef and all remaining ingredients in a slow cooker and cook per the recipe below.
No Beer?! No problem! While you can’t taste the beer in the recipe (and the alcohol cooks off) but it really does add an amazing layer of flavor to this recipe. If you don’t have beer, you can substitute extra beef broth or try an alcohol free beer if you prefer.
Tips & Tricks
- Add half of the seasoning mix to the beef before cooking for extra flavor.
- Beer is recommended but if needed, you can skip it or substitute beef broth.
- You can add vegetables to this recipe if you’d like. Diced bell peppers, zucchini, and halved mushrooms are all great added to crockpot chili. Veggies contain water so you might like to precook them or leave the lid off the slow cooker for the last while of cooking.
- To thicken leave the lid off the Crockpot and let some of the liquid evaporate. Or make a slurry of equal amounts of water and corn starch in a jar. Shake the jar until the slurry is blended then slowly stir it into the chili (you might not need all of it).
- This recipe is perfect for doubling, ensure it fits in your slow cooker (which shouldn’t be more than 3/4 full).
Put out toppings and let everyone create their own bowl! Our favorite chili toppings include tortilla chips, Fritos or corn chips, cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, fresh cilantro, and jalapenos.
Keep leftover Crockpot chili covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop. Freeze portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 8 weeks.
More Chili Favorites
- White Turkey Chili – slow cooker or stovetop
- Cincinnati Chili – served over spaghetti noodles
- Turkey Chili
- The Best Chili Recipe – a reader fave
- Texas Chili – no beans
- Green Chili
- Homemade Lentil Chili Recipe – a vegetarian version
Did you make this Crockpot Chili Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Easy Crock Pot Chili Recipe
- 3 pounds lean ground beef *see note
- 2 medium onions diced, ½-inch
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can or bottle light beer approx. 12 oz
- 28 ounces whole tomatoes with juice
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 medium green bell pepper ½" diced, optional
- 14 ounces tomato sauce
- 15 ounces kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Combine half the seasoning mixture with ground beef and mix until well combined.
- Brown ground beef*, onions, and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any fat. Add beer and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Combine beef mixture and all remaining ingredients, including remaining seasoning, in a slow cooker. If desired slightly mash the whole tomatoes.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low 7-8 hours. Once cooked, remove the lid and let cool slightly before serving.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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