Fall is in the air and that means one thing - chili season is officially here! There are endless recipes for chili, but this is hands down The Best Crock Pot Chili recipe out there. It's simple to make, packed with flavor, and best of all, it cooks slowly all day in your Crock Pot so you can come home to a delicious meal!
Nothing says cooler weather is on the way, like a comforting bowl of chili. Chili is filled with protein and fiber and is the perfect meal to warm you up on a chilly day.
This slow cooker chili is packed with flavor, thanks to a combination of ground beef, diced tomatoes, beans, and various spices. And best of all, it's made in the slow cooker, so you can set it and forget it!
Why is it the best slow cooker chili recipe? It's hearty and filling but can easily be tailored to your liking. Don't like things too spicy? Leave out the jalapeños. Want a little more flavor? Add in some extra garlic, or spice it up with a tablespoon of chili powder.
The best part about making chili is that it's very forgiving, so experiment until you find your perfect combination!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This recipe doesn't require any fancy ingredients. Everything can be found at your local grocery store!
- This chili is perfect for a busy weeknight. Just set it and forget it!
- You can customize the seasonings and the ingredients to make it your own.
- Serve with various toppings like shredded cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, or green onions.
- This recipe makes a large batch, perfect for leftovers or for feeding a crowd.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Lean Ground Beef - Gives the chili its classic beefy flavor without adding too much fat or grease to the mixture.
- Chili Vegetables - A mix of fresh garlic, onion, green pepper, and jalapeno all work together to add aromatic flavor to the chili, along with texture and nutrients.
- Ketchup - Adds acidic tomato flavor along with a hint of sweetness.
- Tomatoes - You'll need a mix of canned diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes to give this soup body and texture. Tomato paste is also added to enhance the rich tomato flavor.
- Canned Beans - Pinto beans and kidney beans add a rich source of fiber, protein, and texture to the chili.
- Beef Broth - Helps thin out the liquid portion of the chili while enhancing its beefy flavor.
- Brown Sugar - Cuts through any spice by adding a contrasting deep, sweet flavor.
- Chili Seasonings - A mix of salt, ground black pepper, paprika, cumin, and chili powder all come together to season the chili with a savory and smoky flavor.
How To Make Chili In The Crock Pot
Prepare the ground beef: Add the ground beef and onion to a large skillet on the stovetop. Saute the mixture over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes or until the meat has browned. Drain any excess fat, then add it to the bottom of the slow cooker.
Assemble ingredients: To the ground beef, add the ketchup, chopped vegetables, beans, brown sugar, spices, beans, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top of the crock pot and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours and LOW for 6-8 hours.
Remove and serve: Once the flavors have come together, ladle them into bowls and serve with your favorite chili toppings. Enjoy!
- The beef must be cooked and browned BEFORE adding it to the crock pot because otherwise, it will add a greasy texture to the chili.
- Add a can of tomato soup or tomato sauce to the mixture if you want a thicker chili. For a thinner chili, add an extra can of beef broth or water.
- This recipe can also be made in the Instant Pot! Brown the beef using SAUTE mode, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure naturally for best results.
- Drain the canned beans fully in order to avoid the canning liquid from mixing into the chili.
- Use your favorite chili seasoning packet instead of individual spices if you have one or two on hand.
- For vegetarian chili, omit the beef and double the amount of beans called for in the recipe.
- Add other types of vegetables to the chili, including corn, carrots, celery, or zucchini.
- Make it spicy by adding extra jalapenos, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper. You can also add a can of dice green chilies.
- Instead of ground beef, try using other types of meat, including ground pork, turkey, chicken, or sausage.
- Shredded cheese
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream
- Green onion
- Pickled jalapeno
- Bacon bits
- Pico de gallo
- Crushed tortilla chips
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to one week.
Freezing: This chili can also be frozen for up to three months! Be sure to let it cool completely before portioning it into freezer-safe bags or containers. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
You can, but the texture will be different than if you brown the beef first. It will also release more fat into the chili, which can make it greasy.
Yes, this recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled! Just be sure to use a larger crock pot if increasing the batch size.
We recommend low because it gives the flavors more time to meld together and develop. However, if you’re short on time, cooking on high for a shorter period will also work.
You could use fresh chopped tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, or even tomato soup.
The Best Crock Pot Chili
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1 jalapeno (seeded and finely diced)
- 3 tsp garlic (minced)
- 1 green pepper (seeded and diced)
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2½ cups beef broth
- 1½ tbsp brown sugar
- 1½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- Add ground beef and onion to a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute for 6-7 minutes until browned. Drain off excess fat and add to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Put remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and stir until well combined.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.