Slow Cooked Chili

8 servings
3 hr 30 min

Easy Slow Cooked Chili is simple to make and packed full of flavor. Plus, you can make this either on the stove top or in your slow cooker.

Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s super versatile with ingredients and flavors, and it reheats well during the week for easy dinners or lunches. That’s a win in my book!


This easy chili is also a perfect game day or party food. If you make it in the slow cooker, it’s easy to keep warm, so people can simply serve themselves when they are hungry. I would definitely put this chili on the menu for a Super Bowl party. I’m all about being able to enjoy my guests and not being stuck in the kitchen any more than I need to.


Ready to cook up some easy and delicious homemade chili? Let’s do this!


FAQS:

How long do you cook chili?Chili is best cooked long and slow. Whether it’s in a slow cooker or Dutch oven, a long simmer at low heat really helps to develop flavor. I like to simmer it for at 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

What are the best spices to put in chili?Chili powder and cumin are in most chili recipes. Other optional spices include: cayenne, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, aleppo pepper, or red pepper flakes. It really depends on the amount of spice you want. Chipotle powder, cayenne, and red pepper flakes will all give you a spicier chili. Start with less, and add more to taste. It’s easier to add spice than it is to take it away.

How long can I store leftover chili?Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Chili also freezes very well. Store it in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.


INGREDIENTS FOR RECIPE:

  • Red bell pepper: Adds flavor and color.
  • Red onion: More antioxidants than white or yellow onions.
  • Garlic: I suggest fresh minced garlic.
  • Ground beef : Some people prefer diced beef chuck, which is also delicious in chili.
  • Kidney beans: Some people like to add them, some don’t.
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes: More flavor that plain diced tomatoes
  • Beef broth: Base of the chili
  • Chili powder: A must for chili.
  • Cumin: Also a must for chili.
  • Cacao powder: My secret ingredient for more depth of flavor.
  • Smoked paprika: Adds a smoky flavor.
  • Chipotle powder: Adds both heat and smoky flavor.


HOW TO PREPARE EASY SLOW COOKED CHILI:

Slow Cooker Chili


Note: My slow cooker has a sauté function, which allows me to brown both the veggies and the meat right in the insert. If your slow cooker doesn’t have this function, sauté the vegetables and ground beef in a large skillet on the stove, then add to the slow cooker, and follow remaining directions.


  • Set the slow cooker to the brown or sauté setting (depending on your model). Drizzle about a tablespoon of avocado olive oil in the insert of your slow cooker. While the slow cooker is heating, dice your onion and pepper. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker and cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic, and continue to cook for about 2 more minutes.
  • Add the ground beef to the insert, and cook, breaking into small pieces with the spatula, until no longer pink. When cooked through, drain any excess liquid from the meat.
  • Cancel the sauté function, and turn the slow cooker’s setting to low slow cook. Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and chipotle powder. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the kidney beans, and cook on low for another hour. At this point, the chili is ready, and all you need to do is turn the slow cooker to keep warm, so your guests can serve themselves.

Dutch Oven Chili


  • Begin by dicing your onion and red pepper. Set a Dutch oven to heat on a medium-high burner with a drizzle of avocado oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic, and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  • Once the veggies have softened add the ground meat, stirring frequently to break the meat into small pieces. Cook for about 10 minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Turn the heat to low, and drain any excess liquid from the Dutch oven.
  • Return the pan to the stove, and add the tomatoes, beef broth and spices. Cover with a lid, and cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally. Add the kidney beans, and cook another hour on low.
  • The chili is now ready to eat, and can be left on simmer until your guests are ready to serve themselves. I will sometimes leave it covered, and turned off when I use my cast iron Dutch oven, as it holds the heat well. If it starts to lose heat, simply turn the burner back to simmer.
Prep your vegetables.
Sauté about 7-8 minutes.
Add beef, and continue to sauté until no longer pink.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Optional toppings: sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, cilantro or parsley, sliced radishes, chopped green onion, chopped avocado, or broken tortilla chips.


  • Serve with cornbread on the side.
  • Use to make the ultimate chili dogs.
  • Top a baked potato or sweet potato.
  • Try mixing with mac ’n cheese.


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INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Ground beef: Ground chicken or turkey. (Make it vegetarian with meatless crumbles.)
  • Beef broth: Vegetable broth
  • Chipotle Powder: Cayenne
  • Smoked paprika: Aleppo pepper or sweet paprika
  • Cacao powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder


RECIPE NOTES:

  • This recipe was originally published November 7, 2016, but has recently been updated with new photos, recipe tips, and cooking steps.
  • Pink Himalayan salt is lower in sodium than regular table salt and contains more minerals.
  • I love my Slow Cooker Multi-Cooker. It has multiple functions that allow for browning right in the insert rather than having to dirty an extra plan.
  • A Dutch oven is also perfect for one pot recipes like this.


Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or a review in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Are you following along on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook?


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Recipe details

  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 3 Hours Total time: 3 hr 30 min
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Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 29 ounces red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 29 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

Instructions

Multicooker

Begin by dicing your onion and red pepper. Next, turn the dial on the mulitcooker to “brown,” and let heat for about three minutes. Add a drizzle of avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil), then add the diced peppers and onions. Cook for about five minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften, then add the garlic, and cook for two more minutes. Add the ground beef, and cook for about ten minutes while breaking the meat into small pieces. When the meat is no longer pink, press “cancel,” and drain the excess liquid from the insert.
Return the insert to the base. Add the tomatoes, broth, and spices. Turn the dial to “slow cook,” and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans, and continue to cook on low for about an hour. At this point, the chili is ready, and all you need to do is keep it warm until your guests are ready to serve themselves.
I like to keep some fun toppings on hand for people to add. Cilantro, cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, crushed tortilla chips. The chili is also fantastic with cornbread to dip, or simply scoop the chili right on top of cornbread in the bowl.

Slow Cooker

Drizzle about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of your slow cooker, and turn to high. While the slow cooker is heating, dice your onion and pepper, and cook in the slow cooker for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic half way through, and stir occasionally for even cooking. (Or, simply cook the veggies in a large skillet with the ground meat.)
Meanwhile, brown the meat to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meat, breaking into small pieces with the spatula, until no longer pink. When cooked through, drain any excess liquid from the meat.
Once the veggies are soft, add the meat to the slow cooker, and turn to low. Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable (or beef) broth, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and chipotle powder. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the kidney beans, and cook on low for about an hour. At this point, the chili is ready, and all you need to do is turn it to keep warm, so your guests can serve themselves.

Stove top

Begin by dicing your onion and red pepper. Set a Dutch oven to heat on a medium-high burner with a drizzle of avocado or extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and pepper, and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic, and cook for about two more minutes.
Once the veggies have softened add the ground meat, stirring frequently to break the meat into small pieces. Cook for about ten minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Turn the heat to low, and drain any excess liquid from the Dutch oven.
Return the pan to the stove, and add the tomatoes, broth and spices. Cover with a lid, and cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally. Add the kidney beans, and cook another hour on low.
The chili is now ready to eat, and can be left on simmer until your guests are ready to serve themselves. I will sometimes leave it covered, and turned off when I use my cast iron Dutch oven, as it holds the heat well. If it starts to lose heat, simply turn the burner back to simmer.
And there you have it, Simply Fantastic Slow Cooker Chili. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Thanks for stopping by, and as always, if you try a recipe and love it, please rate it or leave a review.

Tips

  • Optional toppings: sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, cilantro or parsley, sliced radishes, chopped green onion, chopped avocado, or broken tortilla chips.
  • Serve with cornbread on the side.
  • Use to make the ultimate chili dogs.
  • Top a baked potato or sweet potato.
  • Try mixing with mac ’n cheese.
  • Ingredient substitutions:
  • Ground beef: Ground chicken or turkey. (Make it vegetarian with meatless crumbles.)
  • Beef broth: Vegetable broth
  • Chipotle Powder: Cayenne
  • Smoked paprika: Aleppo pepper or sweet paprika
  • Cacao powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder

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Comments

  • Chris Kilcomons Chris Kilcomons on Sep 27, 2021

    Recipes sound great, and I enjoy making them. I like to add a few onions also. The way I fix my Chile is

  • Chris Kilcomons Chris Kilcomons on Sep 27, 2021

    Love the recipes. My way of making this meat dish, to eliminate the fat from the meat, is to brown the meat first, remove meat to a colander, and thoroughly rinse off all the fat rendered by the meat. I then return the meat to the cooking appliance I’m using, and proceed with the recipe. Beef or chicken broth (even a favorite wine) May be added if further liquid is desired. I enjoy a healthier version of this classic dish.

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