Slow Cooker Beef Chili

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An EASY, classic Slow Cooker Beef Chili that takes no effort at all and is a perfect winter meal your family will love for dinner or for a game day treat!

An EASY, classic Slow Cooker Beef Chili that takes no effort at all and is a perfect winter meal your family will love for dinner or for a game day treat!Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Slow Cooker Beef Chili is a family favorite of ours for game day party offerings. With a big crowd the last thing I want to be doing is nursing a pot on the stove and making sure the bottom of the pot of chili doesn’t burn.

Making chili in a slow cooker is one of the easiest ways you can make it and with a low and slow cook time the meat and beans melt together into a perfectly wonderful, hearty dish.

I’m a huge fan of chili and often eat it as a quick and healthy meal, even with takeout like my Wendy’s Chili (Copycat). Lower in fat than most red meat dishes and with a high fiber content thanks to the beans, this Slow Cooker Chili is a hearty meal that you can enjoy even when you’re trying to eat healthy.

The easiest Slow Cooker beef chili you'll ever make!

Some Slow Cooker Beef Chili tips:

  • I use kidney beans and white beans, but you can certainly use other beans as well like navy beans or black beans. I like the firmness of the skin of the kidney bean, it holds up well even in the slow cooker and the creaminess of the white beans.
  • HEAT! If you like things spicy definitely add in the jalapeno and kick up the chili powder.
  • Careful with chili powder, different varieties can have different heat levels.  This recipe uses standard supermarket chili powder.
  • Brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker, it helps for both texture and flavor.
  • I only used 1/4 cup tomato paste in this recipe, if you have leftovers you can freeze them in small ziploc bags or in ice trays so you don’t waste a whole can.
  • If you want a deeper beef flavor, add in a spoonful of beef base to the recipe too. I don’t recommend beef broth as it would thin the chili too much.
  • I use Beef Base in addition to or in place of beef stock/broth. I can double up on the intensity without waiting for beef stock to reduce to intensify flavor.

Set it and forget it, this is the easiest Crockpot Beef Chili you'll ever make and it is SO FLAVORFUL!


Looking for more Slow Cooker Recipes?

PS, tomorrow I have an awesome Southern Cornbread for you to enjoy with this chili. It isn’t that normal super sweet cornbread you see in your regular grocery stores!


Tools Used in making this Slow Cooker Beef Chili:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. I brown the meat in the insert without losing a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.
Cast Iron Skillet: If you don’t have a slow cooker with a stovetop friendly insert, this is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.


Save Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
An EASY, classic Slow Cooker Beef Chili that takes no effort at all and is a perfect winter meal your family will love for dinner or for a game day treat!


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef 80/20
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 16-ounce cans red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes not drained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 minced jalapeno optional, if you want it spicy
  • 1/2 cup saltine cracker crumbs finely ground


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cook the beef and onion together in a large pot or cast iron skillet over medium high heat until the beef is browned well.
  2. Add it to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook on high heat for 3 hours or on low heat for 6 hours.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

Save Recipe
An EASY, classic Slow Cooker Beef Chili that takes no effort at all and is a perfect winter meal your family will love for dinner or for a game day treat!
RICH, HEARTY, thick beef stew with chili powder, beef, onions, tomatoes and more simmered low and slow for chili perfection!

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  1. I’d love to try that slow cooker chili, it looks awful delisoush? And when i was a little girl my mom used to make chili every weekend? What size slow cooker did you cook your chili in? I have a 5 or 6 qt. pot? I love to have all of your recipes to try if possible, because i love to cook?

    1. I used a 6 qt slow cooker for this recipe. There’s a link you can click on above in the “Tools Used” section to see the exact one I used. I absolutely love it!

  2. I made a small pot of this, and it was yummy.  Thank you so much.  I will be making this a lot THS winter, but in a much larger pot.  You rock!

    Rating: 5
    1. Same time should work. With chili its all just about the flavors coming together. I’d do 1 1/2 times the liquid to be on the safe side, you can always add more later if you see it is drying out.

    1. I didn’t mean to confuse you, so sorry. I just meant that I like to add a scoop of the base to intensify the flavor. No need to make broth or add any liquid to this recipe.

  3. I never cooked chili before and I have a chili contest on Sunday at my church and I signed up to be in th contest because I want to make something I never made before , I love to cook and I’m up for a nice challenge . No water needed , the liquid come from all the sauce correct? Will that be enough for a big crowd or should I double the ingredients? If I do double it does the cooking time doubles as well ? I want to cook it overnight on low heat so the flavors is nice and tasty . For a first time cooking this what do you recommend? Thanks , any tips and advice helps i really want to win this contest and be proud I made a delicious chili using your recipe but without the jalapeños because I don’t like spicy food ?

    1. I’m honored that you’d use my recipe for the contest!! To answer your questions….you are correct, there isn’t any water need for this recipe 🙂 Also, I think that this recipe should be enough for the contest considering most people will just have a taste and aren’t getting a full bowl. If you do decide to double it, I would suggest making it in two slow cookers as I’m not sure double the ingredients would fit into one slow cooker. Good luck!!

  4. Going to make this for Super Bowl!! Sounds yummy. Do you actually include saltines in pot for cook time? Or are they used for top of chili when you serve it?
    Thank you

    1. Sorry I don’t have the nutritional facts for recipes on the site but I know there are a lot of free resources on the internet from when I’ve cooked for clients with low calorie diets.