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.
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.
Looking for more Slow Cooker Recipes?
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
- Slow Cooker Roast Beef (Sliceable!)
- Ultimate Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Ultimate Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
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.
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
- 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.
Cook the beef and onion together in a large pot or cast iron skillet over medium high heat until the beef is browned well.
Add it to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients.
Cook on high heat for 3 hours or on low heat for 6 hours.
Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: calories
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