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Easy Crockpot Chili Recipe

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This easy Crockpot Chili recipe is a go-to meal for brisk fall and winter days. Hardy and filling, it’s a tender and flavorful recipe made with ground meat, beans, vegetables, and a few interesting spices and flavorings, making this uniquely delicious!

Side view of Crockpot Chili in a blue and white bowl with sour cream, shredded cheese and fresh parsley.

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Slow Cooker Chili

When the air becomes cool to frigid, chili isn’t far from my mind. Friday nights? Yes. Game days? Absolutely!

And while I love to make chili on the stovetop or in a multi-cooker, slow cooking is a delicious and easy way to make this classic dish. When the chili ingredients of bell peppers, onions, garlic, beans, and tomatoes simmer together in a fragrant broth of warm spices, there is nothing better.

The result is a chili that becomes tender, juicy, and irresistible whether you’re cooking it for 6-8 hours on low or for 3 to 4 hours on high.

And at the end of a hectic and chilly day, this easy dinner filled with flavor will be there waiting. Yum!

Crockpot Chili Ingredients

You can find ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Ground Meat: The classic choice is ground beef, but you can substitute that with ground turkey or even ground pork. I’m using lean 90/10 ground beef. If using a higher fat content ground beef, remove excess fat from the skillet after browning for the best results.
  • Onion: Also gives a classic sweet flavor to this easy slow cooker chili recipe. When possible, I love to use a sweet onion, but when that’s not available, I’ll most often use a yellow onion.
  • Garlic: Brings a pop of flavor that brings the chili ingredients together.
  • Bell Pepper: Because I can never add enough vegetables to chili. I’m using a sweet bell pepper, but if you want additional heat, add a jalapeno for a delicious flavor.
  • Beans: Use whatever canned beans you have on hand. My choice is always a combination of red kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before adding to the chili.
  • Tomatoes: We combine canned tomatoes (with their juices) and tomato sauce for consistency. Consider using fire-roasted tomatoes or tomatoes with green chilis for an additional flavor layer.
  • Seasoning: For a robust and interesting flavor, we’ll combine chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, maple, salt, and pepper.

If You Love Spicy Chili

If you prefer spicy chili, add a few drops of hot sauce to taste, add up to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or increase the chili powder by 1 tablespoon.

Top view of slow cooked chili in a crockpot with fresh parsley.

How to Make Slow Cooker Chili:

Making crockpot chili is so incredibly easy. It’s one of the reasons I love to put it in the slow cooker on a Saturday morning and then go about our day. While I’m using a traditional crockpot, you can also make this in a multicooker using the “slow cooker function.”

Step by step instructions are in the recipe card below, but here is a quick overview of how to make crockpot chili.

Top view of browned ground beef, onions, and green peppers in a black cast iron skillet.
  1. Saute the beef, onions, and peppers in a skillet, then stir in the garlic and seasonings.
  2. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. Stir in beans, tomatoes (with their juices), tomato sauce, and water.
  4. Slow Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Season to taste.

Chili Toppings

It’s what makes this dish! Our family has a wide range of preferences for chili toppings. Some like it simple, like saltine crackers; others get creative and add bowls full of toppings. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cheese: Shredded cheese is classic, and cheddar is often the most popular cheese.
  • Chopped Onion: I love chopped green or red onions on chili for a fresh, crisp texture.
  • Avocado: It isn’t chili for me without avocado.
  • Fresh herbs: Cilantro and parsley are delicious and bring a bright layer of flavor.
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt brings a nice balance.

How to Serve Chili

Chili is so versatile, and this chili recipe makes enough for leftovers. It’s always a happy day when the family finds leftover chili in the refrigerator for a quick lunch, but making double-duty dinners is also a great way to cook once and enjoy twice.

Here are some ideas for serving chili on the day it’s made or for later:

  • Baked Potatoes: Make a baked potato bar with all chili as the topping.
  • Chili Wraps: Warm up tortillas and add toppings to create a chili wrap.
  • Chili Bowl: Ladle into bowls and top with all the wonderful toppings you love!
  • Cornbread: I don’t think it’s possible for me to serve chili without cornbread. I’m smiling, but it’s true! We love Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread.

How Long Will Chili Keep in the Refrigerator?

Store leftover chili in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.

Top view of a bowl of crockpot chili in a blue and white bowl with fresh parsley, sour cream, and parsley.

More Chili Recipes You Will Love:

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Top side view of a blue and white bowl with crockpot chili with shredded pepper jack cheese, sour cream, and fresh parsley on a round wood board.

Easy Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

This easy Crockpot Chili recipe is a go-to meal for brisk fall and winter days. Hardy and filling, it's a tender and flavorful recipe made with ground meat, beans, vegetables, and a few interesting spices and flavorings, making this uniquely delicious!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground meat of choice
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 45 ounces canned beans (3 15-ounce cans) in a combination of your choice, like black, kidney, and pinto beans, drained
  • 30 ounces can diced tomatoes (2 15-ounce cans), with their juices
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water plus more if needed for thinning the chili

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped onion and bell pepper and saute until tender; about 4 minutes. Then stir in the garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and maple syrup and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the meat mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Stir in the drained beans, diced tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, and water. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 1026mg | Potassium: 952mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: slow cooker chili recipe

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