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Slow Cooker Chili

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Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

I’m now calling this “victory chili”, because when I made it a few days ago for the Royals’ big wild card game, they freaking won and earned their way to the play-offs for the first time in 29 years!!!

Oh my goodness. People reading this post years from now will probably have no idea what I’m talking about. But this game was epic. Or as my dad called it, “the best game he had ever seen”. I think the entire city stayed up until midnight for the nailbiter of an ending, and you could literally hear cheering in the streets every step of the way. It was crazy! So crazy! And so awesome.

I spent the night cheering them on with about 30 neighbors for a Royals-edition of our weekly #neighbornights. And my contribution for the evening was a slow cooker full of delicious, classic chili. I recently confessed that I’m not a big fan of ground beef. But I know that all of my other neighbors seem to love it, so I took one for the team with this one. (Although if you’re in my court, you can easily substitute ground turkey or even chicken.)  They all totally gave it a big thumbs up. So since the Royals’ next playoff game is tomorrow night, I may just have to make another batch. You know, for good luck to continue on our awesome new winning streak. Go Royals!

Also awesome? The fact that I made this chili with a fancy new slow cooker that I recently received to test out — the Crock-Pot® 6-Quart Slow Cooker with Stovetop-Safe Cooking Pot. It’s the first-ever slow cooker that allows you to actually lift out the ceramic cooking pot and place it on the stove (to brown the hamburger, in this case) and then transfer it back to the slow cooker. It seems like such a no-brainer, but I’m obsessed with it now. And today I’m excited that we’re going to be giving away one of these fancy new Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker to one of you! So keep reading below for this slow cooker chili recipe, and also take a second to enter this giveaway for a chance to win.

Because in KC, you’d better believe we’re all about winning this week. ;)

Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

Just like any other beef chili, the first step in this recipe requires browning the beef and onions. So I thought that was a perfect chance to test out the cool new stovetop capabilities of this new Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker. Much to my surprise, the first thing I noticed when lifting out the ceramic pot is that this one is so much lighter than other slow cookers! I don’t know about you, but every other slow cooker I’ve had has a pot inside that is h-e-a-v-y. (Which I especially notice when trying to transport or wash it.)  But nope, this version is surprisingly lightweight and transferred easily to the stove.

From there, I just treated it like a regular stockpot on the stove to brown the beef and onions, and it worked like a charm! The only heads-up I’ll give you is that there are no handles on the pot. So if you want to move it around on the stove or whenever you’re ready to transport it, use potholders!

Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

Once the meat was browned, I just added in the rest of the ingredients and set the handy little timer to cook on high for about 4 hours…

Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

…and the slow cooker worked its magic and this steaming, delicious pot of chili was ready for the big game.

Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

Since I was cooking for a big crowd, I decided to kind of aim for the middle when it came to the seasonings and heat in this chili recipe. But I did add in a few chipotle peppers for a smoky kick. And if you love heat, I definitely recommend adding in an extra jalapeno or two.

But other than that, this basically defines what I think of as classic chili. It’s thick, beefy, tomato-y, slightly spicy, a little smoky, and SO GOOD.

Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

Perfect for eating in a big bowl by itself. Or I noticed that my neighbors also transformed it into all sorts of things, like frito pie, chili baked potatoes, chili cheese dip, and chili dogs. Basically however you like chili, it’ll work.

So check out the recipe, and be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a fancy new Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker of your own!

Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

Oh. And goooooooooo Royals!!!! :)

Classic Slow Cooker Chili -- super easy to make, and SO GOOD! | #soup #fall #gameday

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Slow Cooker Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 41 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 250 minutes
  • Total Time: 260 minutes
  • Yield: 8 -10 servings 1x


This classic slow cooker chili recipe is easy to make, and so comforting!


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped (*add more for extra smokyness and heat)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (**see below for substitution ideas)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup beer or beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • (Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips or strips, thinly-sliced green onions, sour cream, salsa, etc.)


  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. (Or if you are using this Crock-Pot slow cooker, heat oil in the ceramic stovetop-safe bowl on the stove over medium-high heat.) Add the ground beef, onion and garlic and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the beef is completely browned, crumbling the beef with a spoon as it cooks. Drain and discard the excess fat/grease. Then transfer the beef into the bottom of a slow cooker. (Or transfer the stovetop-safe bowl back into the slow cooker.)
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper or seasonings if need be.
  3. Serve warm, with desired toppings.


*I used about 3 chipotle peppers, but did not add any extra adobo sauce.

**If you don’t like kidney beans, you can also substitute in black beans, pinto beans, or great northern beans.


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452 comments on “Slow Cooker Chili”

  1. I love to make chili in the crock pot!!!!  I also like to do a ton of soups and casseroles – even sweet potatoes!  Mine is getting old though and worn out.  My kids do a lot of after school activities so the crock pot is my life saver!!  

  2. I am fairly new to crockpot cooking so I would just keep on experimenting with new recipes!

  3. I’ve never made chili before (crazy right? but I’m the only one in my family who likes it so it would go to waste). I’m going to a Halloween party tomorrow and going to take my first stab at making chili with your recipe. Can’t wait, it sounds so good!

  4. I love making soups in my Crock Pot. They taste so much better when cooked slowly and when they are finished cooking, just flip the switch over to “warm” and the family can eat whenever they want to on busy nights.

  5. This slow cooker looks amazing – wish I had it for the upcoming FLvsGA game this weekend. I’ll be cooking this for sure! Crock-pot = life saver.

  6. I would love to cook white chicken chili in this crock pot! One of my favorite recipes :)

  7. Royals forever! This looks like a great crock-pot and going to try your chili recipe for a church chili cook-off this weekend.

  8. I am loving this crockpot and would love to be able to heat the first ingredients in the stove (such a game changer – speaking of game changers, I am here in Baltimore and sadly the Royals dominated the O’s). Our family tradition for Halloween is a big ol’ bowl of chili and this crockpot would work wonders in the future! 

  9. I would make some chili.

  10. I’d love to make this chili!

  11. Rice pudding

  12. i’d make your awesome chili in the crockpot!!!!

  13. I have been making the same chili recipe for years.  This time I decided to shake things up a bit and try this recipe.  It is hands down the best chili I have had in a long, long time! (sorry mom)!  If you like a little heat, this recipe is perfect.  It is just warm enough, if you like a lot of heat, you can add some more chili powder or jalapeno.  This will be my new chili recipe going forward.  Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. I’m making chili right now and the house smells amazing!

  15. This is the perfect chili recipe!! I added two fresh chopped chiles instead of the canned one and two jalapeños. As you can see my husband and I love spicy food. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe, it’s a keeper!!

  16. I was scrolling through and I got so excited to see you were also from KC. It seemed like our whole city stopped for those few weeks. It was great! I’m going to make your “Victory Chili” for our New Year’s Eve Party!

  17. Wow! Way too spicy. I would suggest adding 2 tsp of chili powder and checking flavor before adding any extra spice. 

  18. Just made this chili and it’s delish. Super easy, too. Thanks so much! 5 stars :)

  19. Hello. I’m making this right now. Can I use Cannellini beans?

  20. Awesome chilli! I’ve been searching for a good chilli recipe for quite some time and gave this one a try. My husband LOVES it (and he’s very picky about his chilli) and my youngest daughter cleaned her bowl and got seconds. Will definitely be saving this one and using again.
    Thank you so much!

  21. This recipe was well loved by myself and my two young boys. We ate the chili with papadums for some fun – was devine and I can’t wait for left-overs tonight!

    Thank you.

  22. I am eating this chili for lunch today (from a big batch I made and froze), and I couldn’t remember if I ever actually rated it!  Damn good chili!  This is one of the few recipes I go back to Pinterest to find to remake (over and over again).   I use ground turkey instead of ground beef, add a green bell pepper.  If I don’t pre-soak some dried beans overnight and throw them in, I use a canned 3 bean mix (pinto, kidney, and black bean).   We like a good and spicy chili, so I add 3 Chipotle peppers and dice up one fresh jalapeño.  This is my go-to chili recipe…hands down!

  23. This recipe looks so yummy! It will be perfect for the first Sunday Football Game this season! Thanks for sharing!

  24. This has become our favorite chili recipe!  Made it several times and it is perfect!

  25. Awesome Chili! Just what the doctor ordered for a cool Midwest night. Thank you so much for sharing! We made it Friday night, chilled, and then put it back in the crock pot on Sunday. The flavors meld together so much better if you cook, then chill :)

    Oh, and go Cardinals! :)

    • Thanks Danny, we’re so glad you liked it! Isn’t chili the best on a cool night? The leftovers get better and better too. :)

  26. How do I make my chili thicker? DO you include the liquid in the beans?

    • You can always simmer it longer to reduce the chili. But nope, I do not add the liquid in the beans. I rinse and drain them first, which will also cut down on liquid. Hope that helps!

  27. Need to replace my crockpot of 25 years that handle just broke off of. Would love to have this one especially for the browning!!!

  28. Looks delicious, and on this cool day will go great with Game 2 of the 2015 ALCS, Royals vs Blue Jays! Go, Royals!

  29. I have been on the hunt for new recipes for a few days now. I have a house full of boys so I am fighting the constant battle of healthy and filling meals without spending my whole day in the kitchen. Stumbled across this on Pinterest…. Let’s hope dinner will be as amazing as it smells tonight!!!

  30. I made this yesterday for a house full of people to eat after our trick or treating Halloween festivities.  It was DELICIOUS!!!  This is now my official go to chili recipe.   Thank you!!

  31. I love how colorful your chili looks, Ali! Thanks so much for sharing!

  32. I made this last night for the Bears-Chargers game (huge Bears fan over here) and the whole time I was thinking about how you called this your victory chili, but the Bears were losing. Then they came from behind and won!! I think I’ll make this every game now! It was SO delicious too! I loved the smokiness from the chipotle peppers, and it was a big hit with all my friends! Can’t wait to eat the leftovers.

    • Wow, that’s awesome Meg! We’re glad those Bears rallied, and we’re glad you and your friends enjoyed this chili! :D

  33. Okay so it says to drain half of the fat from the ground beef and then throw the ground beef into the slow cooker. Are you also supposed to dump the remaining fat in there as well?? I am not a cook and I’m trying to learn things to make in a slow cooker because I hear it’s really easy. 

    • Hey Teresa! Actually, I recommend discarding the fat. It’s not essential for the soup, and will make it a bit healthier. :)

  34. Looks yummy. Been making chili for years but using only one can of beans is not
    true Chili. I even use white beans to add a little contrast. I’d rather my protein source
    mainly came from more beans than meat. And I must admit I’m not a lover of Chipotle 
    so I would omit that. I do make a large pot to freeze for a later meal I also use 2 cans of 
    diced tomatoes one of them being with green chili and garlic seasoning. Thanks for sharing
    I’m sure you’ve made some great fans. Chili is just a must for fall and winter meals. I also
    pour small leftover over hamburgers to make chili burgers or hot dogs. 

  35. TRULY the BEST chili I have ever eaten! Deep red color, full of flavor, just perfect in every way. And I love that it makes so much, plenty of leftovers! Thanks for sharing, I will be following you to get more great recipes.

  36. Looks yummy. How much does this make? There are two of us.

  37. Thank you for the awesome recipe! It was a huge hit!

    • Thanks so much for sharing with us Lindsay, we’re so happy it was a hit with you guys! :D

  38. Best chili recipe ever!!! Super easy to make and tastes delicious = )

  39. Hi.  Making this today!  Have a go-to, but want to try something “new”.  It is sooooo hard to wander through the land of “best” ever chili recipes and have them come out…well…hmmm.    I am excited to see in the comments that people actually made it and liked it and not just “MMMM…sounds good.”   Looking forward to this tonight!  Thanks. 

  40. I made this last week and was actually really sad when I ate the last bowl a few days later. I’m making it again today, and I want to freeze some. Do you think I could fit a double batch in an 8 qt crock pot? 

    • Hi Beth! We’re so happy you enjoy this recipe! We used a 6-qt slow cooker for this, so we’re a little worried doubling it for an 8-qt might be a tight fit. Maybe you could just make two batches?

  41. It was really good. I tweeked it a little. I added some cayenne pepper and hot sauce. Super yummy!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  42. Made this Chile for super bowl 50. 
    This recipe is awesome!  Used 2 cans of beans instead of 3 and think that there is still plenty. 
    Prepped the night before and chilled overnight, cooked 7.5 hr the day of game. Will be using this recipe from now on.  Thanks!!!

  43. This is a little different from my usual chili recipe and I can’t wait to try it. Kinda sad the CrockPot Giveaway was two years ago. I would have entered!

  44. Making this chili today! Smells amazing and can’t wait to dig in ?.  Question. What is the calorie count per serving minus the toppings, and what is the serving size? Thanks! 

  45. Hi!! Excited to try this recipie but I do not have a croc pot :( is it essential to use one or can I use a regular pot with lid?? Thank you!!

    • Hi Mariel! No, you could totally do this on the stovetop instead — we hope you enjoy! :)

  46. Hi! Going to make this for a Halloween party! By 1 chipotle in adobo sauce do you mean 1 whole (7oz) can? Or 1 pepper inside that can?


    • No, just one pepper (there are several in one can). We hope you and your guests enjoy! :)

  47. I seriously cannot believe how much we love this chili!! So rich, hearty, and incredibly delicious! My husband has loved a different recipe for a long time, but that one required soaking hard beans (which I don’t have patience for!), so I went on a search for a new recipe. This one is FANTASTIC! I’ve made it about 8 times now, and it’s a hit! I do add some cayenne and hot sauce for some extra heat, and it’s great! Perfect for our long Wisconsin winters! And, sorry…Go Packers!! ?  Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us!!

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Stacy — we’re so glad you and your family enjoy this! :D

  48. does the chipotle make it hot for kids

    • We don’t think this is too hot, but if you’re concerned, you can always skip it. We hope you enjoy!

  49. Hey! I went to the store and got everything for this recipe other than the chili in Adobo sauce..I couldn’t find it anywhere ? is there a spice I could substitute like cayenne or something of that nature? I also have some Rotel diced tomatoes and green chili’s. I don’t want too much heat as some of our household is pretty sensitive to it but I don’t want to lose a lot of the flavor either. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Katherine! It should be in the International food aisle (in the Hispanic foods section), near where you’d find canned green chiles. If you still can’t find it though, you could try this mixture: Mix 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or smoked paprika/cayenne powder mix), 1/2 teaspoon cumin, a pinch of oregano, a pinch of garlic powder, and a pinch of salt (we saw this online and think it would be your best bet). We hope this helps!