Gimme Some Oven

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

  • 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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450 comments on “Slow Cooker Chili”

  1. Hi – This looks delicious. Do you drain the diced tomatoes and chiles?

  2. This is my go-to chili recipe. This first time I made it I followed the directions to the letter, and it was AMAZING. Since then I have tweaked it a bit. I add 2 de-seeded diced jalapenos, substitute cayenne pepper for black pepper, and add 2 peeled and cubed average size potatoes. My family, friends, and co-workers love it and say it is the best chili they have ever had.

  3. I really like this chili, I made it on a cool day in Texas and my boyfriend loved it. It lasted us three days and I will definitely make it again. Great for cold winter months!

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Jackie — we’re so glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed it!

  4. Is there a misprint in this recipe? It calls for 2 15 ounce cans of beans and then further down the list, it calls for another 15 ounce can of beans?! I think it a misprint, but my fear that it is supposed to be listing some other ingredient , but doesn’t. Anyone know if this is an error?

    • Hi Bill! No misprint. It calls for 2 cans of light red kidney beans and 2 cans of dark red kidney beans. We hope you enjoy!

  5. I have brought your recipe to work quite a few times; it’s always a hit! I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve shared your recipe. :) Many thanks from Minnesota!!!

  6. I will be making this on Sunday, new england patriots game day!

    Hope it is good.  I usually make a recipe from Frugal Gourmet.

  7. Thank you! We are having a contest! Im stoked to enter!

  8. Ok, so I am making this today with beef broth because of my dad, but was wondering if anyone tried it with the beer and how’s it different?

  9. I can attest to the fact that this is a seriously tasty recipe.

    We had several important visitors last weekend so I gave it a go.
    Your instructions were so amazing and it did not take
    so long as as I thought it would to get ready. Thanks for the wonderful recipe

  10. I have gotten a lot of recipes from blogs, and really enjoyed them, but this is the first one that I’ve been so happy with, I’ve come back to the site to comment!  This chili is delicious and super simple to make.  I take your advice to add a couple peppers (I use serrano), since the first time I made this it wasn’t spicy enough for us.  That might be because I don’t add the seeds from the chipotle peppers??  Also, since I buy dried beans in bulk, I use those instead of canned and add extra beef broth.  

    I’ve got this chili in the crock pot right now, and a house full of happy kids!  Thank you for the recipe!

    (Since the Royals won the WS in 2015, I feel like it’s safe to say I know exactly what game you are referring to in this post, since I’m a life-long diehard Giants fan and remember the 2014 postseason like it was yesterday!)

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Christina! We’re thrilled that you and your family love this chili! :)

  11. I’ve made this recipe twice and my company and I loved it! I leave out the sugar since I am diabetic, and I’ve also left out the chipotle since I don’t like very spicy food. But next time I might try adding it. Can you tell me what a serving size is? I’m post bariatric surgery and need to track my food so need to know serving size to calculate calories using my tracker. For now I assumed (12) 2-cup servings, which adds up to 6 quarts total. I can only eat a half-cup volume per meal. Thanks.

    • Thank you for sharing, Dee, we’re so happy it was a hit! We don’t have a specific serving size or nutrition breakdown, unfortunately. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  12. This is a very good flavored chili and is my go-to chili recipe aymore. I cook the hamburger with garllic and onions in the microwave since I don’t have a cooktop other than an electric skillet and makes it even more efficient.

  13. This is so so so so so so good! Mighty Nest sent me your way for the recipe. Thanks for sharing an amazing, lip smacking chili recipe! Did I mention how good it is? Happy day!

  14. Have made this chili on cold days to bring with me to work. I start it the night before on low, take it with me to work the following day…….co-workers love it! They actually start hinting that I need to bring it if it’s been too long…. :) If you think it’s great the first day, the second day is wonderful (if there’s any left, that is!). I don’t use the extra peppers, but other than that I follow the recipe…..super easy! Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. I got so many compliments from people who don’t make chili because it’s too hard! This recipe hit the spot. I added oregano, cayenne, and chili ready tomatoes. This was a hit, I even gave a kindergartner the link so he can tell his mom to make it!

  16. Making twice in a month!

  17. I love how easy this recipe is, not to forget delicious! I make it on days we ski at the mountain all day and can warm up with it. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I just made this recipe and OMG, it is so good. However I didn’t have 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, but found this substitute at PepperScale (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. Adjust these proportions to best fit your flavor and spiciness expectations.) …Smells so good. Also however I cooked mine on the stove top in a heavy stockpot, heated everything on med/high heat to almost boiling and then turned it down to low and cooked for 3 hours. (I need a bigger slow cooker)

  19. This easy to make chili has such a big payoff!

  20. This is my go to chili recipe. It’s truly a crowd favorite and so easy to make!

  21. Love this chili!! Can this be made in an instant pot?

  22. Looked delicious!

  23. This chili was absolutely delicious! Was a little spicier than most chili recipes that I’ve made, but super flavorful and so so easy. I added my beans the last hour and I think that was the right call to make, usually the beans kind of dissolve into the rest of the soup when I add it at the beginning.

  24. This was the best crockpot chili ? I’ve ever made! I’m definitely making this for a crowd.

  25. Just wanted to let you know ive been following this recipe for 3 years.. minor preferential adjustments.. thanks you!

  26. This recipe is legit!! Only used 2 Chile abode peppers and it was the right amount of heat. Delicious!!

  27. Love this recipe!! Made this for a harvest festival at my preschool and EVERY family asked me for the recipe. It’s the best chili I have ever had.

  28. I’ve made this recipe several times and I get lots of comments and questions about how I made it. My daughter who is a picky third grader loves it and doesn’t even notice onions or chilies!!

  29. This is my favorite chili recipe ever! I’m wondering how I might make it using my Instapot?! Thanks!!

  30. I’ve never made homemade chili before. I’ve always used the chili seasoning packet from McCormick and followed their instructors. I will never, ever, make chili like that again! This homemade chili recipe was amazing!! I didn’t use 2 pounds of lean beef, I used 1 pound of lean beef. So I basically cut the recipe in half. For the part where it says 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce – I took a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and blended them in my nutribullet. I then took 1 tablespoon of the blended mixture and used that for the recipe. I don’t like spicy but that 1 tablespoon gave this chili a nice kick. I’d repeat the recipe the same exact way, even with 1 tablespoon of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I still cooked it on low for about 4 hours in my crockpot. I served it over brown rice, with light sour cream and light cheese. I can’t wait to make this recipe again!

  31. This is my new go to chili! I have made a lot of chili recipes but this is hands down the best recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  32. Thinking about giving this recipe a shot. At a glance, it looks like it’s pretty heavy on the tomatoes and beans relative to the amount of meat and seasonings. I’m no chili purist but I do like meat to be the dominant feature in any chili recipe.

    The reviews are pretty positive but that’s typical on recipe blogs, so I’m starting out skeptical. Would love to hear any opinions on this.

  33. Great, slightly Smokey flavor. Beware this recipe makes a LOT of chili ( gathering style) next time I’ll half it for my family. But easy breezy and full of flavor!!!!

  34. Hi! We previously made this recipe with beef and LOVED it. Wondering how we make it with chicken though? Do we just add the chicken breasts to the bottom of the crock pot uncooked and let them do their thing? Also, I assume if we wanted to use broth instead of beer we should use chicken broth? Help!

  35. thank you for this recipe! I found it about 4 years ago and It is the only chili I make . I think it’s just perfect.

  36. I make this all the time today I actually added about 4 cut up and peeled carrots, one can of corn, 3 chipotle peppers, mushrooms and LIQUID SMOKE!!!! So amazing!!!!

  37. Chalk up another chili cook-off win for your recipe! Minor changes: Added 1 lb mild ground pork sausage. Used 1.5 cup beef bone broth, petite diced tomatoes and substituted 1 can of Bush’s seasoned chili beans for 1 15 ounce can of plain.

  38. This recipe looks interesting.

  39. The best! So quick and easy and provides enough to freeze for later. I’m officially done trying new chili recipes. ?

  40. Hi, I’m just wondering why sugar is in this recipe? Thank you.

  41. This has been my go to chili recipe, as is, since 2017 and I love it more each Fall.

  42. This has been my go to chili recipe for several years. I leave out beans because my husband and I do not like them but I add 3 pounds of ground beef and some stew beef as well! To make up for the beans. I guess you’d call it a keto version? But everything else I follow to the t and it’s our favorite!!! Especially with lots of melted cheddar cheese on top and saltines!

  43. I used a whole can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Added roasted green Chile pepper from NM, hills Italian hot sausage a full can of beer. Turns out great. I use this recipe every time. Great for cold MT winter weekends.

  44. Made this yesterday and it was fantastic. I used 2 of the chipotle peppers and it was the perfect amount of heat. My picky 7-yr old even said it was “delicious, I love the spicy!” :) The only thing I didn’t add was the tomatoes – I just replaced with 1/2 cup tomato sauce. This is definitely going into the rotation. Thanks!

  45. I wanted to say THANK YOU for this recipe. I’m 52 years old and have probably averaged making chili about six times a year (I only like it in the autumn and winter) in the last 25 years. And to say that I’ve never found a recipe I love seems so ridiculous. Well now I have one I LOVE! This recipe is absolutely perfect. I have made it twice (but I cut it in half because I usually am cooking for only two) and my husband and I love it. So THANK YOU for my new “go to” chili recipe!

  46. Delicious! I used 3 chipotle peppers, brown sugar instead of sugar and added a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Will definitely be making again.

  47. I have been making this recipe for a couple of years now. It’s my go to and now have it memorized. I came back to share it with everyone that raves about it!

  48. Because I am cooking-challenged, I look for recipes that are easy, use common ingredients, and that don’t require much more than following the directions exactly. This chili recipe totally fit the bill, and was crazy delicious! As others said, it does make a lot, but I just froze it into individual servings, and put one in the refrigerator whenever the chili craving hits. Great job!

  49. This chili had been my go to for years. It doesn’t need any changes I always add my own touches like celery and a touch of cocoa powder. Try it… it’s seriously amazing!

  50. I made this for the Super Bowl this year and it was a hit! At the end of the night, there was one bowl left. Luckily since my housemate didn’t get any during the party. Will definitely make this again!!