This incredible slow cooker or crockpot chili recipe is mouth-watering, filling, and ideal for winter weather! This dish is really simple to prepare and ideal for piling on all of your favorite toppings! This dish has been used for lunch, dinner, and even chili fries at gatherings.

Indulge in the delightful world of slow-cooker chili with our irresistible recipe. There’s something magical about the aroma of simmering spices and the promise of a warm, hearty meal waiting for you at the end of a busy day. With our easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be able to create a sensational pot of chili without the hassle of constant stirring and monitoring. Just toss the ingredients into your slow cooker, set it, and let the flavors meld and intensify as it cooks low and slow.

Our slow-cooker chili recipe is a celebration of bold, savory flavors. We’ve carefully selected a medley of ingredients, from tender chunks of meat to an assortment of spices, to create a chili that’s rich and satisfying. Whether you prefer beef, chicken, or a vegetarian version, our recipe offers flexibility to suit your taste. The slow cooking process allows the ingredients to meld together, resulting in a chili that’s thick, hearty, and deeply infused with the essence of peppers, onions, tomatoes, and a secret blend of spices.

Beyond its delicious taste, this slow cooker chili offers convenience that’s hard to beat. You can start it in the morning and return home to a pot of piping hot, perfectly cooked chili. It’s an ideal dish for family gatherings, game-day parties, or simply a cozy weeknight dinner. With minimal effort, you’ll have a crowd-pleasing, comforting meal that’s sure to become a household favorite. So, embrace the ease and flavor of our slow cooker chili recipe and experience the joy of a simmering pot of goodness waiting for you.

Ingredients you need for Slow-Cooker Chili

  • Ground Beef and/ or Italian sausage You can combine both or one will do, you will need 2 pounds.
  • Onion provides a savory and slightly sweet flavor base
  • Bell Pepper Bell peppers come in various colors and add a crisp, sweet, and mildly tangy flavor
  • Garlic Garlic adds a pungent and aromatic flavor
  • Beans I like to use a kidney bean or black bean, you can also use a mixture such as pinto beans or navy beans.
  • Tomatoes canned, tomato sauce or tomato paste all work well here.
  • Worcestershire adds some more depth of flavor
  • Beef Broth will give you the consistency you are looking for with chili.
  • Spices chili, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  • Brown Sugar you won’t taste the sweetness, it just helps with the acidity of the tomatoes
  • Cocoa will give you a really nice dark red color and give you some richness and depth of flavor

The Best Chili Toppings

The toppings are the first thing that comes to mind when I think of chili. As a general principle, I don’t believe there is such a thing as too many toppings. I believe you could add it on top of your chili if you placed it in a taco or a burrito. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Shredded Cheese: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack cheese are commonly used to add creaminess and a rich, savory flavor to chili.
  • Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream adds a cool and tangy contrast to the spiciness of the chili.
  • Chopped Green Onions: Fresh green onions (scallions) provide a mild, oniony flavor and a nice crunch.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Fresh or canned diced tomatoes add a refreshing and slightly acidic touch to your chili.
  • Sliced Jalapeños: For a bit of heat and a pop of color, jalapeño slices are a popular choice.
  • Avocado or Guacamole: Sliced avocado or a spoonful of guacamole adds creaminess and a fresh, buttery flavor.
  • Lime Wedges: Squeezing fresh lime juice over your chili enhances its flavor with a zesty, citrusy kick.
  • Cornbread Crumbles: Pieces of crumbled cornbread are a classic pairing with chili, offering a sweet and slightly crumbly texture.
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips: Crushed tortilla chips or strips add a crispy texture and a hint of saltiness to your chili.

Remember, the best chili toppings can be a matter of personal preference. You can mix and match toppings to create a bowl of chili that suits your taste.

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Homemade Organic Vegetarian Chili with Beans and Cheese

How to Make Slow-Cooker Chili

  • In a skillet, brown the beef and onions, then add the garlic and spices.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients, including rinsed and drained beans, diced tomatoes with juice, and tomato sauce.
  • Cover and simmer on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours in a slow cooker, then season to taste.
  • If you choose to use the Multicooker or Instant Pot you can do this all in the same Pot. Starting with Sauté button browning your meat with the onions, and then garlic and spices. Once the meat is browned add the rest of the ingredients. Press the soup or chili button this function all depends on your multicooker or instant pot and set it for 20 minutes.


Chili is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some of the best ways to eat chili:

  • Chili with Cornbread: Serve your chili with a side of warm cornbread. The sweet and slightly crumbly texture of cornbread complements the spiciness of the chili, making it a classic combination.
  • Chili Dogs: Top hot dog buns with a grilled or boiled hot dog, then add a generous scoop of chili on top. Finish it off with shredded cheese, diced onions, and mustard for a delicious chili dog.
  • Chili Nachos: Make loaded chili nachos by layering tortilla chips with chili and melted cheese. Add jalapeños, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and guacamole for a fantastic snack or party dish.
  • Chili Fries: Pour chili over a plate of hot, crispy french fries and add cheese, creating mouthwatering chili cheese fries.
  • Chili Stuffed Baked Potatoes: Load up baked potatoes with chili, and then top them with cheese and sour cream. It’s a filling and satisfying meal.
  • Chili Salad: Create a chili-inspired salad by placing a scoop of chili over a bed of mixed greens and topping it with your favorite salad toppings, such as shredded cheese, avocado, and tortilla strips
taco salad 1
chili stuffed baked potato

Tips and Suggestions

  • Use the Right Slow Cooker: Make sure your slow cooker is the right size for your recipe. For this chili recipe, a 6 to 7-quart slow cooker is typically ideal. If you have a smaller slow cooker, you may need to adjust the ingredient quantities.
  • Brown the Meat: Browning the ground beef or turkey before adding it to the slow cooker enhances the flavor and texture. It also helps reduce excess fat.
  • Adjust the Spice Level: Be cautious when adding cayenne pepper or other hot spices. You can always start with less and add more later if you prefer more heat
  • Customize Your Ingredients: Feel free to add vegetables like diced tomatoes, green chilies, bell peppers, or corn to suit your preferences.
  • Leftovers: Slow cooker chili often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had more time to meld. It also freezes well, making it a convenient option for future meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook chili in a slow cooker?

The cooking time for slow cooker chili typically ranges from 3 to 8 hours, depending on whether you cook it on high or low heat, the specific recipe, and your slow cooker model.

Can I make chili in advance and reheat it in the slow cooker?

Yes, chili is a great dish to make in advance. You can prepare it the day before, refrigerate it, and reheat it in the slow cooker when you’re ready to serve.

Can I freeze slow-cooker chili?

Yes, chili freezes well. Allow it to cool, then store it in airtight containers or freezer bags. Label with the date and use within 3-4 months.

Can I make vegetarian or vegan slow-cooker chili?

Absolutely! There are many delicious vegetarian and vegan chili recipes that use plant-based protein sources like beans, lentils, and vegetables.

What is the difference between chili and chili con carne?

con carne typically contains meat (usually beef), while chili can be made with or without meat. Both dishes are typically spiced with chili powder and other seasonings.

Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

Hearty chili made in the slow cooker is an easy recipe to prepare for cold weeknight dinners.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 433 kcal


  • 1 slow cooker


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef you can use combo of beef and Italian sausages
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can Pinto or Black Beans
  • 29 oz Canned Tomatoes
  • 3 oz Tomato Paste
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Beef Broth
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne if you want it less spicy add less or omit or if you want more spice add more.
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa


  • Brown the ground beef and sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until mostly cooked through.
  • Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and garlic and stir to combine. Cooking over medium heat until onion is translucent.
  • Transfer the beef mixture to a 6 quart crock pot or slow cooker. 
  • Add the kidney and black or pinto beans. 
  • Top with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth.
  • Next add the seasonings (chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper , cocoa and sugar). Stir to combine
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve with desired toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, etc.


Storage Information: Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator for best results. I like to have some in the freezer for those days that are really busy and your not quite sure what to make for supper.
Multicooker or Instant Pot: If you choose to use the Multi cooker or Instant Pot you can do this all in the same Pot. Starting with Sauté button browning your meat with the onions, and then garlic and spices. Once the meat is browned add the rest of the ingredients. Press soup or chili button this function all depends on you multicooker or instant pot and set it for 20 minutes.
Keyword chili, crockpot, recipe, slow cooker, soup

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