Crock-Pot Chili Recipe
Sep 03, 2020, Updated Jan 05, 2024
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Chili is the ultimate fall comfort food. Perfect for gameday or any chilly fall/winter day. I LOVE cooking meals in my Crock-Pot thanks to the set-it-and-forget-it approach. Dinner can be prepped and wrapped up around noon so you can be lazy for the rest of the day/evening. Plus your house will smell of pure deliciousness all day.
This recipe goes especially well served with my warm maple cornbread.
Table of Contents
My chili recipe uses your classic chili ingredients. My only real substitution is using Guinness/stout in place of beef broth plus a few tweaks here and there. The perfect chili should be fresh with whole ingredients, and smokey with a touch of heat and sweetness from some brown sugar. Some details and substitutions below.
- 85% lean ground beef: Can go leaner if you prefer or even use ground turkey for a healthier spin. Cook before as you would beef.
- Light red and dark red kidney beans: Be sure to fully drain and rinse. Do not add the whole contents of the can. I pour into a colander and rinse with cool water. I like a mix of light and dark but you can use all of one or the other.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Can also dice your own tomatoes, canned is just much easier.
- Canned chopped green chiles: These are pretty mild and really just add flavor.
- Yellow onion: Can also use red onion. I don’t precook the onion with the beef so it’s best to finely dice so it gets nice and tender in the slow cooker.
- Minced fresh garlic: Need I say more?
- Chipotle chilis in adobo sauce: 1 chili plus a little sauce is VERY mild. You’ll mostly taste the beautiful smokiness from the chilis. I would add 2-3 for hotter chili. You can always adjust towards the end so save the can!
- Guinness: I love Guinness/mild stouts in chili however any dark ale or IPA will work. Just avoid anything with the name light in it ;). You can substitute for beef broth as well.
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Brown sugar: Can substitute with table sugar.
- Optional, but not so optional toppings: Sour cream, Mexican blend cheese, chopped avocado, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, salsa.
Cooking Chili in a Crock-Pot
This is such an easy chili recipe because everything is thrown right in your Crock-Pot/slow cooker with the exception of the beef. The beef should be cooked/browned in a pan beforehand for best results. This can also be made as turkey chili by using 93% lean ground turkey instead of beef.
You can cook the chili on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Just don’t rush the cooking process or the flavors/ingredients won’t have time to meld together/really tenderize. After your chili is done, you can keep it warm on the “keep warm” setting for a few hours. It will only improve with time.
More Gameday Recipes
- Buffalo chicken calzone
- Chicken parmesan calzone
- Buffalo chicken rangoons
- Air fryer chicken wings
- BBQ pulled pork sliders
- Buffalo chicken dip
- Fried pickles
Crock-Pot Chili Recipe
- 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
- 2 15 ounce cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
- 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, finely chopped (see note below)
- 1 cup Guinness, any dark ale or IPA will work
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional toppings: Sour cream, Mexican blend cheese, chopped avocado, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, salsa
- Heat a large pan with olive oil to medium heat. Cook ground beef until well browned and fully cooked through. About 10 minutes. Use the tip of a spatula to break the beef into small bite-sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper all over.
- Transfer beef to a Crock-Pot or slow cooker using a spatula or slotted spoon. This is to help drain excess fat.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in the Crock-Pot (except toppings) and stir until fully incorporated. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low heat. Give a final stir and serve with toppings.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.