Is there any better comfort food than a warm bowl of chili and a slice of buttery cornbread to get you through the winter months? Our favorite slow cooker chili recipe is delicious and super easy to make! This no-fail, flavorful chili is the perfect game day meal for your Super Bowl party or potluck.
The great thing about this crockpot chili recipe is that you can make it with ground beef or ground turkey and add your favorite toppings like cheddar cheese, sour cream or green onions. You can essentially customize it to suit your taste. You can even make it vegetarian, just leave the meat out and add cubed sweet potato or butternut squash instead. Easy peasy!
Picture it – you throw all the ingredients into the crockpot late morning, set it and forget. When friends arrive all you have to do is put out the toppings, lift the lid and grab a ladle. Or, cozy up with blankets and pjs and have a family movie night in.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or if it’s your first time in the kitchen, this will be an easy win and a crowd-pleaser if you’re serving others. Why not make a whole pot for yourself? Store in an airtight container and you’ve got lunch or dinner for the week.
Easy Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
Notes and Substitutions:
- This recipe is so versatile and easy to make, literally the best crock pot chili recipe!
- Use grass-fed, organic ground beef if possible or organic ground turkey for the most healthy meat choice.
- Substitute a cubed sweet potato or butternut squash for the beans if you want to eliminate legumes, 1-2 cups should do. Just throw in the sweet potatoes or squash when you put everything else together and they will cook perfectly, no cooking time adjustments needed. And don’t worry, it doesn’t make the chili too sweet.
- The chili seasoning can be made homemade if you don’t want to use a chili packet. This is a good recipe for homemade seasoning.
- If you prefer spicy chili, add hot sauce to taste or use a spicy chili seasoning packet
- You can use black beans, pinto beans, white beans or a bean blend instead of dark red kidney beans or chili beans
- You can make this recipe vegetarian by simply leaving out the meat and replacing it with sweet potatoes, butternut squash or a mix of both.
- Cook on low for four to five hours or two to three hours on high if you need it quicker. Slow cookers can vary with temperature and timing so make sure to check on it from time to time. As long as your chili is bubbly and has had enough time to simmer for awhile you should be good to go.
- The tablespoon of tomato paste give the chili that extra umami and adds so much flavor.
My Preferred Ingredients:
- I prefer pink Himalayan sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Frank’s Hot Sauce is my go-to.
- Muir Glen (this is my favorite brand for tomato sauce and the other organic tomato ingredients).
- I like to use organic beans if possible (Target and Walmart are great stores for affordable, organic beans).
- Aldi has a great selection of grass-fed, organic ground beef and Costco has organic ground turkey at the best price.
Easy Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
- Slow cooker
- Saute pan
- Cutting board
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5 ounce can water
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 package mild chili seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
- A few dashes of hot sauce to taste (optional)
- Brown meat with diced onions and drain. Add all ingredients into the crockpot. Set slow cooker on low for approximately 4-5 hours. Time will vary depending on the slow cooker, but it should be get to bubbling. Spoon into bowls and top with sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.
Final Notes and Takeaways:
My favorite way to serve this chili is with a side of warm tortilla chips or you can’t go wrong with a large skillet of cornbread. The secret ingredients for elevating this recipe is hot sauce, as mentioned before, or brown sugar. If you want to cut the spice and add a little sweetness, stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar, taste, then add more until you reach your desired level of sweetness! As with most crockpot recipes, slow cooking the chili on low heat will make your kitchen smell wonderful!
After many tweaks over the years our whole family thinks this is the best crockpot chili recipe ever. Take it to your next potluck or enter it into a chili cook-off if you’re brave! My husband entered it into his office chili-cook off one year and it got second place!
You can double the recipe so you have leftover chili for the next day or throw it in your lunchbox for school or work. I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you have a chance to make it please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
I hope this great chili recipe and other recipes you find on the blog will inspire you to invite your friends and family over for the big game or for any reason at all. Gathering together is always a good idea! The next time you have guests over check out more of our simple, healthy recipes.