Ground beef, red kidney beans, and diced tomatoes are slowly cooked with lots of flavorful robust seasonings in this crockpot chili recipe. A bowl of chili is perfect for bone-chilling fall or winter days!
Why this recipe works
We’re showing you how to make our classic homemade chili in the crockpot today. Many have asked how to make it in the slow cooker, and we don’t blame you! Crockpot chili is a set it and forget it kind of meal that’s super convenient for busy weekdays when you want a filling dinner to come home to.
You can also find our recipe for how to make instant pot chili using the same ingredients but a different method that’s just as easy as the slow cooker version.
Ingredients you will need
Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version at the end of this post.
Ingredient Info and Substitution Suggestions
BEEF – Fairly lean ground beef is best, 85-90% is what I use. I find that to be the perfect ratio. If you’d like, you can add in some ground sausage as you see fit.
SEASONING – The seasoning mix includes flour for thickening and salt for flavor enhancement. Dried minced onion and dried minced garlic are used because this is a homemade chili seasoning mix that can be kept in your pantry. Chili powder and crushed red pepper add flavor and a little heat as well as color. Granulated white sugar helps with the acidic tomatoes you will be adding. Ground cumin is a great flavor addition.
FILLING – Canned dark red kidney beans are what I use, but regular red kidneys are great too. You also need canned tomatoes, I use fire-roasted diced because I love the added flavor. Feel free to add sliced jalapenos, freshly chopped onion, or green peppers as well!
How to Make Crockpot Chili
These step by step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make this recipe. You can Jump to Recipe to get the printable version of this recipe, complete with measurements and instructions at the bottom.
- Brown the ground meat in an 8 inch skillet and drain of excess fat.
EXPERT TIP: If using raw onion instead of dried, saute it with the meat.
- Add all ingredients to a 4 quart slow cooker. Mix well and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions & Expert Tips
For leftovers, store in an air-tight container kept in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Be sure to let the chili fully cool off before storing it in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave, adding a small amount of water as needed to loosen it up.
This recipe will feed 4 people, so if you have a larger family or want to have leftovers, double or triple the ingredients listed in the recipe card below adjusting the size of the crockpot as needed (this recipe fits into a 4 qt crockpot).
Not only is crockpot chili a satisfying meal on its own, but it’s even better when paired with sweet cornbread. Pile it onto chili dogs, add it to stuffed peppers, or sprinkle it atop nachos and baked potatoes.
Topping Ideas for Crockpot Chili
- A spoonful of sour cream with chopped avocado
- Shredded cheddar cheese, we like Sharp Cheddar
- Sliced green onions or fresh jalapenos for a bite
- Fresh red, yellow or green bell peppers, chopped small
- Tortilla chips are great, my son also loved Fritos corn chips on his
- Crispy bacon makes a delicious crumbed topping
- While fresh parsley is pretty, fresh cilantro adds a great flavor element
The aroma that will fill your home is enough to make this recipe over and over again!
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IMPORTANT – There are often Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!Print It Rate It
Homemade Chili Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp dried minced onion
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 lb ground beef 85-90% lean
- 15 oz dark red kidney beans 1 can, drained, and rinsed
- 14 oz diced tomatoes 1 can, we prefer fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- Brown the ground meat in an 8 inch skillet and drain of excess fat. If using raw onion instead of dried, saute with the meat.
- Add all ingredients to a 4 quart crockpot. Mix well and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Expert Tips & FAQs
- This recipe will feed 4 people, so if you have a larger family or want to have leftovers, double or triple the ingredients listed adjusting the size of the crockpot as needed.