Slow Cooker Beef Chili — Easy, hearty comfort food that’s packed with flavor that develops beautifully as the beef chili simmers away in your slow cooker!
Slow Cooker Beef Chili Recipe
Chilly weather means it’s the perfect time for chili. I can’t believe in 8 years of blogging I don’t have a recipe for classic beef chili on my blog. Better late than never.
This slow cooker chili is easy, hearty comfort food that’s packed with flavor that develops beautifully as the chili simmers away in your slow cooker.
The ground beef chili is rich in flavor and has a tiny amount of kick but I wouldn’t say it’s spicy. Add the spices to your taste preferences and you can add more chili powder, add cayenne powder, or use hot green chilis if you want to kick it up.
Good thing you’ll have leftovers, because this easy beef chili tastes even better the next day and it freezes well!
What’s in Slow Cooker Beef Chili?
To make this ground beef chili recipe, you’ll need:
- Ground beef
- Vidalia onion
- Red bell pepper
- Red kidney beans
- Black beans
- Diced tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Diced green chiles
- Bay leaves
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Chili
After browning ground beef, onions, red peppers, and garlic on the stove, transfer everything to your slow cooker. Make sure it’s lined with a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner. I always, always use a slow cooker liner because it helps me say goodbye to soaking, scrubbing, and eliminates the dreaded task of cleaning out the slow cooker after a meal.
Simply place a liner into your slow cooker, add the ingredients, and cook as you normally would. When you’re finished making your meal, remove any leftover food and throw the liner away.
I took it one step further and just lifted the liner with extra chili still in it, and then placed all of it inside a Tupperware container and into the fridge for storage. Less messy dishes to do, score.
Can I Use Ground Turkey Instead of Ground Beef?
I’m sure you could, although any chili made with ground turkey isn’t a classic chili recipe in my book. But yes, ground turkey, chicken, or pork could be used in place of the ground beef if desired.
My Go-To Chili Toppings
This slow cooker beef chili tastes great as is, but I always like to load it up with toppings. A few of my favorite chili toppings are:
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheese
- Sliced jalapeños
- Chopped green onions
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Hot sauce
Tips for Making the Best Slow Cooker Chili
Wherever possible I selected no-salt or low-salt products. If using regular versions, add less salt in the beginning and salt to taste at the end.
I prefer to drain and rinse my beans before adding them to the ground beef chili, but you can dump the beans straight into it if you’re short on time.
To help ease weeknight dinner chaos, I cooked everything on the stovetop the night before, transferred it into my lined slow cooker, added the remaining ingredients, refrigerated, and the next night turned on the slow cooker in advance of dinner. So easy.
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- 2 pounds ground beef (I used 90% lean)
- 1 medium/large sweet Vidalia onion, diced small
- 1 medium/large red bell pepper, diced small
- 3 to 5 garlic cloves, finely pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- one 16-ounce can red kidney beans (I used low-salt), drained and rinsed if desired
- one 15-ounce can black beans (I used no-salt added), drained and rinsed if desired
- one 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (I used no-salt added)
- one 8-ounce can tomato sauce, plus 8 ounces water used to rinse out can
- two 4-ounce cans diced green chilis (I used one can mild, one can hot)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
- 2 to 4 bay leaves
- sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips or crackers; all optional for garnishing
- To a large Dutch oven, add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat to brown, crumbling it with a spatula as it cooks and tossing it to ensure even cooking. Cook through, about 5 minutes or as necessary. Drain fat if necessary.
- Add the onions, red pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables have softened, stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and cook for about 1 minute, stir intermittently.
- Line a 6-quart slow cooker with a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner and transfer the beef mixture into it.
- Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, rinse can out with 8 ounces water and add the water, green chilis, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and bay leaves.
- Cover, and cook on high for about 2 to 3 hours or on low for about 4 to 5 hours. All slow cookers vary in their heat intensity. Cook until chili has thickened some. Stir, taste, and add more salt, pepper, or seasonings to taste. Remove bay leaves.
- Ladle into bowls and optionally garnish with sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips or crackers.
- Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months. The flavors meld and marry and I think it tastes even better a day or two later.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 525Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1206mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 11gSugar: 9gProtein: 43g
More Homemade Chili Recipes:
Easy 30-Minute Homemade White Chicken Chili — Hearty, healthy, loaded with tender chicken, and packed with bold flavor!! Fast and easy comfort food that everyone loves! It’ll be on rotation all winter!
Easy 30-Minute Beef Taco Chili — Don’t have all day for chili to simmer? No problem!! This EASY, hearty chili full of Mexican-inspired flavors is ready in 30 minutes! If you like TACOS, you’ll LOVE this chili!!
Easy 30-Minute Turkey Chili — This healthy turkey chili recipe comes together in just 30 minutes! It’s packed with flavor and is perfect for busy weeknight dinners.
30-Minute Cinnamon and Black Bean Loaded Chili – If you’re looking for a unique spin on classic chili, this EASY and DELICIOUS beef chili recipe is the one!!
Easy 30-Minute Smoky Beef and Black Bean Chili – Don’t have all day for chili to simmer? No problem!! This chili with lovely SMOKY heat is ready in 30 minutes!
Easy 30-Minute Chicken Enchilada Chili – This EASY, hearty, healthier chili full of Mexican-inspired flavors is ready in 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights!!
Post is brought to you by Reynolds®. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own.