FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Home > Main Course > Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

An easy slow cooker chili recipe with Ground Beef, beans, tomato sauce, and the best homemade chili seasoning. It putters away in the slow cooker for the juiciest beef and rich flavor.

Thank you to Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff for sponsoring this Slow Cooker Chili recipe. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

Slow Cooker chili served in a bowl garnished with cheese, sour cream and avocado

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

The Best Way to Cook Chili:

Slow Cooking chili is a classic way to cook chili. It’s the easiest chili because you can set it and forget it and this is how the award-winning chilis are achieved. The low and slow cooking process melds the flavors of the chili seasoning into every bite and the beef becomes so tender, juicy, and irresistible. You can slow cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.

Chili in a slow cooker with spoon

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chili:

  • Ground Beef – no other protein does it quite like beef and Ground Beef tastes amazing. We use lean (90/10 or 93/7) to eliminate the need to spoon out excess fat. If yours has a higher fat content, you can spoon out the excess fat when it renders in the skillet.
  • Onion – we love a generous amount of onion because it adds amazing sweet notes to the chili and disappears into the chili as it slow cooks.
  • Beans – you can change up the beans based on what you have on hand, but the classic beans for chili are kidney beans (we love dark red), and black beans. Be sure to rinse and drain the beans in a colander for the best chili consistency and color.
  • Tomatoes & Tomato Sauce – We love the combination of canned diced tomatoes (with their juice) as well as tomato sauce to give the chili a saucy consistency with great texture. For added flavor, we add a can of diced tomatoes and green chilis.
  • Chili Seasoning – we make a simple homemade blend with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Ingredients for chili with ground beef, beans, tomatoes, onion and seasonings

Do you Prefer a Spicy Chili?

To keep it kid-friendly, this classic chili is mild and not spicy. If you prefer a spicy chili, you can either add hot sauce to your bowl when serving or if you want the entire batch to be spicier, add an extra tablespoon of Chili Powder and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper to give it a spicy kick.

How to Make Slow Cooker Chili:

Making chili in the slow cooker doesn’t get any easier. It’s as simple as browning the beef and onions then adding all of the canned ingredients to the slow cooker and turning it on. If you have a multicooker with a slow cooker function, you can saute and slow cook all in the same pot.

  1. SAUTE the beef and onions in a skillet then add garlic and seasonings to the pan.
  2. TRANSFER the beef mixture to a 6 Qt Slow Cooker.
  3. ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS – rinsed and drained beans, diced tomatoes with their juice and tomato sauce.
  4. SLOW COOK – cover and set slow cooker on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours then season more to taste if needed.

Making beef chili step by step tutorial

Our Favorite Chili Toppings:

We love to serve this family-style where everyone can build their own chili bowls with the toppings they love. Toppings can vary based on what we have in the fridge, but these are our favorite toppings for chili –

  • Cheese – mild cheddar is the classic choice, but Mexican shredded cheese works equally well
  • Onion – chopped green or red onion adds a fresh pop of color and flavor
  • Avocado – because we can’t help putting avocado on everything, especially chili.
  • Cilantro – for garnish and adding fresh flavor
  • Sour cream – balances the dish (especially great when chili is served over a baked potato)
  • Sliced jalapenos – you can use any hot pepper for a spicy kick

Toppings for chili with avocados, chives, onion, jalapeños, cheese, sour cream and cilantro

How to Serve Chili:

Chili keeps really well in the refrigerator so we love to get creative with leftovers. There are so many ways to serve classic chili and really it can be served almost any time of day. Some of our favorites include:

  1. Chili Cheese Dip – Sprinkle chili with cheddar cheese and serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips.
  2. Chili Dogs – Top a hot dog with chili and shredded cheese to transform it into a chili cheese dog.
  3. Chili Stuffed Baked Potatoes – topping a baked potato with hot chili is a delicious gluten-free option and fun way to serve a crowd.
  4. In a Bowl – loaded with all of the toppings and tortilla chips or pita chips on the side (this is our family favorite)!

Crockpot chili served in a bowl garnished with toppings and tortilla chips

Why We Love This Family Friendly Dinner:

With so many families staying home together now, juggling homeschool, and cooking more than ever, it’s a great time to get kids in the kitchen and teach them through cooking. This slow cooker beef chili is a great way to teach your children cooking skills. Children can learn:

  • Food safety tips like washing hands after handling raw meat
  • The importance of using separate plates and utensils for raw and ready to eat foods to prevent cross-contamination
  • How to measure spices and weigh ingredients

If you let kids help with preparing the meal, they are more likely to enjoy eating it. It also makes for a memorable photo-op moment!

Making chili in a slow cooker with kids

More Beef Recipes You Will Love:

Get the print-friendly recipe below for this Classic Slow Cooker Beef Chili.

Classic Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

An easy Slow Cooker chili recipe with Ground Beef, beans, tomato sauce, and the best homemade chili seasoning. It putters away in the slow cooker for the juiciest beef and rich flavor.

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $16-$20
Keyword: slow cooker chili
Cuisine: American, Tex Mex
Course: Main Course
Calories: 340 kcal
Servings: 10 people

Ingredients

  • 2 lb lean Ground Beef (90/10 or 93/7)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
  • 30 oz kidney beans two 15oz cans, drained and rinsed
  • 30 oz diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 10 oz diced tomatoes and green chilis with their juice
  • 30 oz tomato sauce

Instructions

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté beef until it releases fat (4-5 minutes), breaking it up with a spatula.

  2. Add onion to the skillet and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add minced garlic and seasonings: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Cook another 30 seconds stirring constantly. Transfer to a 6 Qt slow cooker.

  3. Add remaining ingredients into the slow cooker: rinsed and drained beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, diced tomatoes and green chilis with juice and tomato sauce. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Season to taste if desired and serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
Classic Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 889mg39%
Potassium 1356mg39%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 862IU17%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 103mg10%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Larry Dubin
    October 19, 2020

    Made this Chili and it was fantastic! I did it all in the slow cooker so I did not have to transfer the sautéd beef and onion from a pan. So happy I found your website and FB page. Love your videos and recipes.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 19, 2020

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying our recipes, Larry! That’s so great! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and comment!

      Reply

  • Theresa
    October 18, 2020

    Not sure what I did wrong but the chili has a lot of liquid. What can I add to make the chili thicker?
    Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 18, 2020

      Hi Theresa, normally this is a very hearty and thick chili once it has completed slow cooking. Did you swap any of the ingredients? You could simmer it uncovered for a little longer to thicken up if needed.

      Reply

  • Mary
    September 20, 2020

    A great base chili and I think you can dial-up or down the taste depending on what you like. My 3 boys (<15 y-o) and husband loved it! We'll definitely make it again as it was a winner with everyone.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 21, 2020

      Yes, you’re right about that. This recipe is versatile you can adjust it according to your preference. Thanks for your good feedback!

      Reply

  • Tammy
    September 15, 2020

    This tasted great! Family loved it. I would definitely edit the recipe for novice cooks to pre-soak and pre-cook beans for at least an hour as they won’t be cooked properly in the slow cooker– its actually a pretty common issue with slow cooking beans, and the beans cause food poisoning if undercooked. Otherwise a great recipe- tastes like classic chili!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 15, 2020

      Thank you for sharing that with us Tammy!

      Reply

    • Pat
      October 3, 2020

      But aren’t canned beans already cooked….?

      Reply

    • Marla
      October 18, 2020

      This recipe calls for canned beans. No need to pre-soak or pre-cook. Since canned beans are already cooked, no poisoning here 🙂

      Reply

  • Krista
    September 14, 2020

    Hello- how much is a serving size? 1 or 2 cups?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 14, 2020

      Hi Krista, a serving size is about one to one and half cups.

      Reply

  • Ella
    August 24, 2020

    I made this Chili Friday I didn’t Make it in a crock pot . I made it on the stove in a heavy pot ( was going to (ut caanged my mind at the last minute) Followed the instructions given and it turned out delicious. Everyone went back for seconds. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 24, 2020

      You’re most welcome, Ella. I’m glad to hear that everyone loved this chili recipe! Thanks for sharing that with us.

      Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 24, 2020

      Isn’t the flavor so good! I’m happy you enjoyed this recipe Ella!

      Reply

  • Annah
    August 17, 2020

    hi Natasha! pls what is a substitute for cumin? and also, there are various chili recipes on your blog, so personally, which one is your favourite?

    Reply

  • Lori
    August 15, 2020

    I don’t want to use canned. Can I still use this recipe using fresh tomatoes and dried beans? How would I extend the cooking time?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Hi Lori, I imagine that should work although I haven’t tested that yet to advise of the cooking time.

      Reply

  • Isabel
    August 9, 2020

    Hi Natasha. My husband is not a big fan of beans. Have you tried this without them? I’m just concerned it would be to sausy.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 9, 2020

      Hi Isabel, I haven’t tried doing this without beans yet and I have not tried any other substitute too sorry about that.

      Reply

  • Old man who loves to play in the kitchen
    August 8, 2020

    This is very similar to mine, except I use coriander, cinnamon and sugar (small amounts of each). My family seems to like it. 4 of us can almost kill the whole pot in one sitting.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 8, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me Juan!

      Reply

  • Annah
    August 8, 2020

    hi Natasha! pls can the chili be made with any other type of beans? and I gotta ask, how do u get all these ideas for such amazing recipes?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 8, 2020

      Hi Annah! Yes! other beans should work here too! We love to take in our reader’s suggestions!

      Reply

  • Jo-Ann
    August 5, 2020

    We are just 2 people so I was wondering if I could freeze this into 2 people portions?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 5, 2020

      Hi Jo-Ann, if you are at the recipe, you may click “Jump to recipe” and you can click on the number of servings to adjust the ingredients. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Melanie Barrett
    July 21, 2020

    I just love your blog! I was getting hungry just reading this, and all of the different suggestions about how to use it!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 21, 2020

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying our blog, Melanie! I hope you give our recipes a try soon!

      Reply

  • Paul
    July 10, 2020

    Just put this into my slow cooker and sat back with a beer and waiting for the 4 hours to go by… I’m not much of a cook but this recipe looked fool proof, I mean what could go wrong??
    I did think 30 ounces of tomato sauce was a lot but thought hey ho, that’s what needed, so must be right. But then it dawned on me that the recipe calls for ‘tomato sauce’ and not ketchup!
    In the US they call it ketchup but here in the UK, ketchup is commonly known as tomato sauce. Somehow, I’m not so eager for the next 4 hours to go by after all.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 10, 2020

      Hi Paul, oh bummer! Yes ketchup is very different from tomato sauce in the US.

      Reply

  • Nancy
    July 8, 2020

    Hi Natasha, have you made this in the Instant Pot? How long would it pressure cook for? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 8, 2020

      Hi Nancy, I have not tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Jean
    June 28, 2020

    Hi Natasha,

    I was wondering if this recipe Could be made using a stove at a very low temperature for a few hours instead of using the slow cooker?
    I do not have a very big slow cooker it’s only 2.5 QT. If this is not an option, I was thinking about cutting the recipe in half. What do you think?
    Just can’t wait to taste this recipe.
    Thank you.
    Jean

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 29, 2020

      Hi Jean, I haven’t tested that but I think it could work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe

      Reply

  • Ching
    June 14, 2020

    I made your chili and is was the hit. My co-workers and friends loved it

    thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 15, 2020

      So wonderful to hear that! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

  • Tarnya Beaumont
    June 6, 2020

    Thanks Natasha, This is a winner, even with my Texas friends. We don’t have the tomatoes with Chilly in Australia so just added a chopped red chilly. I also just discovered the metric option for the measurements, I’m so blonde. Many Many Thanks Tarnya

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 7, 2020

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Tarnya! Thank you for the wonderful review!

      Reply

  • Julie Martinez
    May 18, 2020

    Hello i have a 2 quart slow cooker, i usually use 1lb and it’s fine, that being said, what will change if i half the beef part of recipe? What would be the adjustments…i also don’t need it to serve 10 people and this recipe is 10 servings?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 18, 2020

      Hi Julie, I recommend our recipe serving slider. Scroll down to the printable recipe card. Where is says “servings: X people” Click the red number and that will make a slider appear allowing you to slide left or right to the number of servings desired. Bringing that number down to x amount of servings and that should give you the recipe based on x lbs of meat that you have. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Lisa C
    May 9, 2020

    I made this yesterday as the weather in Northeast Ohio was in the 30s. Brrrrr! I improvised with things I had on hand like ground turkey and fire roasted tomatoes. Also added some ground chorizo. Followed the seasonings though. My house smelled amazing all day! Thank you for a great chili recipe I will definitely be making again.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 9, 2020

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Sadeta Bedard
    May 6, 2020

    Could you please share the recipe for home made Chili Seasoning? I can see the ingredients but need the amount of spoon/oz..Thank you much!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 6, 2020

      Hi Sadeta, we have the amounts listed in the recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post and you will see them in the ingredients list on the printable card option. I hope that helps. See: “2 tsp cumin powder, 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, …” etc.

      Reply

  • Melissa
    May 5, 2020

    This is the best dinner! My whole family loves it!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2020

      That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

      Reply

  • Krissy Allori
    May 5, 2020

    We are a chili loving family around here. This one really hit the spot. It’s so nice to be able to put it in the crockpot, set it and forget it. So good!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Stephanie
    May 5, 2020

    The seasoning you used was perfect! So delicious and I just loved the smell of it cooking all day!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2020

      Isn’t it amazing! The flavor is so so good! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • Chelsea
    May 5, 2020

    This is such a delicious dinner!! My family loves it! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2020

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed that!

      Reply

Add comment/review

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating




As Featured On

FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.