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  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 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 2049 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 10 people
  • 2 lb lean Ground Beef, (90/10 or 93/7)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 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 can 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

  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté beef until it releases fat (4-5 minutes), breaking it up with a spatula.
  • 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.
  • 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. Stir to combine and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Season to taste if desired and serve warm.

Nutrition Per Serving

340kcal Calories41g Carbs33g Protein6g Fat2g Saturated Fat56mg Cholesterol889mg Sodium1356mg Potassium13g Fiber7g Sugar862IU Vitamin A19mg Vitamin C103mg Calcium8mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Classic Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
340
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Cholesterol
 
56
mg
19
%
Sodium
 
889
mg
39
%
Potassium
 
1356
mg
39
%
Carbohydrates
 
41
g
14
%
Fiber
 
13
g
54
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
33
g
66
%
Vitamin A
 
862
IU
17
%
Vitamin C
 
19
mg
23
%
Calcium
 
103
mg
10
%
Iron
 
8
mg
44
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Tex Mex
Keyword: slow cooker chili
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 340
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

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

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Mr Gerhard Mittmann
    June 24, 2024

    Amazing. Easy to play with the flavors, comes out rich and satisfying. Great recipe …

    Reply

  • Scout
    June 22, 2024

    Hi Natasha, I’m Australian and we often call ketchup ‘tomato sauce’, in this instance do you mean like a tomato paste? Or? Sorry to ask.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 22, 2024

      Hi Scout! Thanks for asking, I did not know that. Tomato sauce has a greater water content than tomato paste so it’s not quite as concentrated. You can use paste too if that’s all that you have, you may just need to water it down to create a sauce or use less.

      Reply

  • Rick
    May 17, 2024

    Why do you not drain the fat from ground beef? More flavor? I don’t mind it either way genuinely just curious.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 17, 2024

      Hi Rick, I have this note in the recipe, I hope you find it helpful:”We use lean (90/10 or 93/7) to eliminate the need to spoon out excess fat.”

      Reply

  • Grant
    May 14, 2024

    I just tried this last night, and I thought I had a 6 qt slow cooker, but when I put everything in the slow cooker it went to the very top. I set it LOW over night. Good thing I woke up at 2:30 am since it was leaking out onto the table and floor! Found out it was only a 3.5 qt cooker. But it tastes great! This was the first of your recipes I tried!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 14, 2024

      Oh I’m glad you decided to look after it and checked again. Good to know too that you liked it!

      Reply

  • Karen
    May 14, 2024

    Have you every used the packages of taco seasoning? How many packets to use?

    Reply

  • T
    May 3, 2024

    I would like to make it without beans. Do I need to alter any of the other ingredients? Thank you.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 3, 2024

      Hi T! I have not not made this chili without beans so I’m not sure what changes to suggest.

      Reply

  • Katherine
    April 27, 2024

    My entire family including picky son absolutely love this chili! I’ve probably made it at least 20 times at this point . I add a can of beef broth, a jalapeño and a splash of cayenne (we love spicy over here) and it is delicious. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and not having me have to pay for it !!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2024

      That is the best when kids love what we moms make, especially the picky ones. That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Blythe
    April 25, 2024

    This is NOT a heartburn special. Its flavorful, hearty, easy and homemade!this is now our go-to chili!! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 25, 2024

      You’re welcome! Thank you for your good comments and feedback!

      Reply

  • Monica
    April 21, 2024

    This is my go to chili recipe!! I do, however, add in 2 tsp cocoa powder unsweetened (amount of tsp is per lb), 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tablespoon of Redwine vinegar and worchestershire sauce, 1/2 cup of beef broth and I use brown sugar to taste(about a tablespoon, I like it sweet lol) and a few splashes of milk to help tone down the acidity. I’ve spent a few years perfecting this recipe and I feel that I finally have done that, but I would have never reached this point if not for YOUR recipe Natasha, so thankyou for taking the time to create this website and upload your chili recipe amongst other great ones 😊

    Reply

  • Linda N
    April 18, 2024

    Tried this recipe and loved it I did cut out the kidney beans and added more black beans as I am not a lover of red kidney beans. Thanks for sharing your family approved recipes

    Reply

  • Darren
    April 14, 2024

    LOVE this recipe! Went over very well at the company Christmas Feast Week…(yes, it’s April and I’m 4 months late with this comment…)
    I have 1 question.. how much more do I need to change in order to fill an 8qt Crock Pot? I’m not good at conversions to figure that out, so if you could lend a hand, I’d really appreciate it!
    Thanks,
    Darren

    Reply

    • Peggy
      June 19, 2024

      Hey Darren, if you go to the top of the recipe where it indicates serving size (it says 10 for this, recipe,) you can click on the # and it allows you to slide it to change the servings. Not sure about an 8 qt., but trial and error might get you there. ; )

      Reply

  • Jen
    April 12, 2024

    This recipe turned out great! Added some cayenne and Tabasco for a little heat. How many cups is 1 serving?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 12, 2024

      Hi Jen, This recipe serves about 10 people. I don’t have the exact measurement. You’d have to divide the whole recipe into 10 even servings.

      Reply

  • Tom Gallagher
    April 12, 2024

    Hi Natasha, thank you for the recipe, it was great I only had to put a little bit more sugar and molasses

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 12, 2024

      Thanks for sharing, Tom!

      Reply

  • Lena
    April 10, 2024

    Hi Natasha, can I make this stove top, just cook it on very low heat?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 11, 2024

      Hi Lena! for stovetop, you might try our Turkey Chili (our favorite) and you can sub with beef, or try our Easy Beef Chili.

      Reply

  • Catherine
    April 8, 2024

    I’ve made this several times and it’s always a hit. I sub fresh frozen garden tomatoes, a plain can of diced chiles, and I use dry beans to save money (1/2 cup of dry equals about a normal 16 ounce can of prepared). Since I use dry beans, I add the can rinse liquid also. This is so good, even better with cornbread and lots of toppings.

    Reply

  • Zach Nazarenko
    April 7, 2024

    While i cant confirm the recipe, this is the exact taste I had growing up!
    This has become the ONLY chili I make for my family!
    Perfect recipe, no substitutions!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 7, 2024

      That’s wonderful to hear, Zach!

      Reply

  • Katie
    April 3, 2024

    Love this recipe and make it all the time! If I were to halve the ingredient, what should I do about cook time?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 3, 2024

      Hi Katie! if you halve the recipe you may still need to keep it for the same amount of time per most slow cooker guidelines, this of course will chnage if your crock pot is larger where it may take less time.

      Reply

  • Justin Cowan
    April 3, 2024

    I’ve made this probably 12 times now. I no longer make any other version!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 3, 2024

      I’m so happy you love the recipe, Justin!

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

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