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

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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.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Classic Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

5 from 2020 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

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 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

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Dawn Moreno
    March 2, 2024

    This has been my GO TO recipe. The ratio of spices could not be more perfect. The rich beefiness and chunky consistency hit all the right notes with my entire family. Experiment and find the perfect recipe for you and yours.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 2, 2024

      I’m so glad to hear that, Dawn! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

  • Paula
    February 28, 2024

    Wow!! I made it today and this is an easy and delicious recipe! It was a bit too spicy. Next time I will add less chili powder. I enjoyed the flavours of sweetness and salty. It was nice and thick. Not dry. It tasted restaurant-style. Family favourite!! Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 28, 2024

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

      Reply

  • Yvonne
    February 27, 2024

    Hi Natasha! This will be like my 10th recipe that I’ve tried from you! And they were all a success. Making this tonight. Quick question, could I use ground turkey?? Or would that alter the taste??

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 27, 2024

      Hi Yvonne! Yes, several of my readers have reported using ground Turkey with great results.
      I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Ray Lussier
    February 26, 2024

    I hadn’t made real chili from scratch in decades, if ever. I’ve done vegetarian chili, but decided to try the real thing this time around. This recipe has got to be the best I’ve ever had! And it’s so easy. Brown the meat, add onions and seasonings, open cans (drain and rinse the beans first) and dump it all in the slow cooker. It’s not too spicy but not weak either. I made one slight alteration, I put just a little less onion in mine and added some chopped yellow pepper. I’m gonna be making this quite regularly. I used organic grass fed beef that I picked up at ALDI and it you by the canned ingredients at ALDI you have a big pot of chili for an army at a pretty low cost. Taste great with cheese on it and put some nachos on the side for dipping. Very easy and satisfying meal. Enjoy!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 26, 2024

      Thanks for sharing that with us, Ray. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the results!

      Reply

  • Bozenka
    February 26, 2024

    I just made this recipe and let it sit overnight and we had it the following day. I think it’s ok, but we had to add a lot more spices, was a little too bland for our liking. I also added corn for some color.
    We like our Chili with a kick too, so definitely added way more heat to the recipe.

    Reply

    • Michael
      February 29, 2024

      If you like heat you should try adding some Carolina Reaper.

      Reply

  • Kelly
    February 13, 2024

    This seems very thick and dry with ingredients listed? No water or broth is needed?? I have it all in the crockpot now, but very nervous with the lack of liquid (I haven’t even added the black beans yet)

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 13, 2024

      Hi Kelly! That’s correct. No water or broth was used in this recipe. I just used the diced tomatoes with their juice, diced tomatoes and green chilis with juice, and tomato sauce. I hope you love the results. This recipe has some great reviews and has won chili cook-off competitions (per many of my viewers who have used this recipe). Feel free to thin it out with broth/water if you prefer and season it some more to taste.

      Reply

  • Christina
    February 12, 2024

    Love this recipe . Curious to know how much is a serving . What size for the 340 calories, please and thanks .

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 12, 2024

      Hi Christina! I’m so glad you love it. This recipe serves 10. The nutrition facts are per serving. It’s computer generated so I don’t have the exact measurement of a serving. You could weigh it as a whole using a food scale and divide that by 10, or divide into 10 even servings. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Ronda
    February 12, 2024

    Wow! I made this the day before the Super Bowl and we had a big party and everyone brought something. But they lined up for seconds, maybe even thirds. This was the best chili I’ve ever made, not to mention easy! Thanks so much Natasha, I love your recipes. ☺️🤗

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 12, 2024

      You’re very welcome, Ronda! I’m so glad it was a hit.

      Reply

  • C
    February 10, 2024

    What is the serving size? I need this for calorie tracking.
    Thank you very much, love the recipe.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 10, 2024

      Hi C, I didn’t really weight it per serving so I would divide the whole recipe to 10 to get the per serving size.

      Reply

  • Krisanne Flinders
    February 10, 2024

    Hi Natasha. I plan on using this crockpot chili recipe tomorrow! I’m considering adding some vegetable (green pepper mushroom and maybe carrot too). Any advice on how I might need to alter the recipe to accommodate these veggies but still have it turn out as great as your original?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 10, 2024

      Hi Krisanne! I assume they can be added without making any modifications. Some of my viewers have added other veggies to this with good results. Let us know how it turns out if your experiment.

      Reply

  • Danielle
    February 6, 2024

    The consistency turned out kind of gritty from the tomato sauce. Is there a way to avoid that for a smoother, less tomato sauce-like texture?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 8, 2024

      Hi Danielle, I haven’t had this turn out gritty before – did you rinse the black beans? Also did you sub any of the tomato products?

      Reply

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