This super easy slow cooker beef chili is the ultimate pantry meal! I make it probably every other week because it's so easy and will feed the two of us for like three days. My Crock Pot is easily one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, I always have canned veggies on hand and ground beef in the freezer, so we can make this beef chili literally whenever!
You might also like this slow cooker white chicken chili!
Ground Beef - Use 85% lean beef for the best ratio of fat and flavor! However this chili is also delicious with ground turkey!
Hatch Chilies - These spicy hatch chilies are my favorite for chili because they have such great flavor! However, jalapenos or poblanos are also a great choice!
Onions, Garlic, Peppers - I recommend always sautéing the aromatics before adding to the chili for the best flavor!
Spices - You can use chili seasoning if you want, but I prefer to make my own with a blend of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. I also love to add in some dried ancho chili powder and smoked paprika but those are optional!
Canned Tomatoes - You can use any canned tomatoes that you have on hand, but my favorite are fire roasted salsa tomatoes! They have a ton of extra flavor from being roasted with chilies meaning you need a little less seasoning for an awesome chili.
Beans and Corn - I love using a combo of different types of beans and corn for a super hearty chili. You can use as many or as few as you like!
How to Make Crock Pot Chili
Slow cooking chili is the best way to get a super flavorful chili with perfectly tender meat! To make the chili, we just sauté up the ground beef with onions and peppers. Then combine everything in the Crock Pot and let it hang out all day. That's it! So easy.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic in the olive oil until translucent and fragrant.
Add in the ground beef, salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin and continue to cook until the beef is browned and cooked through (just a few minutes). You can drain out the excess fat if desired, then add to your slow cooker.
Add in the canned tomatoes, beans, and corn and stir until combined.
If needed, add just enough water to barely cover top of the ingredients in the slow cooker (add more liquid if you want a more soupy chili).
Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Taste the chili and adjust seasonings as desired.
Best Toppings for Chili
I like to serve chili family style so that everyone can choose their own toppings! Some of my favorites are:
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Green onions
- Sliced jalapenos
The classic bowl - This is obvious, but nothing beats a big bowl of chili loaded with toppings! I like to serve with either tortilla chips or jalapeno cheddar cornbread!
Chili dogs - Nothing makes a hot dog better than topping with chili and shredded cheese!
Baked potatoes - To be honest, I'm not a fan of baked potatoes, but they are significantly better topped with homemade chili!
It's always cheaper to buy ground beef in bulk, so I'll buy a 2-3 pound pack and sauté it all with 3x's the onions and peppers. Then portion it out and freeze it! Then whenever I'm craving chili, we can just throw our prepped frozen meat in the Crock Pot with some canned tomatoes and beans and voila! dinner is served (in 4-8 hours).
Since this chili is already loaded with four types of beans and corn, just remove the ground beef to make a vegetarian chili!
Yes! This beef chili freezes and reheats really well! I recommend freezing in small batches that are just enough for a bowl or two when you need it.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
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Easy Slow Cooker Chili
- slow cooker or large instant pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium hatch green chilies or jalapenos, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef, or turkey
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1-2 cups water, as needed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- green onions
- lime wedges
- tortilla chips
- Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic in the olive oil until translucent and fragrant.
- Add in the ground beef, salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin and continue to cook until the beef is browned and cooked through (just a few minutes). You can drain out the excess fat if desired, then add to your slow cooker.
- Add in the canned tomatoes, beans, and corn and stir until combined.
- If needed, add just enough water to barely cover top of the ingredients in the slow cooker (add more liquid if you want a more soupy chili).
- Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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KTB DW says
Hi! I must have missed where you said the size of the crock pot that is required for this! Sorry, and thank you.
Kyleigh Sage says
Hi! So mine is a 6qt and the perfect size. So that or anything bigger would work!
KTB DW says
Glad I asked, mine's 3.5 qt. I'll halve the recipe, thank you!!