Slow Cooker Chili


Slow Cooker Chili is one of my all time most popular recipes and for good reason! This is the best chili around and a long time family favorite! It’s so flavorful, its packed with protein and perfectly hearty and it’s a dinner everyone can agree on.

An overhead shot of Slow Cooker Chili

The Best Slow Cooker Chili Out There!

In my home during the cold winter months I make chili about once every other week.


It’s one of my favorite dinners, topped with cheese and sour cream of course. I also love to serve it over baked potatoes or with a side of cornbread.

Chili Video

This also makes really good leftovers.

I ‘m usually not a big fan of leftovers but I even freeze this chili and it’s still perfectly delicious even a month later!


A ladle scooping up some Slow Cooker Chili

Slow and Low Cooking Creates Great Flavor

This slow cooker method is my favorite for chili. The flavor of the chili is rich and robust and the texture of the beef is so tender, basically perfect and the way the ground beef in chili should be.

Six hours of slow cooking creates the best chili ever. And have I mentioned how easy this chili is to make? It’s a total breeze, so this will likely become a recipe you won’t want to lose!

Slow Cooker Chili in a blue bowl topped with cheese and sour cream

How To Make Slow Cooker Chili

  • Saute onions and garlic, add to slow cooker.

Process shot of sweating onions to make slow cooker chili

  • Brown beef and add to slow cooker (I like to either brown it in two batches or just add it in a few larger portions so it really has a chance to brown on bottom. And only stir occasionally).

Process shot of browned beef in a slow cooker to make slow cooker chili

  • Then add the other ingredients, while waiting until the end to add the beans. Otherwise they will turn out mushy and way over-cooked.

Tomatoes and spices in a slow cooker to make slow cooker chili

  • Stir in beans, heat through (chili should be really hot so they should warm through quickly).

Beans being added to slow cooker chili

  • Serve with desired toppings. I think cheese is a must.

slow cooker chili in a slow cooker ready to eat

Tips and Variations for this Slow Cooker Chili

  • Add a diced red or green bell pepper along with the veggies.
  • If you like spicy chili add a seeded jalapeno or two along with the veggies.
  • Serve with grated cheddar, sour cream, diced avocados, tortilla chips or saltine crackers.
  • Leave to cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer. Always use airtight containers.
  • Serve with a side of cornbread.
  • Serve in baked potatoes.
  • Strain leftover chili and serve over nachos or Navajo Fry Bread.

More Chili Recipes You Might Like

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Slow Cooker Chili

4.82 from 138 votes

One of my most popular recipes and for good reason! This is the best chili I've ever tasted! Slow cooking it allows for the flavors to meld and the most tender beef. Try it tonight and see why everyone loves this!

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Slow Cooker Chili
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 415 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies*
  • 3 (8 oz) cans cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving

Optionally serve with:

  • fresh cornbread or biscuits , baked russet potatoes, saltine crackers or tortilla chips


  1. Heat olive oil in a large and deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add onion and saute 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Pour onions into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker.

  3. Return skillet to medium-high eat, add beef and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned.

  4. Drain most of fat from beef, leaving about 2 Tbsp in with beef (this is optional, I think it ads flavor but you can drain it all if you'd prefer). Pour browned beef into slow cooker.
  5. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, sugar, coriander and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 - 6 hours.
  7. Stir in dark and light red kidney beans and allow to heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve warm with desired toppings.

  8. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Recipe Notes

  • Look for tomatoes with "mild" green chilies. If you don't like a bit of heat then just use plain canned tomatoes.
  • If you want to thin the chili at the end you can add in another 1/2 cup beef broth. If you like a really thick chili you can omit the beef broth altogether.
  • Other topping ideas include sour cream, chopped red or green onions, roasted peppers, or hot sauce
  • If desired serve with baked potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, saltine crackers or tortilla chips.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 415 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 595mg 25%
Potassium 1410mg 40%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 8g
Protein 32g 64%
Vitamin A 27.5%
Vitamin C 23.9%
Calcium 11%
Iron 47.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Nancy: I would like to use a combination of (dry beans) for my chili. How do I modify this receipt? November 5, 2018 at 6:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would cook them separately then add at the end still. November 5, 2018 at 8:14am Reply

  • Sara: Had to add more of all spices because it was so bland. November 4, 2018 at 5:55pm Reply

  • Mindy: If I don’t have the cocoa powder is it a big deal to leave out? Do I need to add anything else?
    Everything is in the crockpot now so I can’t wait to try this! November 4, 2018 at 8:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It will still taste great it just gives it a little something so add it next time :). November 4, 2018 at 9:19am Reply

      • Bitch Harlow: I substituted Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix once, omitting the sugar as a result. It came out great. November 4, 2018 at 9:43am Reply

  • Kristen: For the cans of diced tomatoes, do you drain the first or just put the entire can contents in? November 3, 2018 at 3:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Don’t drain just add as is. Hope you love it! November 3, 2018 at 8:10am Reply

  • Corey: I could never find a good chili with a good heat, not overbearing, until now. It has a nice kick but doesn’t linger so you can’t enjoy the taste of what you are eating. Thank you October 27, 2018 at 3:28pm Reply

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