Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Prep Time: 6-8 hours and 20 minutes, depending how long you cook the chili (20 minutes hands-on time)

Meal Notes: After years of testing, tasting, mixing, and matching different chili recipes, I’ve settled on this fusion as my go-to for Superbowl parties, chili cook-offs, and busy winter dinners. For me, it’s the perfect balance of flavor and spice, but you can easily make it more or less spicy by reducing the chili powder or adding another jalapeno. Throw this in the crockpot before work and come home to a one-pot meal. Alternately, consider serving this chili with cornbread, corn cakes, or chips and guacamole.


  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 Tablespoon regular chili powder

  • 1 Tablespoon Chipotle chili powder

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained (plus more to taste)

  • 2 cups tomato sauce (plus more to taste)

  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans

  • 1 (15 oz) can hot chili beans

  • 1/2 jalapeno

  • (Optional) Shredded cheddar cheese, scallion, and sour cream for serving


  • Prep: Dice garlic, onion, and jalapeno

  • Brown Beef: Add diced onion to large skillet, along with about a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking. Cook for a minute, until onion begins to soften. Add ground beef to onions. Fry over medium-high heat, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon. When beef is cooked, remove from heat and drain fat.

  • Combine Ingredients: Transfer drained beef and onion to slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well. Taste to ensure spice level is to your liking. To increase heat, add the second half of the diced jalapeno. To decrease heat, add additional tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and/or a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar.

  • Cook: Cover and cook chili on low for 6-8 hours. Serve chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced scallion.