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The Best Crock Pot Chili Recipe – Thick, Hearty & Delicious

Now that the cooler weather is among us, it is time to share my best crock pot chili recipe. Thick and hearty chili that will help warm your belly on those cool autumn and winter days.

Best of all it is easy to make because all of the ingredients get thrown into a slow cooker. Turn it on and forget it!

After a few hours the flavor of the ingredients will have meld together perfectly to give you a delicious meal that will keep you feeling full for hours. Although, I have to admit that it is so good that it will be hard to resist eating a second bowl.

bowl of the best crock pot chili
A bowl of the best crock pot chili. No toppings required, it is that good!

However, the key to making the Best Crock Pot Chili Recipe is to add a variety of ingredients so that chili has a ton of flavor in every bite.

Sure you could grab a packet of chili seasoning from the grocery store. However, with just a few spices that you most likely already have in your spice cabinet you can make the best tasting chili that you have ever had.

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on the back of a packet of chili seasoning powder? Unfortunately, there are ingredients that you would never expect to find.

Here is an example of what you might see on the ingredient list:

Chili Pepper and Other Spices (Including Paprika, Cumin), Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Corn Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Garlic, Onion and Extractives of Cumin.

Who would have ever thought that chili seasoning would contain gluten. Although there are gluten-free chili seasoning packets that you can purchase, it is easy to make your own so you know exactly what you are getting.

Simply mix together the following ingredients and you have yourself the best homemade chili seasoning that you can add to your crock pot chili!

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each:
    garlic powder
    onion powder
    ground cumin
    red pepper flakes
    salt
    black pepper
homemade chili seasoning
It is easy to make your own chili seasoning with some common spices that you already have in your pantry.

What Type of Meat to Use In Crock Pot Chili

I often get asked what type of meat makes the best chili. And the best advice that I can give is to use a combination of meat whenever possible.

The added flavor of 2 or even 3 different types of meat improves the flavor profile of the chili tremendously. However, with that being said, I am also a realist.

Most of us will use one type of ground meat when making chili. And that is just fine too!

Beef is the most commonly used meat when it comes to making chili. Although some people use diced chuck roast, brisket or short ribs to make chili, ground beef is the most common and least expensive type of meat used.

Ground beef that has 80/20 ratio will give you the best flavor. But if you are wanting a heartier, more thick chili, opt for ground sirloin which has a 90/10 lean to fat ratio.

But if you are looking to add more flavor to your crock pot chili, mix in some ground pork or ground sausage if you have it readily available. However, if you are trying to eat a healthier version of chili, substitute ground turkey or ground chicken instead.

ground beef in skillet
Although you could use just about any type of meat to make chili, ground beef is most commonly used and it is the most inexpensive option.

Beans or No Beans?

Now comes the big debate on whether or not beans belong in chili. Although I really don’t consider it a topic of debate at all.

Instead, I view it as a regional and/or personal preference. For instance, I live in Ohio where Cincinnati Chili is hugely popular.

Here the beans aren’t added in the chili itself, but as an option as a topping. However, at the famous fast food chain Wendy’s that also originated in Ohio you can be sure to find beans in their bowl of chili.

And if you have ever been to parts of Texas and ordered a Bowl of Red, beans and tomato products are totally excluded.

So instead of it being a huge debate whether the best chili is made with or without beans, I say make your crock pot chili how you like it!

If you don’t mind a few beans in your chili, but don’t want that to be one of the focus ingredients, use a little less. Or if you don’t like them at all, by all means eliminate them and enjoy the rest of the meal.

However, just like the rest of the ingredients, I find a combination of beans to result in the best tasting chili. In fact,I use both chili beans and black beans in my recipe.

The combination of flavors and textures adds another depth of heartiness that most other chili recipes don’t have.

red chili beans
This recipe calls for two kinds of beans – kidney chili beans and black beans.

The Best Crock Pot Chili Recipe

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground meat (beef, pork, sausage, turkey and/or chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced )
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 14 oz. can kidney chili beans
  • 14 oz. can black beans (mostly drained )
  • 10 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 16 oz. diced tomatoes
  • ½ large jalapeno
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each:
    • garlic powder
    • onion powder
    • cumin
    • red pepper flakes
    • salt
    • black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large skillet brown the ground meat until no longer pink. *If you are using ground turkey or ground chicken you will need to add a little oil to the skillet before browning the meat to prevent it from sticking.

Once the meat is no longer pink and is cooked through drain the grease. Then add the cooked meat to the crock pot.

Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot and stir.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

chili in crock pot
Thick and hearty chili made in a crock pot. The perfect meal for a cool Autumn or Fall day

Once the chili is finished cooking stir one more time. If you want it to have a thicker consistency let it continue to cook with the lid off so that some of the liquid can evaporate.

Serve warm.

Optional Chili Garnish Suggestions

Although this Crock Pot Chili tastes amazing without any additional toppings, here are some suggested toppings that you can add even more flavor to this popular dish:

  • Grated Cheese – pick your favorite from Cheddar, Pepper Jack or Mozzarella
  • Sour Cream – regular or fat-free, it doesn’t matter.
  • Diced Onions – white, yellow, sweet or sliced green onions
  • Diced Jalapeno Peppers
  • Sliced Avocados
  • Saltine Crackers

Enjoy! Mary

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Best Crock Pot Chili Recipe

crock pot chili

Thick and hearty chili that is made in a slow cooker. Use the spices to create your own chili seasoning which makes this chili so good!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground meat
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced )
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1- 14 oz. can kidney chili beans
  • 1- 14 oz. can black beans (mostly drained )
  • 1- 10 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 pint diced tomatoes
  • ½ large jalapeno
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet brown the ground meat until no longer pink. Drain and add the meat to the crock pot.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot and stir.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Notes

Feel free to add in additional diced hot peppers or ground cayenne pepper to make it a spicy chili.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 431mgSodium: 845mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 42g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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