This Crockpot Chili recipe is a winner! Hearty and full of flavor, you will love coming home to this great dinner.
I truly love soup season so much. It brings back memories for me of watching my mom cook in our kitchen, the dark fall sky visible behind her in our steamed up kitchen windows. For me, it is no wonder that soup is so comforting.
The perfect soup to make in the fall, as the days get shorter and the temperature more cool, is chili! It is like a complete meal in a bowl. And making it in the slow cooker means that you can come home from work with a comforting dinner waiting for you. Make a batch of my Cornbread the day before, it goes perfectly with this!
How to Make Chili In a Slow Cooker
Nothing warms the soul and stomach like a hearty bowl of rich chili. Making this recipe in the slow cooker could not be easier! Let the crockpot do the work and make your home smell incredible at the same time! Here’s what to do:
- First, brown your ground beef in a skillet on the stove. You don’t even need to cook it all the way; just until you can’t see any pink. Toss in your veggies and cook for a couple of minutes with the beef.
- Then, dump the meat in your slow cooker along with all those rich, heavenly spices.
- Add a can of kidney beans, tomatoes and sauce and let it simmer all day. Dinner will be ready and hot by the time everyone gathers around the table.
What is Liquid Smoke?
There are two secret ingredients that put this recipe over the top! The first is Liquid Smoke.
Just like the name implies, this ingredient is made from the condensed liquid you get from the smoke of burning wood. You can find bottles of liquid smoke at the grocery store, next to the spices or condiments, and it lasts forever when stored in the refrigerator.
What is Ground Chipotle?
Ground chipotle is the other secret ingredient that you may not have handy in your pantry. But it’s easy to find in the spice aisle of the grocery store. I love the delicious flavor that chipotle peppers bring to a recipe.
Like Liquid Smoke, ground chipotle offers a deep, rich smoky flavor that enhances the other seasonings. I love the flavor both of these bring to my Chicken Tacos. I know you will love it in this chili recipe too.
Too spicy? Not spicy enough? That’s what is so perfect about this chili recipe. By adding or decreasing a couple of spices, you can control how hot each batch tastes.
- For little ones, or milder mouths, simply omit the cayenne pepper, or use just a dash for flavor.
- To ratchet up the heat, add more cayenne pepper, along with some hot diced green chilis. Find those in the canned goods aisle at the grocery store.
Using Ground Turkey
This easy crockpot chili recipe tastes incredible with ground turkey too! Instead of hamburger, just brown up some ground turkey and then proceed with the recipe as directed. Just make sure to use a drizzle of extra virgin olive when browning oil to avoid sticking to the pan.
Best Chili Toppings
Once your rich, spicy chili is done, now comes the fun part! The sky’s the limit when it comes to topping your bowl of chili. I like to have a topping bar set up at dinner so we can all dress our chili to our own tastes. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- sour cream
- corn or tortilla chips
- diced jalapenos
- diced red onion
- sliced olives
- shredded cheese
- fresh cilantro
- sliced avocado
- chopped scallions
Is this recipe spicy?
That, of course, is a matter of opinion. My kids are really sensitive to spices and they didn’t find it spicy. If you are concerned, see my tips above for making it more or less spicy.
How long do chili leftovers last?
Leftovers of this recipe can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. When you reheat it, only take out the portion that you want to eat at that meal. Leftovers should not be reheated more than once. Always use your best judgement when eating leftovers.
Can chili be frozen?
Yes! Chili is a great recipe to freeze. Once it has cooled completely, transfer to a container leaving an inch at the top for it to expand. Place in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat over low heat on the stove top or thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Other Great Soup Recipes
I adore soup season, where a simple supper nourishes your family and makes you feel good too. Soups are easy to make, and there’s no end to the possibilities! Try a few of these tried and true recipes:
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup
- Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup
- Vegetarian Chili
- Steak Fajita Soup
I can’t wait for the next cold evening so I can make this crockpot chili! Let me know what you think of this recipe. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Gather your family, serve up piping bowls of crockpot chili and enjoy being together!
- Slow Cooker: This one is so great, I bought two. It is a work horse that has lasted me years.
- Meat Chopper: I love how easy this makes breaking up ground meat.
- Measuring Spoons: These are so perfect for cooking. I love that they are double sided.
- 1 pound ground beef (read how to use ground turkey)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 14 ounces kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes undrained
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in the green pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until you can no longer see pink. There is no need to cook the beef all the way through. Drain the fat from the skillet.
- Add the beef mixture to the slow cooker. Add in the chili powder, cumin, ground chipotle, and ground cayenne pepper. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
- Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Serve with diced red onion, corn chips, sliced jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.