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Crockpot Chili

5 from 21 votes
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posted: 08/05/21

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Crockpot Chili recipe is a winner! Hearty and full of flavor, you will love coming home to this great dinner.

small white bowl full of homemade chili made in the crockpot, topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onions, and fresh cilantro

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!

Reader Review

Love ..love love..this chili recipe my husband could not get enough of it! Thank you for an awesome recipe and this was the first time making chili! This will be a staple in our house.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Then, dump the meat in your slow cooker along with all those rich, heavenly spices.
  3. 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.
overhead view of crockpot chili recipe in a slow cooker surrounded by chips, onions, tomatoes, and sour cream for toppings

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.

small white bowl full of the best crockpot chili recipe

Controlling Spiciness

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.

side view of a slow cooker full of easy crockpot chili

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
  • guacamole
  • corn or tortilla chips
  • diced jalapenos
  • diced red onion
  • sliced olives
  • shredded cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced avocado
  • chopped scallions

FAQ

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:

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!

close up of a white bowl full of crockpot chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onion, fresh cilantro

Recommended Tools

  • 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.
close up of a white bowl full of crockpot chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onion, fresh cilantro
5 from 21 votes

Crockpot Chili

Serves: 6 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 hours 10 minutes
Total: 8 hours 25 minutes
This Crockpot Chili recipe is a winner! Hearty and full of flavor, you will love coming home to this great dinner.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

See my tips in the post about controlling the spiciness of this chili.
Serving: 1.3cups Calories: 286kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 29g (10%) Protein: 20g (40%) Fat: 10g (15%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Cholesterol: 47mg (16%) Sodium: 1272mg (55%) Potassium: 586mg (17%) Fiber: 7g (29%) Sugar: 12g (13%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
close up of a white bowl full of crockpot chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onion, fresh cilantro

did you make this

Crockpot Chili

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Curtis Larraux says

    Made this for the 2nd time, everyone loves it ,thanks for a wonderful recipe

    • Lisa Longley says

      You’re welcome!

  2. Angela Duggins says

    If I want to double the recipe should I do all ingredients times 2?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes! Everything should be doubled. Just make sure you have two crockpots or that it all fits well in yours and you will need to add a little cooking time.

  3. jack morrison says

    5 stars
    This is the best Chili I have had easy to make and easy to love

    • Lisa Longley says

      Jack, I’m so glad that you liked it!

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