This Homemade Slow Cooker Chili is the perfect dinner for cool fall nights. I combine both ground beef and maple breakfast sausages in my easy beef chili, then add lots of tomatoes, vegetables and a variety of different beans. The result is the delicious and comforting bowl of hearty beef chili.
Homemade Slow Cooker Chili
Last week, with the onset of Fall, I just had to make some Homemade Chili in the slow cooker. I love making Crock Pot beef chili as the slow cook allows all the flavors to meld together resulting in a delicious dish.
I have a large slow cooker (for those who asked, it’s a Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6 Qt, I included a link to it here and at the bottom of the post. I’ve had it for several years, it was a Christmas Gift), and this recipe fills it to the brim.
The best thing about this Easy Slow Cooker Chili, is you can tweak it to suit your own preferences. If you want it mild, hold back on the chili, if you like it spicy, add more chili.
I also like to add a variety of 3 different beans, but you can easily reduce or increase that number, according to your preferences.
If you are wondering how to thicken chili, check out the post from my blog friend Simply Scrumptious Eats.
During the fall/winter, we typically have this twice a month, so it’s pretty economical when you consider I get 4 dinners for 5 people out of each batch!
How to make Chili in Slow Cooker
- First, I chop my onion, garlic, mushrooms and jalapeno pepper, and add them to a saute pan to cook. Feel free to add a dab of butter to get them going. I saute gently until the onions are clear.
- Meanwhile, start browning the ground beef and sausage in another skillet. I crumble them together, and when they are done, you can’t tell what’s what.
- While that’s all cooking, I add ALL of the cans into my slow cooker. Next I add the vegetables and meat mixture to the slow cooker.
- Set Slow Cooker on Low and let it cook for 6-8 hours. Then the chili is ready to serve.
- VEGETABLES: I add a combination of onion, garlic, mushrooms and jalapeno pepper to my easy beef chili.
- MEAT: For the best flavored chili I like to add equal quantities of both ground beef and breakfast sausage. When it comes to sausages I prefer maple flavor.
- TOMATOES: I use canned chili tomato sauce, tomato sauce and tomato paste (flavored with basil and oregano). I also add a can of Rotel.
- BEANS: I add chili beans, light kidney beans and dark kidney beans; but you can use any variety of canned beans.
- WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE: A dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce balances out the chili and adds a great savory flavor to the chili sauce.
The first night I serve it, we’ll usually eat it straight, sometimes over corn chips or rice, with chili on top. Very often I’ll also add some Homemade Cornbread on the side. A day or so later, we’ll have Chili Dogs for dinner.
When it comes to topping your chili, you can be as creative as you want. Here are some ideas:
- shredded cheddar cheese
- freshly chopped cilantro
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- guacamole or slices of avocado
- salsas – try tomato or corn
- freshly chopped chili
- sliced jalapenos from a jar
- red pepper flakes
Recipe hints & tips:
- This recipe serves 8 so I will often enjoy some the day it’s made then store any leftovers in the freezer for a quick and easy dinner another night.
- Make the chili up ahead of time, then allow it to sit. As with any chili, curry or stew, it will taste better the day after, once it’s had a change to sit. All the flavors meld together and you end up with a really flavorful chili.
I like to slow cook chili as it really adds to the flavor of the finished dish. Slow cooking chili allows the flavors to really meld together, and for the meat to become really tender, both of which result in a better tasting chili. Also, it saves time, as there’s no need to stand over the chili, stirring it all the time – instead you can leave the slow cooker to get on and do all the work for you.
Yes, as I use both ground beef and sausage meat, I recommend browning it before adding to the slow cooker. Browning the meat first adds so much more flavor to the finished dish.
Yes, you can overcook it, but it’s only likely to burn if you leave it on low for 9-10 hours.
Chili is a great make ahead dish, you can make it the day before then store in the refrigerator until you are ready to warm up and serve. Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Chili is very easy to freeze. Because this makes so much, I freeze the leftovers in my Rubbermaid Containers, and I can usually get 2 additional meals out of it.
Don’t miss these other delicious Slow Cooker Recipes from When Is Dinner:
- Crock Pot Pulled Pork
- Crock Pot Potato Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
- Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili
- Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie
- Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Ham
- One Medium Onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 mushrooms chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb breakfast sausage we prefer maple
- 2 cans Chili Tomato Sauce
- 2 cans Tomato Sauce
- 2 cans Tomato Paste basil, oregano preferred
- 2 cans chili beans
- 2 cans light kidney beans drained
- 2 cans dark kidney beans drained
- 1 can Rotel
- Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 761Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 2430mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 13gSugar: 20gProtein: 51g
These are a few of the items I find useful in my own kitchen when preparing this Slow Cooker Chili Recipe:
Crock-Pot Cook & Carry 6-Quart Oval Portable Manual Slow Cooker | Stainless Steel (SCCPVL600S)Hamilton Beach (76606ZA) Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener with Easy Push Down Lever, Opens All Standard-Size and Pop-Top Cans, Black and ChromeSoup Crocks with Handles, Ceramic Make, Soup, Chilli, by KooK, 22oz, Set of 4 (Red)DOWAN 23 Ounces Porcelain Bowls Set, Cereal, Soup, Pasta Bowls, Set of 6, Colorful DesignChili Slow Cooker: 50 All Time Favorite Easy And Delicious Chili Slow Cooker RecipesThe Chili Cookbook: Easy and Tasty Recipes of the SouthwestSoups Stews & Chilis