Perfect for a cold winter night and a game day cookout, this Crock Pot Chili makes a big batch of this fan favorite. The best part? It makes so much that the whole family can have a big bowl of chili the next day—and maybe even the next day after that.
Easy to make and even easier to fall in love with, homemade chili is the ultimate comfort food for a reason. Hearty, packed with veggies, and loaded with our favorite toppings, this slightly spicy chili is a great way to not only feed a crowd, but to sneak more veggies into your kid's diet. Whether eaten from a bowl or scooped with tortilla chips, this chili will warm even the coldest souls.
What You Need to Make the Best Pot of Chili
Chili is always the right choice. So get your ingredients ready, dump 'em in, and walk away for a few hours, by the time you come back a thick chili you can stand a spoon in will be ready for you.
- Ground Chuck - lean ground beef works best!
- Onions - chopped
- Green Bell Pepper - chopped
- Garlic Cloves - minced
- Diced Tomatoes - don't drain the juice! It adds to the recipe.
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Chili powder
- Black Pepper
- Ground Red Pepper - add a little spice!
- Bay Leaf
- Light Red Kidney Beans - make sure to drain and rinse them before using.
How to Make This Easy Slow Cooker Chili
The beauty of slow cooking means that once you've done the prep and poured it in the crock pot, you're basically all set for the next 6-8 hours. Follow these steps to make the best chili recipe around.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, work in batches to brown the raw ground beef
- Once browned, crumble into pieces, drain the excess fat, and place in your slow cooker.
- Saute onion and garlic in the same pan used to brown beef. Add to slow cooker.
- Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili beans, green peppers, and seasonings to your crock pot and mix thoroughly.
- Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low 7-8 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Serve with your favorite toppings and a side of cornbread or these yummy cheddar biscuits.
What to Serve With
Chili is all about personal tweaks, so this is really your time to shine! Make a chili bar full of classic toppings like cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, corn chips, and hot sauce!
Leftover chili is one of the best ways to mix things up. Try adding it eggs in the morning, use it to top off a chili dog, or try mixing it with this creamy mac and cheese for some yummy chili mac.
Expert Recipe Tips
After cooking the onions and garlic, add a little olive oil and saute the tomato paste until it reaches a dark red shade. This caramelizes the tomato paste and adds deeper flavor!
A little bit of brown sugar or even a piece of chocolate adds a subtle touch of sweetness and umami to the dish.
Looking to thin out a thicker chili? Instead of water, try using beef broth instead for more depth.
Leftovers and Reheating
Chili is even better the next day thanks to all that chili seasoning melding together as it sits. Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than four days or freeze it for up to four months. This is one of those tried and true recipes that can be made any way you like and last for a long time!
Pro Tip - freeze chili in individual portions to have some whenever you like without having to defrost the whole batch!
More Recipes to Try
A good chili is hard to get off the mind. Here are a few other hearty options for when you're craving a bite of comfort food.
Dive into a great chili recipe and let the good times (dinner) roll. If you've tried this recipe, please rate the recipe and drop a comment below to help out the next reader.
Big Batch Crock Pot Chili
- 4 lbs ground chuck
- 2 medium onions - chopped
- 1 green bell pepper - chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 3 14 ½ oz cans diced tomatoes, untrained
- 4 8-oz cans tomato sauce
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 16-ounce cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Toppings: sour cream - shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, sliced ripe black olives
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, work in batches to brown the ground chuck.
- Crumble, drain and place in a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.
- Stir in the onion through kidney beans.
- Cover and cook on High for 5 to 6 hours or on Low 7 to 8 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with desired toppings and some cornbread. Told ya it was simple.
Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.
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A touch of sweetness can turn a good chili great. It balances out the spicy, savory flavors without overpowering or changing the flavor profile. Give it a try, and start with a small amount if you're hesitant!
The best beans to use are ones that will keep their shape and texture through the long cooking process. Dark or light kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans are all great options.
A Dutch oven works just as well! You can even make this on the stove top in a heavy-duty pot; just adjust the heat and check in on the chili after 3-4 hours.