Chili is such an amazingly yummy dish! And crockpot chili is super easy to make too. This recipe calls for packets and cans because it's quick and easy.
And lots of times, quick and easy is the order of the day just to keep life under control…BUT you can easily make your own seasoning. So we’ve provided our homemade chili seasoning recipe here too!
Chili is traditionally a Fall recipe. But why? There's NO reason to not enjoy some super easy crockpot chili deliciousness any time of year.
And it's great all on its own BUT why not make some sloppy chili-cheese dogs? Or chili-cheese fries? Kids love this type of stuff. Well, kids too. That's a more appropriate statement. 'Cause adults love them as well 🙂
Crockpot Chili Quick Links
Making up a huge batch of this crockpot chili doesn't take long at all to toss together. THEN you can freeze it and defrost it as needed.
Or you can make up a batch and do a "week of crock pot chili" theme. I don't mean eat chili every night. Ick. That'd sure get old.
I mean how about something like what's listed in the table of contents above? A bowl of chili one night, chili-cheese dogs another, bacon chili cheeseburgers another, you get me.
Once you have your crockpot chili made and waiting for you in the freezer or fridge… every single one of these recipes takes less than 15 minutes to toss together.
Both the casseroles taste a little better if you can let them cook a bit longer than that but 15 minutes will work in a pinchf. It's a great time saver. That's the point.
Crockpot Chili Ingredients
- Ground beef
- Ground sausage or pork
- Sweet peppers
- Red kidney beans
- Chili ready tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Chili seasoning: Either 2 packets or 4 tablespoons homemade chili seasoning mix
Make-Ahead Ground Beef
Those first 4 ingredients that are listed up above...those are what we use in our master meat mix. You can check out our afternoon of cooking with that right here.
So if you find a sale on ground beef, don’t be afraid to buy a bunch. You can use the master meat mix recipe, cook up tons of it and freeze it in batches for later use.
Sneak in Those Veggies!
You can also add bell peppers and celery to that "master mix" if you’d like. This works great to sneak in more veggies for picky eaters.
It’s really good and very versatile either way. But I digress. Here we go with the chili...
Step-by-Step Crockpot Chili Directions
Step #1: Chop It!
First, you’ll need to dice up your onions, and garlic... if you are using whole garlic instead of the minced version. I try to find onions that are considered “sweet” because we don’t care for the really hot ones.
I usually diced my onions rather small and my peppers more “medium”. That’s just my preference. You dice yours up however you want.
If you’re short on time you can even slice them or toss them in the food processor. Whatever works best for you.
Everyone else must have been too, because what the grocery had very little left and it looked pretty gross. So, I opted for the minced kind this round.
Step #2: Fry It!
Now! Toss the meats, diced onions and garlic in a greased, sprayed or non-stick skillet. Cover it up and fry over medium-low heat. While that’s cooking… and beginning to smell amazing I might add…get to work on those peppers.
So this round I made slow cooker stuffed peppers and this crock pot chili at the same time during this round of cooking. I didn’t chop up every piece of my peppers, I used the tops for the chili and left the bottoms for the stuffed peppers.
But if you’re only going for making chili, you’ll need to wash them and clean out the seeds and dice them up. Like I said while I was talking about dicing up the onions, you don’t have to dice them itty-bitty. I usually don’t.
I like the peppers to be diced larger, but that’s just my preference. It really doesn’t matter from a cooking perspective because you’re going to cook it for a long time.
Step #3: Crock It!
By the time you get the peppers cleaned and chopped your meat will probably need to be tended. If you want smaller chunks of meat, chop it up a bit.
And just a side note...I almost always spray, oil or butter my crockpot insert. The slow cooker liners work great for some foods. But from my experience, no plastic works well with the acidity in tomatoes.
Since I don’t want any excess grease or butter in my crockpot chili, I’m opting to spray the insert. Some folks don’t use spray and that’s cool. I do. If you use an oil or butter, just use a very thin layer or you’ll have oily floaties in your chili later.
Anyways, it's time to open the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and canned beans. Just dump them in the crockpot. Don’t drain them. This chili doesn’t call for any water, the juices from the cans are the only liquid in this recipe.
Step #4: Cook It!
I’m going to backtrack on my words a bit here. You might WANT to add just a bit of water. And by a bit, I mean not a lot at all, possibly a half to three-fourths a cup.
Why? Because the amount of water in canned beans and tomatoes is going to vary. Unless you use the exact brands I do, your fluid content isn’t going to be the same.
If you’re going to use your crockpot chili for a soup, great. Make it as soupy as you'd like. But if you’re planning to use it for any of the recipes listed below. Sorta like a topping, you’ll want it thicker. It’s a bit of a judgment call, you can always add more water later.
The last step is easy. Well, the whole recipe is pretty easy but this is the last step... Just cover and cook.
You can cook it on low for 8 to 10 hours. I’ve cooked it for upwards of 12 hours and it was great. The longer, the better with this recipe.
And, like lots of crockpot soups and stews, it’s even better the next day 🙂
Homemade Chili Seasoning
If you don’t like using pre-made packets of seasoning or if you want to save some money OR if you are just plain OUT you can make your own, from scratch! It’s super easy.
There are lots of homemade chili seasoning recipes out there. They vary because tastes vary.
Some like it hot, some like it mild. Some like it thick, some like it with more liquid. That’s all a matter of taste.
This chili seasoning recipe is mild but flavorful. The smoked paprika gives it an amazing flavor. I would never have expected one spice to make that much difference. It really does!
Once you gather up the spices you need you just mix them together and store them in an airtight canister.
You can put them through a blender or food processor if you’d like, it will make them mix better and look more like what comes out of the packets. That’s completely optional. It doesn’t affect the taste.
Chili Seasoning Ingredients
- 2/3 cup flour or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 to 2 cups chili powder (this part totally depends on how hot you like it and how much pepper you intend to use)
- 1 cup dehydrated onions
- 2 to 3 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Allspice (optional but awesome)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup dried parsley
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons smoked paprika (if you can find smoked, get it...it is awesome!)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons oregano
If you can’t find smoked paprika, you can just use regular too. But if you have the option, give the smoked a shot. It’s really amazing!
Deliciously Yummy AND Easy Crockpot Chili Recipes
NOW that you’ve got that yummy crock pot chili made, what do you do with it? My answer is ALL SORTS OF DELICIOUSNESS 🙂
Here are just a few of our ideas. We’ve eaten some, other ideas have been offered by friends, family, and readers.
If you have one to add, let us know! Either contact us via email or comment below! We’d love to share your ideas too!
Just a Bowl Good 'Ole Chili with Cheddar & Sour Cream
Eat this yumminess right out of the crockpot! Top it with sour cream, guacamole or lots of gooey cheddar cheese! Add some crackers or make up a batch of our crockpot cornbread and serve it on the side. Heck, ladle some over the top of that cornbread and eat it that way. YUM 🙂
Chili Stuffed Enchilada Casserole
Just spray a baking dish, spoon some crockpot chili into a tortilla and sprinkle it liberally with shredded cheddar. Roll it up and push it to one end of your baking dish.
Do this to all the tortillas until you’re out of supplies or your dish is full. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top and bake @ 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Here are the ingredients:
- 6 to 8 tortillas, corn or flour (your choice)
- 3 to 4 cups leftover slow cooker chili
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large can enchilada sauce
Chili Cheese Dogs
These are one of my childish favorites. I’m not ashamed to say so. I love, love, love me some chili dogs. Sonic made it worse recently when their new Bacon Triple Cheesy Cheddar Dog . Childish? Maybe. Delicious? Absolutely.
Sadly, there is NO Sonic where I live. Well, there is but it’s 50 miles away. So I learned to make my own. It isn’t a copycat but it’s yummy. It also works with this crockpot chili amazingly well.
- All you need is hot dog buns. Potato buns if you can find them. If not, the regular hot dog buns work. Like I said this isn’t a copycat recipe. It’s just close.
- Add a couple kinds of shredded or sliced cheddar cheeses
- Add mustard if you like. I do, 'cause I like!
Chili Cheese Topped Baked Potatoes
Here’s another super easy leftover chili idea… Baked potatoes. You can make baked potatoes in the crockpot. That’s another super duper easy thing to do. Just grease the crockpot, scrub the potatoes and toss them in with a just a little water. Cover and cook those babies all day or even overnight if they are huge.
Some folks like to wrap them in foil. I don’t. I’m moving away from using foil. It’s a personal choice, you can do it either way.
Chili Con Carne Tacos
Another amazingly simple option. Fill your taco shells with chili and add your toppings of choice.
We usually add sour cream, homemade queso, and sour cream. But anything you can think of works with this recipe. Use your imagination.
Chili Mac Casserole
Here’s another “toss and go” recipe. It just takes a couple minutes if you have precooked pasta. Add how much ever chili you want and a little extra chili powder to fit your taste...
Add the toppings of your choice or nothing at all and you’ve got supper all done. Pst…You can make this on the stove, in the oven or toss it in the crockpot for a couple hours. It works any way you decide to make it.
Top them with chili and cheese and if you’re in a wild mood…add some bacon too! This makes a great snack anytime, but it’s perfect for movie night munchies.
These burritos are another super easy weeknight meal idea. It’s simply chili with cheese melted in it. This is from a different batch of chili but the principle is the same.
It’s simply chili with cheese melted in it. This is from a different batch of chili but the principle is the same. I also didn’t measure the ingredients for these. It was about three-quarters chili and one-quarter shredded cheeses.
I tossed it all in the crockpot and let it melt a couple hours, wrapped up the burritos and baked them for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Also, if you want something to brown well, just brush the tops with a little butter. The browning part makes it a little prettier but the real benefit is taste. Just a little brush of butter lets it crisp up and adds LOTS of flavor. You don’t have to. It just adds a little bit of "extra". You really don’t even have to bake them if you’re in a rush. Your choice.
So there you have it! Deliciously simple slow cooker chili, an easy chili seasoning recipe and nine ways to enjoy it!
Do you have any other yummy chili ideas? Let us know! You can contact us, comment below, give us a shout out on Facebook, Twitter or any other way you please 🙂
I hope you enjoy the recipe and find some yummy options to make your life easier. Cook that stuff up, try out some of our ideas and add it to the list of “recipes that’ll rock your crock”!
Printable Crockpot Chili Recipe
Crockpot Chili and Homemade Chili Seasoning
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 sweet peppers diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 2-3 15-ounce cans "chili ready" tomatoes
- 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans
- 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 2 packets chili seasoning or 4 tablespoons homemade chili seasoning mix
- Fry the beef, pork, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent
- Spray or lightly butter/oil the crockpot insert
- Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot, including the liquid from the cans
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water if needed (completely optional)
- Cover and cook on low 8 to 12 hours
Freezer Meal Directions
- Cook the meats, drain and allow to cool.
- Pour everything into a large freezer safe bag.
- Lay flat, label and freeze for up to 8 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking as per directions listed above.
Pin It for Later Crock Pot Chili