If you love chili as much as I do, but you’re not a crazy fan of ‘heat’, you are gonna love this recipe for homemade slow cooker chili. You get all the flavor of a delicious chili that can be made in the slow cooker or on the stovetop without the need to call in the fire department to rescue your mouth or tummy.
Many recipes call for cumin, which I find really adds a punch of flavor to chili. This recipe doesn’t have any cumin. At all. My family is not a fan, neither am I to be honest. But honestly, you don’t need it to have a really delicious chili.
This recipe is just a base, play with the ingredients as you wish. Make your chili with ground chicken or turkey instead, switch up the type of peppers you use. No kidney beans? Toss in a can of chickpeas instead! You can really customize this recipe any way you like.
In fact, I’m so confident in this recipe, I’m tempted to challenge my girlfriends to a chili cook-off this coming May long weekend and let my friends and family decide. My girlfriends are known to make some pretty spectacular homemade slow cooker chili’s and I’m willing to step up and challenge them head on with this easy recipe.
With the weather finally starting to turn around, I’m dreaming of filling my back yard with my friends and their kids. My girlfriend Bobbi made this super fun Yardzee game I’m sure everyone would enjoy playing. I feel in love with this super-sized backyard yahtzee.
One of the best things about hosting and having the main course served in a slow cooker is I can prepare everything in advance, dump it all in the slow cooker and I can socialize with my guests while dinner slowly simmers away.
The best part about hosting a Chili cook off is you can set up a chili bar and serve up some delicious toppings and stir ins. Some of my suggestions would include:
- Graded cheese (I would prefer cheddar cheese personally)
- Sour cream
- Sliced hot peppers
- Hot sauce like Frank’s Hot Sauce
- Additional hot chili flakes for those who like a bit of heat
- Chopped green onions
- Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro
- Fresh diced tomato
- Chunked avocado
And don’t forget to serve up some cornbread, little buns, garlic bread or some sides like macaroni salad, potato salad or pico de gallo with nacho chips along with your chili. Everyone will be winners when they get to sample all the delicious chilis.
Homemade Slow Cooker Chili
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 cans (28 oz) tomatoes, diced
- 1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 can white kidney beans (or chick peas, or pinto beans)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (if cooking on the stop top)
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 1 pepper – green , red, yellow or orange
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
Whether you’re cooking your chili on your stove top or in the slow cooker, brown up your ground beef in a large frying pan over medium heat. Drain the meat once it’s cooked and set aside.
If you are cooking your chili in a slow cooker, dump all your other remaining ingredients into the slow cooker, including your cooked ground beef. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
If you are cooking it on your stove top: I used my large dutch oven instead of a frying pan to brown the meat, so I could later use it to cook my chili. Once I remove the cooked ground beef, I returned it to the heat and added a tablespoon of olive oil.
Cook the onions until translucent. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Cook the chili on a low simmer for at least an hour until the peppers are tender.