Crock Pot Chili Recipe

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Every Southerner has a signature chili recipe and this crock pot chili, loaded with meat, beans, and flavorful seasonings, is mine.

Crock Pot Chili Recipe

Why did I come up with this crock pot chili recipe? Well, any Southerner worth their salt has a great chili recipe, preferably a signature one. This is why I set out several years back trying out this one and that, tweaking and adding until I came up with one I could call my own.

I’ve tweaked it slightly over the years for my personal taste and for this tutorial I am making it in the crockpot for all of you. This prevents anyone from having to stand over the stove and fret over it while it simmers and the flavor develops fully. If you brown and freeze your meat ahead of time (like I do), this becomes a “toss it in and turn it on” recipe that is great for a quick and easy meal!

So, what kind of ingredients can you expect in my signature slow cooker chili? Besides the aforementioned meat, my chili is overloaded with two different types of beans, veggies, and spices and seasonings to give it that quintessential chili flavor. When you need an easy chili recipe to feed a growing family, look no further. Just pop all the ingredients into your slow cooker, go about your day, and come home to a) your house smelling amazing and b) dinner ready to be served.

While we’re on the topic, you might want to check out my hot dog chili and my skillet chili bake, because you can never have too many favorite chili recipes! Alright, let’s get slow cookin’!

Recipe Ingredients

  • Pinto bean can
  • Kidney bean can
  • Chopped green chiles
  • Onion
  • Ground beef
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes/crushed tomatoes)
  • Celery
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder

How to Make Crock Pot Chili 

Chop up celery.

Chop the celery.

Chop your onion.

Chop the onion (I used my brand new food processor).

Add all canned ingredients to the slow cooker.

Now, dump all canned items, liquid and all, into the crockpot.

(If you have small kids, just put half the can of chiles in until you make sure they aren’t too hot. Normally they are very mild whenever I get the Walmart brand, but I got these from another grocery store and they were uncharacteristically hot! That is the first time this has ever happened and I’ve been making this chili for years. I’ll stick with Walmart’s brand of chopped green chiles from now on).

Add celery and onion to crockpot.

Add the celery and chopped onion to the slow cooker.

Add cumin and ground beef to slow cooker.

Pour in the ground beef and then add the cumin…

Add chili powder to the crock pot.

Chili powder…

Add salt to crock pot.


Add water to crock pot chili.

And water.

Bowl of Crock Pot Chili

Stir and cover. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

I serve mine with crackers, shredded cheese, and sour cream. A bowl of crock pot chili also goes great with cornbread.


  • Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
  • This chili freezes and reheats so well too. Store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before simply reheating in the microwave.

Recipe Notes

  • For turkey chili, simply substitute the ground beef for ground turkey. You can also use ground pork or ground chicken.
  • It’s easy to adapt this slow cooker chili recipe to make a vegetarian chili. Instead of the meat, add another can of beans or even lentils.
  • For added flavor, instead of simply adding water, dissolve 2 beef bouillon cubes into the 2 cups of water to make beef broth.
  • Want to add more veggies? You can definitely add a diced red or green bell pepper.

Recipe FAQs

Can you put raw ground beef in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can place raw beef in the slow cooker. However, if you have the time, I recommend quickly browning the beef beforehand to enhance the dish’s flavor.

How long can chili cook in the crockpot?

Your bean chili can cook in the crockpot all day, or for up to 8 hours, on low.

Should I drain canned beans for slow cooker chili?

This is totally up to you. For this slow cooker chili recipe though, I recommend not draining both cans of beans and adding them in, liquid and all, directly to the slow cooker.

Can I make chili ahead of time?

Absolutely! This crockpot chili recipe is a great dinner to make in advance, as leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. When it’s time to serve, just reheat the chili in the microwave.

What do you serve with crock pot chili?

I love to serve my crockpot chili with tortilla chips or crackers, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado or guacamole, and sour cream. You can also garnish with chopped green onion, fresh cilantro, or sliced jalapeno for added heat. It tastes great with cornbread, homemade dinner rolls, homemade tortillas, or buttermilk biscuits to soak up the delicious stew-like broth too. Another option is to serve the chili in a baked potato for a delicious main dish.

You may also enjoy these sensational slow cooker recipes:

Crock Pot Beef Burgundy

Crock Pot Lasagna

Chicken Fajitas in Crock Pot

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Southern-Style Crock Pot Pulled Pork Recipe

Crock Pot Chili (Ground Beef Recipes)

Crock Pot Chili

Every Southerner has a signature chili recipe and this crock pot chili, loaded with meat, beans, and flavorful seasonings, is mine.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, crockpot, slowcooker
Servings: 4
Calories: 415kcal


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 can kidney beans with liquid 29 ounces
  • 1 can pinto beans with liquid 29 ounces
  • 1 can tomato sauce 29 ounces
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green chiles
  • 3 medium tomatoes or one large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 tsp cumin


  • Brown the ground beef until done.
    2 lbs ground beef
  • In a large pot (or crockpot), combine the beef plus all remaining ingredients. If in a pot, bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring a few times an hour, for two to three hours (you can avoid this by using the crockpot).
    2 lbs ground beef, 1 can kidney beans with liquid, 1 can pinto beans with liquid, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup diced green chiles, 3 medium tomatoes, 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 cups water, 2 tsp salt, 3 tsp chili powder, 1/4 cup diced celery, 2 tsp cumin
  • In a crock pot, stir the ingredients to combine and cover. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.


Calories: 415kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

 Food Safety Tip from the USDA

“Never leave food out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F, food should not be left out for more than 1 hour.

  • Keep hot food hot—at or above 140 °F. Place cooked food in chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, warming trays, and/or slow cookers.
  • Keep cold food cold—at or below 40 °F. Place food in containers on ice.

Basically, food can be kept at room temp safely for two hours but should be refrigerated or frozen after that in order to avoid food safety issues.

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  1. We love pasta in our chili – I know, it’s a sin, but we are all sinners to some degree LOL.
    How much would you recommend adding to this recipe and how long can it be cooked with the chili before turning to mush – sorry, I’m fairly new to crockpot cooking.

    1. Just depends on personal preference. Some like it as Mac with chili and some like it Chili with Mac ha ha 😉 I’d add it 20 min before serving if adding dry and cook on low. Or of course you can cook before and mix in right before serving.

  2. 5 stars
    I have been making this chili for years and it never disappoints. It couldn’t be easier and it makes a lot of delicious chili.

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