Crock Pot Ground Beef Chili

chili with kidney beans
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  • 8 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 8 servings
Ratings (5)

This is a flavorful, well-seasoned slow cooker chili made with ground beef and canned beans. 

The best ground beef lean to fat ratio for a rich, beefy chili is 80/20 or 85/15. A 90/10 ratio is fine if you're watching your fat intake, but the meat will not be quite as tender and flavorful. You can always add some ground pork to the beef if it's too lean.

This recipe calls for canned beans, but if you decide to use cooked dried beans, plan ahead. Soak the beans overnight and don't overcook them. You want a creamy texture, but the beans shouldn't be too mushy or falling apart.

Make a big batch and refrigerate the leftovers; the flavors are even better the next day!

What You'll Need

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (16-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans chili beans hot or mild, undrained)

How to Make It

  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the beef to the slow cooker. Drain off the excess drippings and wipe the skillet out.
  2. Peel the onion, cut it in half, and then cut it into small dice. Slice the bell pepper in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Slice the jalapeno pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Mince the jalapeno pepper. If you don't want heat, use only half of the jalapeno pepper or less. 
  1. Add the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the same skillet used for the ground beef. Place the skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and green pepper; saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker in and mix with the beef.
  2. Add the jalapeno pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder to the beef and vegetable mixture. Mix well.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, and the drained beans.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Tips

  • Make a double batch of chili and freeze it in individual or meal-size portions in zip-close freezer bags or containers. Label the chili with the name and date and freeze for 4 to 6 months. 
  • If you want a milder chili, replace the jalapeno pepper with an Anaheim pepper, which is quite mild. Or omit the chile pepper completely. 
  • Replace the kidney beans with pinto beans, black beans, or small red beans, if desired.
  • Tomato sauce is similar to tomato puree, but it isn't as thick. If you must replace the puree with tomato sauce, simmer it until it is slightly reduced and a bit thicker.