This ground beef chili is a snap to prepare with canned beans and tomatoes, and the crockpot makes it a breeze to cook.
Bell peppers, chopped onion and celery, and chili powder add texture and flavor to this chili. Add heat to the dish with some cayenne pepper, or add some chopped fresh or canned jalapeno peppers or another type of fresh, hot chile pepper. Chili is one of those dishes that is very adaptable. If the chili seems too mild in flavor, add more chili powder or some ground cumin. If you like chunks of tomatoes, make it with diced tomatoes instead of the crushed tomatoes. Substitute black beans, pinto beans, or small red beans for the kidney beans. A combination of two parts ground beef and one pound ground pork or pork sausage are some other variations that can add flavor. Ground turkey thighs are a tasty alternative as well, especially if you like to avoid red meat.
See the tips and variations for a variety of ways to thicken the chili along with some additional flavor ideas.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 (16 oz) cans kidney beans (drained)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the chopped onion. Cook until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Drain well.
- Combine the ground beef mixture with the bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, tomato sauce, drained beans, and seasonings. Transfer to the crockery insert of a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook for 5 to 7 hours on low, or until done.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, as needed.
Serves 6 to 8.
- The recipe is easily scaled up for a party or for tailgating. Keep the chili in the slow cooker on the warm setting (or low) for serving.
- If the chili is soupier than you like, thicken it with a tablespoon or two of cornmeal or masa flour; add it to the chili near the end of the cooking time. Or mash some of the beans with a potato masher to thicken the chili. Alternatively, a paste made with 3 to 4 tablespoons of cold water and 2 tablespoons of flour -- or 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water -- may be added about 15 minutes before the chili is done. Turn the slow cooker to high and cook until thickened.