Easy Slow Cooker Chili

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This Easy Slow Cooker Chili really is easy. Cook up meat and onions, open some cans, dump some spices, and walk away.

This Easy Slow Cooker Chili really is easy. Cook up meat and onions, open some cans, dump some spices, and walk away.

I’ve been leaning on my slowcooker a lot lately, particularly for soups and chilis. These are recipes that lend themselves well to slow cooking and allow me to do other things while they do the work.

This Easy Slow Cooker Chili really is easy. Cook up meat and onions, open some cans, dump some spices, and walk away.

Now, please don’t balk at the “cook up meat and onions” part. This is really crucial. I know folks just want to toss it all in the pot, but a quick saute can lend your dish all kinds of texture and flavor. Don’t skip it.

This Easy Slow Cooker Chili really is easy. Cook up meat and onions, open some cans, dump some spices, and walk away.

One ingredient that might be new to you is masa harina. It’s the corn flour that I use for making tamales and tortillas. It’s available in the baking and Mexican food aisles of most grocery stores. It goes on sale often at the holidays so grab a couple bags and stash them in the freezer for long storage.

Since I like thick chili (as opposed to watery), I stir in a few tablespoons of masa harina. It thickens the chili, adds a bit of flavor, and still keeps it gluten-free if that’s your bag. You can just as easily omit it if you like.

This is the ideal meal to throw together before you leave for the day. Come home, warm some rolls or bake some cornbread, and hunker down for the night with a nice hot bowl of red.

(And yes, it does have beans. I know chili connoisseurs will say beans have no place in chili. Sorry. Call it Spicy Beef and Bean Stew if you want. It’s all good.)

This Easy Slow Cooker Chili really is easy. Cook up meat and onions, open some cans, dump some spices, and walk away.

 

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Easy Slow Cooker Chili
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 20 mins
 
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, slow cooker, slow cooker chili
Servings: 8
Calories: 316 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 29-ounce cans pinto beans drained
  • 30- ounce can black beans drained
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons masa harina this thickens the chili and adds flavor, but it can be omitted if you prefer
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onions over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through and the onions go clear, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat mixture to the crock of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and spices. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
  4. Remove the lid and stir in enough masa harina to thicken the liquid to your desired consistency.
  5. Chili can be chilled and frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on 1/8 of the recipe using ground beef. Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Slow Cooker Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 316 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 691mg30%
Potassium 801mg23%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 556IU11%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Laura C says

    Chili definitely has beans in it where I come from. I won’t eat chili without them, do not enjoy eating a bowl of just meat.

    • John Martin says

      Chili does not have beans, that’s why its labeled “chili with beans” when beans are added. Many people accept it because its so common these days but it definitely does not.

  2. We had slow cooker chili Sunday night. We like ours with nachos–just tortilla chips sprinkled with a little cheese and heated under the broiler for a minute or so. I know it’s not as healthy, but it’s yummy!

  3. Sue R says

    I threw this in the crock pot yesterday just before I walked out the door. So easy and boy, was I grateful when I walked throughout the door at the end of the day! Very yummy!

  4. Lisa says

    I keep browned burger and onions in the freezer, so I always have a pot of chili ready with no effort. I unzip the the Ziploc and throw it in frozen.

  5. Erica says

    Do you have an alternative to the masa harina? I don’t keep it on hand and wondered what would be a good substitute. Thank you! 🙂

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