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5 from 3 votes

Slow Cooker Chili

Your search for the best slow cooker chili recipe stops here! Use ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken to make it your own.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword best chili recipe, crockpot chili, easy chili recipe, homemade chili, slow cooker chili, slow cooker chili recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 302kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 2 lbs. ground beef (or sub with ground turkey)
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 ¼ cups)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or increase to 2 teaspoons for a slightly sweeter taste)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans or small pink beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn kernels, drained
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional, for serving: cornbread; corn chips; cheese; sour cream; sliced green onions/chives; cilantro; avocado; diced red onion


  • Heat about 2 teaspoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef, onion, and garlic in the skillet until beef is no longer pink. Drain.
  • Transfer beef mixture to a large slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with optional toppings.


  • Don't omit the sugar. It might seem odd, but the sugar helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes in the chili, creating a richer, multi-dimensional tomato flavor. It doesn't make the chili taste too sweet.
  • Adjust the heat. The chili powder gives this beef chili recipe a little bit of kick, but it's still mild and kid-friendly. If you prefer a spicy chili, add a dash of cayenne.
  • To make last-minute dinner prep even faster, you can brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic in advance. Keep the cooked meat mixture in a container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before you need to cook the chili. This is a step that you can do on the weekend so that you only have to dump the ingredients into the pot on a busy weekday.
  • Slow Cooker Turkey Chili: substitute ground turkey for the ground beef, and use chicken broth instead of beef broth. You can also use ground chicken or ground pork if you like.
  • Make slow cooker chili with no beans by omitting the can of beans and substituting with extra corn and ground beef.
  • Use any of your favorite beans! Instead of the kidney beans or pinto beans, try navy beans, black beans, pink beans, or even garbanzo beans.
  • Add diced bell peppers to the skillet with the ground beef, onion, and garlic.
  • If you prefer a thinner consistency, you can use a can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes. You can also thin with extra beef broth, as instructed in the recipe.
  • For spicy chili, add cayenne!


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1179mg | Potassium: 1190mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 909IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 6mg