Because it looks different than traditional chili, my family was a little hesitant to try this dish at first. But thanks to full, hearty flavor, it's become a real favorite around our house. I like to serve it with warm corn bread. —Jeanette Urbom, Louisburg, Kansas
"Folks who like their chili hot really get a kick out of this zippy recipe," pens Amy Baxter of Bishop, California. "I serve steaming bowls of it with oven-fresh corn bread. It's chockfull of garden goodness—with two kinds of squash , tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, etc.—that you can leave out the meat altogether and not miss it a bit."
My family is crazy about this slow cooker chili because it uses ingredients you don't usually find in chili. Believe it or not, I discovered that pumpkin is what makes the dish so special. Cook up a big batch and freeze some for later; it tastes even better reheated. —Deborah Vliet, Holland, Michigan
Corn and black beans give this satisfying chili Mexican flair the whole family will love. Adjust the cayenne if you have small children or are looking for a little less zip. —Stephanie Rabbitt-Schappacher, West Chester, Ohio
Green, sweet red and yellow peppers give this hearty chili a splash of color. I often fix it for my grandsons. Because they don't like spicy chili, I use mild salsa, but try it with a hotter variety if you prefer. —Richard Rundels, Waverly, Ohio
This flavorful, meaty chili is my favorite...and it's so easy to prepare in the slow cooker. It's a great way to serve a crowd without last-minute preparation. I got the idea from my mother, who used her slow cooker often for soups and stews. —Stacy Law, Cornish, Utah