Bonnie’s Chili

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 5 hours


8 servings (2-1/2 quarts)

Updated: Sep. 22, 2023
This chili is incredibly easy to make, and has a surprising depth of flavor for something that comes together in no time before the slow cooker takes over the work. I can make this for people who like it hot or mild just by changing the salsa. You can make it really spicy if you add hot peppers and hot salsa. —Bonnie Altig, North Pole, Alaska


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups salsa
  • 1/2 cup water or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional toppings: Corn chips, sliced jalapeno peppers and shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, 8-10 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain. Transfer to a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in next 8 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low until heated through, 5-6 hours. Serve with toppings as desired.

Can you freeze Bonnie's Chili?

Freeze cooled chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth or water if necessary.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/4 cups: 323 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 1027mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 8g fiber), 31g protein.