Slow-Cooker Chili

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 8 hours


10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)

Updated: Nov. 11, 2023
This hearty slow-cooker chili can cook for up to 10 hours on low in the slow cooker. It's so good to come home to its wonderful aroma after a long day away. —Sue Call, Beech Grove, Indiana


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: Shredded cheddar cheese and thinly sliced green onions


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, 10-12 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain.
  2. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the next 9 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. If desired, top individual servings with cheese and green onions.
Slow-Cooker Chili Tips

Do you have to brown the beef before slow-cooking?

No, you don't have to cook the ground beef before adding it to the slow cooker, although many slow-cooker chili recipes recommend it. While this step isn’t necessary, caramelizing the meat creates richer, bolder flavors, while also giving off some extra juices or fat. Either way, we suggest breaking it up before adding it to the slow cooker.

How can you add spice to slow-cooker chili?

If you like your chili with a bit more heat, try adding cayenne, hot sauce, jalapenos or simply, more chili powder than the recipe calls for. You can also try substituting the diced tomatoes with Rotel.

What toppings can you put on slow-cooker chili?

Adding toppings takes slow-cooker chili to the next level. Some we suggest are shredded cheese, sour cream, cubed avocado, corn chips or chopped fresh cilantro.

What do you serve with slow-cooker chili?

This slow-cooker chili is versatile enough to be served many ways. If you plan to eat it as a main dish, we recommend serving it with cornbread, a side salad or the much debated spaghetti. This chili is also great served on top of nachos, spooned over a baked potato, or used as a filling for burritos, tacos or even your breakfast omelet. If you liked this recipe, check out more of our top-rated slow-cooker chili recipes.

Alicia Rooker, RDN, Taste of Home Senior Recipe Editor/Tester

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 260 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 57mg cholesterol, 712mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 7g fiber), 25g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable.