Warm, hearty and comforting, this is the only chili recipe you will need, guaranteed! It’s My Favorite Homemade Crockpot Chili for a reason! Ridiculously flavorful and so simple to throw together.
Chili is just so warm, hearty and comforting. My recipe starts on the stove and finishes cooking in the crock pot so you’re able to set it and forget it for a few hours until you’re ready to eat. The longer you let it cook, the more flavorful it becomes! And it’s even better the next day.
Ingredients needed to make homemade chili
This easy homemade crockpot chili recipe makes enough to feed a crowd! It also uses very simple ingredients for it to come together quick and easy.
- Ground beef: I like to use around 85% lean ground beef in my chili but it doesn’t matter too much what you choose. Just be sure to drain the grease very well after browning the meat.
- Olive oil: Used to saute onions and peppers before adding to slow cooker.
- Bell Pepper: Dice into small pieces – you can use a mixture of any color pepper you like.
- Onion: Dice up into small pieces.
- Tomatoes: Using a mixture of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce gives the perfect texture. Not too thin and not too thick. Diced tomatoes are also used to add some more depth to the chili – I use fire roasted garlic diced tomatoes just because I love the flavor but plain diced tomatoes are fine too.
- Beans: Cannelini beans are used in this recipe but you can also use kidney beans pinto beans or another bean of your choice.
- Chili Seasoning: I make my own homemade chili seasoning because it truly tastes so much better than store-bought and has so much less sodium. I feel much better about feeding it to my family. Lots of spices are used for a ton of amazing flavor.
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is used to balance and cut the acidity of the tomatoes in the recipe.
- Crushed red pepper
Everyone likes a different consistency to their chili. Some like it soupy, some like it chunky, I like mine riiiiight in the middle. If you like a thicker chili, cut back on the tomato sauce – if you like it thinner, add some more tomato sauce. Easy peasy.
How to make the best crockpot chili
This homemade chili is prepared quickly and finishes cooking in the crockpot. You’re able to just set it and forget it until ready to eat!
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet until cooked through. Drain well and set aside.
- In the same skillet, sauté onions and peppers until tender.
- Add beef, onions and peppers to slow cooker along with all other recipe ingredients.
- Stir well and set slow cooker to low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
What toppings go well with chili?
You may also want to have these as toppings to really take your chili up a notch. Think: Chili bar! A chili bar would be SO perfect and fun for football season and game days.
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour Cream
- Sliced Scallions
- Sliced Jalapeno
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Chopped avacado
- Diced red onion
- Hot sauce
- Diced tomatoes
- sour cream
- Lime wedges
Tips for the best chili ever
- If you have picky eaters, you can pulse the vegetables in a food processor first.
- Sautéing the onions and peppers before adding them to the crockpot ensures that they will be nice and tender at the end of cook time. If the crunchiness appeals to you, then no need to sauté them.
Yes! If you don’t have a slow cooker or are pressed for time, this can also be made on the stove top in about 30 minutes. Brown ground beef and drain. Sauté onions and peppers until tender. Add all ingredients to a very large pot and cook for about 30 minutes. The longer you cook it the better. Be sure to stir frequently.
Sure! Start by turning the instant pot to sauté. Brown the ground beef and drain. Sauté the onions and peppers in a little olive oil. Add meat back into instant pot along with all other ingredients. Stir and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Release the pressure either manually or allow it to release naturally.
Absolutely! Freeze in an airtight container and defrost in refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stove or microwave. This recipe will keep well for about 3 months stored in the freezer.
Yes! Please feel free to use any ground meat you’d like. Ground Turkey or even ground chicken are good options.
This is a personal preference. I always rinse and drain my beans for any recipe because I do not like the liquid.
Leave out the ground beef and add extra beans to make this recipe vegetarian.
Sugar is used to cut the acidity of the tomatoes used in my homemade chili recipe. Using a small amount of sugar balances the flavors which in turn creates a smoother and richer taste overall.
If you make this recipe, I’d LOVE to know what you think below! I would so appreciate you leaving a star rating and/or comment. Also, please don’t forget to share a photo of your delicious finished recipe on Instagram or Facebook and give me a tag so I can see!
My Favorite Homemade Chili
- 5 lb ground beef
- 1-2 red or green bell peppers diced
- 1/2 large yellow onion diced
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 28 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 can fire roasted garlic diced tomatoes regular diced tomatoes are fine
- 1 can cannellini beans* rinsed and drained
- 7 tbs + 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbs garlic powder
- 2 tbs onion powder
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tbs parsley
- 2 tsp basil
- 1 tbs salt or to taste
- 2 tbs cumin
- In a large skillet, brown beef and drain well. Add to slow cooker and set to low heat.
- In the same skillet you used to brown the beef, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté bell peppers and onions on medium heat until tender. Add beef, onions and peppers to the slow cooker.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans and all of the spices. Adjust the spices as needed. Stir very well. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours. You can also set it to high and cook for 3-4 hours.
- Serve chili with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn muffins on the side, if you desire.
- My Favorite Homemade Chili will stay fresh stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Freezing Instructions: Freeze in an airtight container and defrost in refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stove or microwave. This recipe will keep well for about 3 months stored in the freezer.
- Stove top: Brown ground beef and drain. Sauté onions and peppers until tender. Add all ingredients to a very large pot and cook for about 30 minutes. The longer you cook it the better. Be sure to stir frequently.
- Instant Pot: Start by turning the instant pot to sauté. Brown the ground beef and drain. Sauté the onions and peppers in a little olive oil. Add meat back into instant pot along with all other ingredients. Stir and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Release the pressure either manually or allow it to release naturally.
- *Any kind of beans will work in this recipe.
Does this recipe freeze well?
Yes! I included freezing instructions in the post and recipe card. Freeze in an airtight container and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. 🙂
Made it.. delicious.. 5 stars
Thank you! I made it yesterday too! 🙂
It’s really good?
Ronna Boston says
This is my new go to chili! Got the thumbs up from my guys! The only thing I changed was I added another can of beans.
That’s awesome! Thanks so much for the feedback.
Are you supposed to drain the can of beans?
Yes. It’s not absolutely mandatory, though.
Great recipe, but if you wan it to be healthier and gluten free, use olive oil instead of vegetable oil and stay away from the corn muffins. Also use fresh grated cheddar and not the package stuff. I also do not use sugar and add honey instead or stevia.
If I don’t want to make a big pot with 5lbs of meat and only use 2 lbs, do I need to cut the rest of the ingredients in like half as well? This looks delicious!
Hi! Is it possible to make this chili without a slow cooker? I don’t have a big slow cooker — it’s only 1.5 quarts big.
Sure! I make it on the stove all the time when I’m in a pinch!
Teri Headen says
What size crock pot do you use for the full recipe? Can you use a Dutch oven on the stove?
Can I use one cup of beer instead of 1 cup of beef stock
Can I substitute 1 cup of beef stock for 1 cup of beer
What’s the serving size for this recipe? Thanks!
What Size Can Of Cannellini Beans Did You Use?
I believe I used 14 oz? You can use whatever size you want, though.
What Size Can Of Cannellini Beans Did You Use?
Is that a red bell pepper?
Do you put all of the chili seasoning in one batch?
Hi! Looks delicious!! I need to make the 15-20 servings but my slow cooker isn’t big enough. Can I just put it all in my big pot on the stove and let it cook for an hour? or more? What are your stove-top tips?
Brown ground beef and drain. Sauté onions and peppers until tender. Add all ingredients to a very large pot and cook for about 30 minutes. The longer you cook it the better. Be sure to stir frequently.
This chili recipe is one of the best i make it in my crockpot every time I make it. My whole family loves it.