Recipe Of The Day: Slow Cooker Chili

It may be hard to imagine with temperatures still in the 80s and 90s, but fall is right around the corner. Beyond blustery winds, spooky decorations and pumpkin spice, the cozy season also welcomes soups, stews, casseroles and more comfort food favorites. It's time to retire your summer salads and grilled food say hello to fall's most beloved dish: chili. 

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Chili is the MVP of autumn for a lot of reasons. First, it's so easy to make, and its humble ingredients won't break the bank. All you need is some ground chuck, veggies, a few bean varieties and staple seasonings. Beyond some slicing and dicing, the ingredients are added to a slow cooker and left to work their magic for a few hours without much attention from you. Slow cooking allows the spices to permeate the chili, so the longer you leave it to cook, the better. 

Another perk to chili is that it works for almost any ocassion. Need a weeknight dinner meal? Chili can be thrown together before work and will give you enough leftovers for the week. Want something to bring to a tailgate? Top the chili with cheese and a dollop of sour cream and serve with tortilla chips and you've got a dish everyone will go bananas for. 

This recipe is for beef chili, but if you're cooking for vegetarians or you're participating in meatless Monday, simply swap the ground beef for an extra bean variety. Alternatively, if you don't like red meat use ground chicken or turkey instead. Experiment with the meat and beans but stick to the spices, and you'll surely see why this is one of our 101 best slow cooker recipes.

Slow Cooker Chili

This recipe is by Danielle Adler from Austin, Texas, and was originally published in The Baltimore Sun.


  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 green or red pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


Step 1: In a large skillet, brown 2 pounds ground chuck. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to slow cooker.

Step 2: Wipe out the skillet and sauté 1 cup chopped onions, 1 chopped pepper and 2 to 3 ribs chopped celery in 1 tablespoon olive oil just until tender. Add to slow cooker with the meat.

Step 3: To the slow cooker, add 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapenos, 1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans, 1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Stir well to combine.

Step 4: Cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours on low setting.