This Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili is a crowd-pleasing ‘pull out all the stops’ kind of chili. Chock full of protein, fiber, and flavor it’s easy on the budget and features a secret ingredient that you already have in your pantry to boost its rich, hearty flavor.
Your new go-to chili recipe is here.
We all have a go-to chili recipe that we make whenever we need an easy weeknight meal or a dish for potluck or party. Some have beans and some don’t. Some are mild and mellow and some nearly take your breath away.
We think that a person’s go-to chili is a window to their soul.
Just kidding. We don’t know what your go-to recipe says about you other than how spicy/chunky/thick you like it. We do know, however, that this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili is all of those things and more. It’s truly a ‘pull out all the stops’ kind of chili – seasoned ground beef, fire-roasted tomatoes, chiles, peppers, three kinds of beans, sweet and savory spices – it’s all in there. And although the ingredient list looks long, the prep time is surprisingly short with only a few veggies to chop and a few cans to open.
It also pulls out all the stops when it comes to flavor. Trust us!
Why we love this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili.
- Chunky – There are lots of veggies, ground beef, and beans in here to give it texture.
- Thick – No soup-like chili here. This one is almost thick enough to stand your spoon up in.
- Spicy – Or more accurately, spicy as you want it to be. Omit the jalapeño pepper for a milder chili, or double it and use spicy chili powder for some more serious heat.
- Packed with fiber – Boasting 13 grams of fiber from beans, one serving meets half to one third of the daily recommended fiber intake for women (25 grams) and men (38 grams)
- Packed with flavor – From the fire-roasted tomatoes and chiles to the cinnamon and cocoa powder, this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili boasts a complex set of flavors that will have you coming back for more.
Slow Cooker Convenience + Slow Simmer Flavor
It’s no secret that we LOVE our Instant Pot and that nine times out of 10, we reach for it before we reach for our slow cookers. But when it comes to this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili, the slow cooker is hands down the way to go. The long, slow-cooking time results in a chili that’s thick and concentrated with more developed flavors.
Plus, few things beat coming home after a long day away to a meal that’s ready when you are! And, honestly, what’s better than opening the front door to smell of slow-cooked chili? For more easy beef recipes, be sure to check out our 20 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes for more options.
Go wild with the toppings.
This Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili just begs for alllllll the toppings. We love to set them out in bowls on the counter and let our families and friends top their bowls as they please. Here some of our favorite chili toppings:
- Finely diced red or sweet onions
- Quick pickled onions
- Fresh cilantro
- Shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
- Crumbled cotija cheese
- Sliced jalapeños
- Diced or sliced avocados
- Sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, or cashew cream sauce (like this one)
- Lime wedges
- Hot sauce
- Corn chips or tortilla chips
- Cornbread muffins with homemade honey butter
You really cannot go wrong with any of these toppings when it comes to a bowl of this thick, rich, soul-satisfying Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili. Give it a try, it just might become your new go-to chili recipe, too!
How to Store Slow cooker beef and bean chili
We recommend storing any leftovers in a large glass storage container with airtight lid (we love this one). May be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
For longer storage, portion cooled chili into desired containers and freeze for up to 6 months.
- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds lean ground beef, bison or turkey
- 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (may substitute 1 ½ cups cooked lentils)
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth (may substitute chicken broth)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium bell pepper, any color, diced
- ½ – 1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced (seeds and membranes removed for less heat)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray then add the ground beef. Use a spatula to break up the meat then cook 6-7 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
- Drain the there is an excessive amount of fat in the pan before adding the meat to the slow cooker.
- Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green chilies, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, broth, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, paprika, cinnamon salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4-5 hours).
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with desired toppings.
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Recipe directions updated 12/6/2022 to eliminate cooking the onions and peppers with the ground beef and streamline prep time.
- Serving Size: 1 ⅓ cups
- Calories: 425
- Fat: 13 g
- (Sat Fat: 2 g)
- Sodium: 600 mg
- Carbohydrate: 40 g
- (Fiber: 13 g
- Sugar: 9 g)
- Protein: 38 g
- Cholesterol: 39 mg
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.