Slow-Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

If you’ve spent any time around here with me on the blog for the past 5 years (yes it’s really been that long, though I honestly didn’t believe it—had to go back and do the math, which means I totally missed the big celebration, so we’ll have to reschedule with a big shebang sometime soon) but anyway, where was I? Too many of these asides is probably a large contributing factor as to why I couldn’t keep track of that big milestone, lol, but enough chitter chatter and back to the food—sorry! My point was that I’ve often mentioned that I’m not a huge chili fan (unless it’s this Creamy White Chicken Chili and then all bets are off and I don’t want to share—oops, another aside but at least this one is on topic) nor am I truly enamored of the slow-cooker, (I’ve only got one slow-cooker post here—there I go again!) so why you may ask am I posting a recipe for slow-cooker chili?

Because… of love (cue the violin). See, my husband has a deep, enduring adoration for chili in all its forms but particularly the classic kind, so at least once a year I take pity and indulge the poor guy and brew up a batch. This year time is tight (for so many reasons, but any real explanation would require at least a paragraph of asides) so suffice it to say, I’m killing two birds with one stone and without any more asides, (whew! just kidding!!) I present this honestly yummy and extremely easy, Slow-Cooker Beef and Bean Chili!


After some disastrous slow-cooker attempts in the last couple of years, I’ve finally found something I actually think benefits from that slow-cook method! What a revelation guys! Let me tell you why.


First off, if you’re using dried beans, the slow cook achieves what you’d get by soaking them overnight but saves you huge amounts of time and effort because there’s no separate soak. No, sir. Throwing the beans in with all the other ingredients and a hefty amount of water, ensures that they cook up tender and digestible.

Then, like all stews, which chili essentially is, the long, slow cooking gives all the ingredients time to really meld together.

Lastly, you just can’t beat how easy this is! Other than browning the meat first, which just takes a few minutes, you simply toss all the ingredients into the slow-cooker, give it a big stir, cover and cook. When you return some 6 hours later, you’re rewarded with an extremely flavorful, hearty and comforting chili that is just the antidote to chilly nights! Lol!


It’s perfect for busy weeknights or football game-watching.

Serve it with this cornbread and even a non-chili lover like me is a happy camper!

Ahhh…the things we do for love!


Slow-Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

Makes at least 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 6-7 hours


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 pounds ground sirloin

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 2 large onions, diced

  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices

  • 1 pound dried beans (I used red kidney beans—use whatever you like)

  • 1 large handful fresh parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

  • 4 jalapeños, seeded and minced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder

  • Water

  • Scallions, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa etc. for serving (optional_

The Recipe

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the meat and a couple of large pinches of salt and pepper. Cook the meat, until browned, stirring every now and then to break it up. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the bowl of the slow cooker.

2. Add in the onions, tomatoes with their juice, beans, parsley or cilantro, jalapeños, garlic and chili powder and another pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well. Now pour in between 6-61/2 cups water. If you like a thicker chili, I would go with the lower amount. Stir well, cover the bowl and cook on high for 6-7 hours, until the beans are tender.

3. Ladle into bowls and serve as is or with toppings. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for at least 1 week and reheated in the microwave or on top of the stove over low heat.


Note: Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine. I tinkered a lot with this—cut and added stuff—feel free to make it your own.

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