Classic Slow Cooker Chili

Slow Cooker Chili – this recipe takes a classic pot of chili and makes it even easier and tastier by letting it simmer in the slow cooker all day. As a result, the flavors are out of this world! The perfect comfort food that you can top any way you want!

Slow Cooker Classic Chili – a classic, delicious and hearty slow cooker chili recipe that easy to make and perfect for a cold winter day!

The BEST Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

There is simply nothing better than a nice big pot of chili simmering on a chilly day! The perfect comfort food! This recipe makes it even easier because you can set-it-and-forget-it in the slow cooker letting it simmer all day long. This really allows all of those great flavors to come alive! We love making a batch of this on game day, for a delicious and easy dinner to share with company in town, for an easy weeknight meal, or any day really. Serve with some Homemade Cornbread and Seven Layer Salad for the perfect cold-weather meal!

What You Will Need

  • olive oil – just a drizzle in the pan to help sauté the garlic and onion.
  • garlic & onion – the perfect flavors to accompany the ground beef browning in the pan.
  • ground beef – we like to use a fairly lean ground beef but feel free to grab your favorite, you could also use ground turkey.
  • kosher salt & pepper – a dash of each for a little seasoning.
  • can of whole tomatoes & tomato paste – the tomato base for your chili.
  • red kidney beans – you could use 1-2 cans of any bean of your choice – we love red kidney beans or butter beans for this recipe.
  • chili seasoning – we always have a jar of this amazing chili seasoning on hand!
  • bay leaf – just one for some added flavor.
  • optional toppings – get creative! we love topping this chili with green onions, cheese, & sour cream – option to make either of those dairy-free.

Is Chili Better In A Slow Cooker?

We always find that chili is best when it is able to simmer on low for several hours and that is exactly what the slow cooker is all about. Slow and low to let all those great flavors really hangout together!

How Long Should I Slow Cook Chili?

We recommend keeping your slow cooker on low for about 6-8 hours. The meat will already be fully cooked so you don’t have to let it cook that long but it is all about bringing out all those great flavors!

What Should I Serve With Slow Cooker Classic Chili?

In addition to the toppings (i.e. shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions), we always serve chili with a classic cornbread or cornbread muffins! Perfect for dunking!

How To Make Slow Cooker Chili

Drizzle some olive oil in a cast iron skillet and sauté the onion and garlic, then add the ground beef and cook until brown.

Put the ground beef in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients.

Mix to fully combine.

Simmer on low for 6-8 hours.

Enjoy with your favorite toppings!

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Slow Cooker Chili – a classic, delicious and hearty slow cooker chili recipe that easy to make and perfect for a cold winter day!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or ghee)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 lb ground hamburger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • (1) 28oz can whole tomatoes (don’t drain)
  • (1) 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 15oz can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)*
  • 1 batch chili seasoning
    • 23 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Toppings (optional): green onions, cheese (dairy-free or regular), sour cream (dairy-free or regular)


  1. Bring a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
  2. Add garlic and move around the pan constantly until it is aromatic, about 10-20 seconds.
  3. Add onions and allow them to cook down, moving them around the pan, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add ground beef to the pan, season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Move around the pan (turn heat down a bit if you need to) until ground beef is no longer pink.
  5. Drain grease.
  6. Add to crockpot along with the whole tomatoes (use knife to cut them into quarters if you want), tomato paste, kidney beans, chili powder and bay leaf.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Cook on low all day (6-8 hours).
  9. Make sure to taste and add additional salt and chili powder, as desired. Serve with gluten-free honey cornbread!


  • Beans: feel free to use up to 2 cans of kidney beans or you can use 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of another type of bean (like butter beans like we used in the photos).
  • Dairy-Free: to keep dairy-free simply serve with dairy-free sour cream and dairy-free cheese.