Slow Cooker Chili

Slow Cooker Chili is an easy recipe that simmers all day to give you bowls of fantastic classic chili flavor. Garnish with your favorite toppings for all the delicious fun!

Slow Cooker Chili from - This slow cooker chili recipe is meaty and flavorful, a family favorite. #chili #slowcooker #crockpot #beef #turkey #fritos #beans #cheese #comfortfood

Everyone should have a go-to chili recipe. Don’t you agree?

I still think Mom makes the best chili in the world. Part of the reason is that I love how she seasons it and that she adds a little brown sugar to give just a hint of sweetness. But it took me a long time to figure out that it was her use of fresh canned tomatoes that put its flavor over the top. For all those years growing up, I just took it for granted. How I now yearn for her chili filled with summer preserved goodness!

For a long time, I struggled to find a chili recipe that both Blake and I wanted to call “ours”.

And then I made this Slow Cooker Chili recipe a few years after we were married. Blake said, “Never make chili any way but this way again.” 

It might seem that this was a monumental moment of our relationship. If chili can really make that happen for a couple, I’m not completely certain.

But I do know that this recipe, since December 4th, 2004, has continued to be our family’s go-to chili. And I get requests for the recipe whenever I make it for guests. 

Honey Cornbread Muffins from - These cornbread muffins are slightly sweet, with a moist cake-like crumb from buttermilk and butter in the batter. #cornbread #muffins #muffin #honey

I like to make a batch of Honey Cornbread Muffins to serve with chili.

And our girls love when there are leftover cornbread muffins to eat for breakfast the following morning. They warm them up and eat them with a little butter and jam.

The muffins are the perfect chili dippers, with a bit of sweetness that contrasts with the savory chili. 

Our family also really, really, REALLY likes Fritos corn chips with chili. Sometimes I buy the regular ones, shown in my photos. And sometimes I buy the scoops, which are awesome for just scooping up the chili, no spoon needed.

So much of our fun with food deals with dipping and scooping, don’t you agree?!

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Slow Cooker Chili from - This slow cooker chili recipe is meaty and flavorful, a family favorite. #chili #slowcooker #crockpot #beef #turkey #fritos #beans #cheese #comfortfood

Slow Cooker Chili

This easy recipe simmers all day to give you bowls of fantastic classic chili flavor. Garnish with your favorite toppings for all the delicious fun!
Yield: 14 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes


  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 2 c. low sodium beef stock
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 c. yellow corn meal
  • 3 to 6 T. medium chili powder, to taste
  • 2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. brown sugar, to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Brown beef and turkey in a slow cooker with a browning function. Drain fat. If you don't have a browning function on your slow cooker, then: In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a slow cooker. Pour out any fat left in the saute pan. Add the ground turkey to the saute pan, brown it, and transfer it to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add remaining chili ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to blend. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.
  3. Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream, chopped onion, grated cheddar cheese, and chopped cilantro. I also like to serve this chili with wedges of fresh lime, and Fritos corn chips, and some fabulous cornbread muffins.

* Please note that this recipe is highly adaptable, and I encourage you to play around with the kinds and quantities of herbs and spices to fit your own tastebuds.

* And...this recipe makes a large quantity. You will need a slow cooker with a minimum capacity of 5 quarts.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 588 Total Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 155mg Sodium: 973mg Carbohydrates: 33g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 16g Protein: 49g

Did you make this recipe?

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This post was previously published in 2012. Some of the photographs and some of the text were updated in 2019.

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