Get ready for a chili experience that’s not just good – it’s the best slow cooker chili you’ve ever tasted, and we’re not joking! Your whole family is in for a treat with this easy, hands-off recipe that’ll have you wondering why you haven’t been making it every day. This simple crockpot meal is not only a time-saver but also an explosion of flavor that might make you question how something so delicious could be so easy!

bowl of chili with sour cream, cheese, green onions and corn chips

The components of our slow cooker chili

The beauty of our slow cooker chili lies not just in its fantastic flavor, but also in the fact that the ingredients are both budget-friendly and readily available. In fact, that’s one of the standout features of this recipe!

Inspired by our  Middle Eastern beef chili, this recipe is hearty and nourishing as is, but it is also super easy to modify if you aren’t a fan of any of the ingredients. Read on to find out why we love the primary components of this recipe, and alternate ingredients if you’re looking to swap any of them out!

  • This is one of our favorite ground beef recipes. Ground beef has a decent amount of fat compared to other ground meats, which adds a ton of flavor to the chili. If you are limiting your fat intake, we have great news for you. You can easily substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for a low-fat chili. Ground lamb and ground pork are also a great substitute if you don’t eat ground beef.
  • We love the combination of black beans and kidney beans in this recipe. They have a slightly different texture and shape so having them both in adds some variety. Beans are generally a great source of protein, fiber, and iron. The beauty of this recipe is that you can really use whatever beans you have on hand!
  • The combination of onions, garlic cloves, and green onions that we use is perfection. The sharp flavor of the white onion alongside the fresh green onions makes for a great balance. But truly any member of the allium family works in this recipe. That includes red onions, shallots, yellow onions, and chives!
  • Chipotle pepper chili is the key component of adobo sauce, and it gives this simple recipe its signature flavor. They carry a bit of spice and can be substituted with your favorite pepper if you cannot find them. If you are a big fan of spicy food, feel free to add jalapeño peppers or poblano peppers in their place.
  • The crushed tomatoes help to add moisture and texture to this recipe. We personally like to use canned crushed tomatoes because it is just so easy! If you are trying to limit sodium in your diet, you can absolutely use fresh tomatoes instead of canned.
  • Beef stock is an important component of this recipe because the liquid helps to bring all the flavors together. Similar to ground beef, you can swap this out for any kind of stock that you like!
  • Green bell peppers are a great way to add some texture and flavor to this delicious healthy recipe. The flavor of green peppers is slightly more bitter than other bell peppers, so it lends itself well to the balance of flavor in this chili. However, you can absolutely use yellow bell peppers or red bell peppers in their place!
bowl of chili with sour cream, cheese, green onions and corn chips

How to store crockpot chili

One of our favorite parts about this chili recipe is how easy it is to make and store. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

This recipe is also great if you are making meals in advance! You can easily freeze it in portion sizes and make your own freezer meals out of them. It is so easy to reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop!

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The spice blend that makes this chili so yummy

We have learned that a little goes a long way when it comes to creating the perfect blend of spices. We aren’t exactly talking about the measurement of the spices, but rather which to include. The following spices are what help this dish come together and give it its oh-so-delicious flavor profile!

  • Salt and pepper are the basic seasoning components of all of our recipes here at Food Dolls. Salt enhances the natural flavors of the ingredients of the dish and truly helps them shine. Pepper, on the other hand, rounds out the depth of flavors of the ingredients while adding a hint of warmth.
  • Oregano is a traditional Italian herb. It is commonly found as a fresh herb or a dried spice. Dried oregano has an earthy flavor and a longer shelf life than fresh oregano. If you have fresh oregano on hand, you can definitely use it for this recipe. But we prefer using dried!
  • Smoked paprika has a deliciously smoky flavor. It is made by roasting peppers over an open fire, then drying the peppers and grinding them up into a spice. Smoked paprika is one of three types of paprika, alongside sweet and hot paprika! It is also sometimes called Pimentón.
  • Cumin is a spice that comes from a seed. It packs in a ton of flavor, but also carries health benefits! Cumin, both in seed form and ground spice form, has loads of antioxidants. Furthermore, it has anti-inflammatory properties!

How to make the best slow cooker chili

  1. Add ground beef to a deep stock pot. Mash and cook until browned.
  2. Add in chopped onions, diced green peppers, and finely chopped chipotle pepper chilis. Mix it all together.
  3. Transfer the meat mixture to the instant pot.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, black beans, and kidney beans, followed by beef broth. Lastly, add in the spice blend of salt, pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, and cumin.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese, and fresh cilantro! If you are practicing a dairy-free diet, feel free to skip the addition of cheese and sour cream or use plant-based cheese.
bowl of chili with sour cream, cheese, green onions and corn chips
a bowl of slow cooker chili topped with shredded cheese, fresh herbs, sour cream, and a chip

The BEST Slow Cooker Chili

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
This slow cooker chili is delicious, smokey and so comforting!


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium decided yellow onion
  • 1 small diced green pepper
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 16 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
  • 16 ounces red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth or stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt more or less to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • green onions sour cream, and cheese for garnish


  • In a large pot on medium high heat add the ground beef. Cook and drain the fat. Add chopped yellow onion, green pepper, garlic, and chipotle peppers. Reduce to medium and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
    2 pounds lean ground beef, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 small diced green pepper, 1 medium decided yellow onion, 3 chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Add the cooked beef to the slow cooker, crushed tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, broth, and spices.
    16 ounces black beans rinsed and drained, 16 ounces red kidney beans rinsed and drained, 2 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth or stock, 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • Cover and set the slow cooker on high for 2 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
  • Serve with sour cream, cheese, and green onions.
    green onions



Serving: 1serving | Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 1297mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1128IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    1. Yes! You can brown the beef in the sauté setting in the instant pot. Add the remaining ingredients and set to 20 minutes to the chili/bean setting. Release the pressure manually or allow it to release naturally.