My Chili in Crock Pot Recipe is packed to the brim with meat, beans, and just the right amount of heat to make your tongue tingle! Cook this easy slow cooker chili recipe low and slow all day, or use High heat to have it ready in just 4 hours. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than this!
Chili in Crock Pot
This easy slow cooker chili recipe starts with 4 pounds of meat — now that is a hearty chili recipe!
Hot Italian sausage and ground beef create a flavorful meal featuring kidney and pinto beans cooked in a smoky tomato base.
Add the perfect amount of heat and you have the best ever chili in slow cooker!
No muss, no fuss. An excellent meal to serve on any occasion. Simply prep and step away, then serve when ready.
This easy slow cooker chili recipe will keep on a warm setting for hours.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Hot Italian Sausage – We used chicken sausage for this simple crockpot chili recipe, but you can use your favorite variety or whatever you have on hand.
- Ground Beef – Choose your ground beef wisely! Your best bet is 93% lean. The ratio of meat to fat is perfect for a dish like this — no dealing with extra grease!
- Beans – You’ll need kidney and pinto beans. You could also use navy beans, black beans, or cannellini instead.
- Crushed Tomatoes with Garlic – I love the convenience of a can of crushed tomatoes with garlic.
If you have regular crushed tomatoes at home you can certainly use that — just make sure to add some extra minced garlic to the mix.
- Jalapenos – For added heat and flavor! You can reduce the amount or leave them out altogether if you don’t like the spice.
- Spices and Seasonings – Salt, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, New Mexico chile powder, onion powder, garlic powder… those are just a few of the spices and seasonings you’ll need!
Tips for Making the Best Chili in Slow Cooker
- Opt for New Mexico chile powder.
Unlike traditional chili powder, New Mexico chile powder has a deep, reddish brown color and features an earthy, sweet flavor and subtle, spicy heat.
It is mildly spicy, and it gives a truly authentic flavor to your chili in crock pot recipe.
It can be found in the international aisle, in the bulk spice section, or on Amazon.
If you’re afraid the spiciness will be too much for you, simply use half New Mexico chile powder and 1/2 regular chili powder.
- Cook the meat first.
Rather than simply throwing everything in the crockpot, make sure to cook the hot Italian sausage and ground beef before you add it to the slow cooker.
Not only will it guarantee that the meat is safe to eat, but it will also add even more flavor thanks to the browning process.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative!
You’ll find the list of specific spices and seasoning that I’m using for this simple crockpot chili recipe on the instruction card below, but feel free to get creative with it!
Remove any seasonings you don’t like, and add any extras that may come to mind.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Let the chili in slow cooker cool to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 3-4 days.
Reheat in the microwave or on the stove over low heat, adding a little water or broth as needed to thin it out.
To freeze, fill a freezer-safe container 2/3 full with chili and place in the freezer. It will keep for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Slow Cooker – Great for soups, roasts, shredded chicken, and this chili in crock pot recipe!
I love it in the cooler months, but it’s also great in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the whole house with the oven.
Hearty Chili Recipe FAQ
To whip up a hearty chili recipe (somewhat) quickly, opt for the stovetop as it will typically come together in about 90 minutes.
If you’re more into “set-it-and-forget-it” cooking, opt for the slow cooker. Sure, it will take longer, but if you get it set up in the morning, you’ll have delicious chili in crock pot ready by dinner time!
You can add a bit of cornstarch, flour, or potato starch to the chili in slow cooker to thicken it. Add a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
When you allow your chili to cook for hours at a time, the flavors have the chance to develop and meld with one another.
That said, you don’t want to overcook it either. The meat will start to break down and trust me, it won’t taste good!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Hearty Soups and Stews
Easy Chili in Crock Pot Recipe
- 2 pounds hot Italian sausage, bulk (we used chicken sausage)
- 2 pounds 93% lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 43.5 ounces kidney beans, 3 – 14.5 ounce cans, drained and rinsed
- 43.5 ounces pinto beans, 3 – 14.5 ounce cans, drained and rinsed
- 84 ounces crushed tomatoes with garlic, 3 – 28 ounces cans
- 4 ounce can diced jalapenos
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons New Mexico chili powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, to taste depending on heat preference
- Cook hot sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Drain drippings and add to a 6 quart crock pot. Cook beef with salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Drain drippings and add to a 6 quart crock pot.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 6-8 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published December 2013. Updated and republished September 2023.
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