Easy Chili in Crock Pot Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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!

Titled image: Easy Chili in Crock Pot Recipe


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.

Can’t get enough chili? Don’t miss my 5 Ingredient Chili, Italian Chili, and Wendy’s Copycat Chili recipes!

ingredients for easy chili in crock pot recipe

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!
cooked ground beef

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.

ingredients for easy chili in crock pot

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.
easy crock pot chili

Hearty Chili Recipe FAQ

Is chili better in a crockpot or on the stove?

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!

How do you make chili thicker in a crock pot? 

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.

Is chili better if you cook it longer?

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!

closeup of easy chili in crock pot recipe

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

easy chili in a white bowl

easy slow cooker chili in a white bowl

Easy Chili in Crock Pot Recipe

Donna Elick
Easy Chili in Crock Pot is packed with meat, beans, and just the right amount of heat. Make this hearty chili recipe to please a crowd!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Method Slow Cooker
Servings 18 makes 6 quarts


  • 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!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 481cal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 830mg | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 15g | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 8mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Easy Chili in Crock Pot Recipe

Originally published December 2013. Updated and republished September 2023.

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for your support; it allows us to keep creating new recipes.

The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


  1. I love chile! I need something hearty and a little more heathy this time of year to counteract all the cookies and sweets.

    1. I left out the diced jalapenos and pepper flakes as my wife does not like anything close to mild, medium, or hot. Spice to taste with those ingredients or put on table when serving.

    1. You can get family size packages of pre-cooked sausage that are equivalent of three or four individual packages at Walmart.

    2. It means a larger amount of meat as in packages of ground meat, sausage, chicken, etc that are usually over 3 lbs. If you get lucky they might have it out of the casing as well. Hope this helps!

    1. Liquid in recipe is from the canned tomatoes.. Also suggest using Bushes canned chili beans in mild chili sauce. Pour it all in… Reserve some liquid from canned tomatoes in case you need more liquid.

  2. Was really good…. A lot easier using "Bushes canned chili beans in mild chili sauce" and canned diced tomatoes with onions and bell pepper. I used the liquid from the cans of Bushes Chili beans with mild chili sauce and of course the diced tomato liquid (Halved) I kept some diced tomato juice in reserve in case of needing more liquid. I drained the canned pinto beans. Then used spices to flavor… I cooked on low for 4 hours instead of high because I didnt want mushy beans. I would suggest that this dish be set overnight in fridge then reheated because like potato salad it is so much better the next day after all the ingredients have time to mingle….

  3. I am vegetarian and would love to make this with just the beans and spices – maybe some type of TVP/vegetable protein. Do you think I would need to reduce the spices since I would not be using meat?

  4. 5 stars
    I love an easy slow cooker meal and this is perfect for our cold days! I made some of your cornbread with it and what and amazing meal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating