Turn that slow cooker on and spice up your life with this easy Crock-Pot Chili recipe. A big thanks to BUSH’S® Beans for sponsoring today’s heart-warming family dinner.
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year—
Pulling out sweaters…
Feeling the crisp fall breeze on my face…
Getting “into the groove” with back-to-school routines…
At our house, though, nothing says fall more than whipping up a hearty batch of Crock-Pot Chili. It’s an annual “fall kick-off” family tradition for us—just like jumping in the leaves.
My favorite thing about chili is that there’s an infinite number of ways to enjoy it. Over the years, I’ve been sampling favorite chili recipes from friends, and I’ve finally put together THE BEST CHILI RECIPE EVER! (Of course, that might just be MY family’s humble opinion of my cooking.)
Some people like hearty, thick chili; others like a more soup-like consistency.
Some people add noodles to their chili; others consider that indignant.
Some people prefer chicken over beef; others roll vegetarian-style.
So many delicious options!
I’d love for you to try our family’s favorite combo and tell me what you think.
The recipe has five simple components:
- Angus beef — I love steak chili, but you can also use ground beef, chicken, or go vegetarian, too.
- Tomato base — The chili base is a mix of canned tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
- Fresh veggies — This hearty chili uses fresh jalapeño, red pepper, and onion.
- BUSH’S® Beans — A solid chili MUST have beans. We prefer kidney, but there are tons of excellent chili-friendly bean options. In this recipe, we use BUSH’S® Kidney Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce for added flavor.
- Chili spice — You can buy a chili spice packet or use our super-simple custom spice blend below.
Let’s get started…
STEP 1: Preheat your slow cooker. Simply pop it on high while you’re prepping the spices, fresh veggies, and meat.
STEP 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Sear your stew meat for a nice, brown color, then add it to the slow cooker.
Quick tip: To ensure a nice, brown searing, it’s important that the pan has been thoroughly preheated before adding your meat. Test the temp with a small piece of meat before adding it all in. You’ll know your pan is ready if it immediately elicits a fierce sizzle.
I just love steak chili! It’s so worth the extra expense.
STEP 3: Add two cans of diced tomatoes (with juices) and a can of tomato sauce to the Crock-Pot.
STEP 4: Dice all those delicious fresh veggies and pop them into the Crock-Pot.
Perhaps now is a good time to point out that—although three out of four of my family members declare they hate onions, peppers, and tomatoes—my family LOVES this Crock-Pot Chili recipe.
This is a great spot in the chili-making process to get older kids involved. My girls are always more likely to try “things they don’t like” if they’re invested in the production somehow.
A gentle reminder: Caution and adult supervision are required when using sharp kitchen tools. Of course, you know your child’s hand coordination skills better than anyone. Be smart. Be safe.
My two girls love putting all the different ingredients into the slow cooker. Have your children help you make this colorful fall concoction and see if they, too, come to LOVE all these great veggies they might be “unsure of.”
STEP 5: It’s time to add the chili sauce and beans. Using BUSH’S® Kidney Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce is a delicious (and nutritious) foundation for any chili recipe. The kidney-bean-and-steak combo makes an excellent chili base. (By the way, for a little extra KICK — try BUSH’S® new Kidney Beans in Spicy Chili Sauce.) Premium quality beans are an integral part of a good chili recipe. In my opinion, it’s not chili if it doesn’t have BEANS.
STEP 6: Make this dish your own! You’ve already got a great base rolling in the Crock-Pot… The chili peppers, cumin, garlic, and onion flavor combo already in BUSH’S® Mild Chili Sauce is a delicious start. Now, it’s time to skip the pre-made chili pack and try a custom spice blend instead. (It gives you more control.) The “4 & 2” Chili Spice Blend combination below is a great starter recipe for beginners.
There are three things I like about this spice blend:
- Most of the ingredients you’ve already likely got in your cabinet.
- The seasoned salt takes the place of a whole collection of common ingredients in most chili blends (salt, paprika, sugar, etc.).
- The measurements are so simple to remember, you don’t need to print a recipe.
STEP 7: Put the cover on, turn the dial to low, and let your Crock-Pot work its magic for the next 6 to 8 hours. The chili is ready when your steak is tender.
STEP 8: Serve and enjoy!
At family parties, we like to use this hearty steak Crock-Pot Chili recipe to create a Chili Bar. Simply have out bowls and fun accoutrements like shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions, bacon crumbles, cooked elbow noodles, etc.
My kids love skipping the spoons and eating their chili with—or on top of—other foods (à la poured over French fries, scooped with tortilla chips, or dunked using grilled cheese sandwiches). Their latest obsession is eating this Crock-Pot Chili with corn chips.
When I mentioned this corn chip obsession to a friend, he suggested I introduce the girls to “Walking Chili.”
Here’s how it works…
- Cut open a snack-size bag of corn chips.
- Dump some chili inside & grab a spoon.
- Go for the best walk of your life.
My girls are gonna FLIP over that idea! It’s totally on our family’s Fall To-Do List.
I promised a printable copy of this Crock-Pot Chili recipe, so here it is!
- 2T olive oil
- 1–2 lbs lean Angus beef (or choice of meat)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 2 cans (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can BUSH’S® Kidney Beans in a Mild (or Spicy) Chili Sauce
- 2T "4 & 2" Chili Spice Blend
- Preheat your slow cooker on high.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Sear the stew meat for a nice, brown color, then add it to the Crock-Pot.
- Add diced vegetables, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (undrained), and the "4 & 2" Chili Spice Blend.
- Fold in the BUSH’S® Kidney Beans Mild (or Spicy) Chili Sauce.
- Put the slow cooker cover on, turn the dial to low, and let your Crock-Pot work its magic for the next 6 to 8 hours. The chili is ready to serve when the steak is tender.
I’ve been known to make a double batch of this warm and savory, feel-good, cold-weather dish to give to friends. This yummy Crock-Pot Chili is just one of those “made-to-share” sort of meals.
So when the summer weather starts to turn CHILLY on you… Heat things back up with a spicy batch of Crock-Pot CHILI! (See what I did there?)
I’m so happy that fall is finally upon us. Aren’t you?
Wishing you a happy autumn, friend!
P.S. One last mom-to-mom tip, we love to freeze single-servings of this chili to warm up on cold and gloomy days. Simply scoop heaps of the chili into Texas-sized muffin tins, and throw the pan in the freezer. Once frozen, dip the bottom of the muffin tin in hot water for a quick release. Violà! This is a perfect lunch-sized portion. Store the single-serve frozen chili “muffins” in an airtight freezer bag.
When you’re ready to enjoy, simply defrost in 2-minute increments in a covered bowl in your microwave. It goes perfectly with an Inside-Out Grilled Cheese Sandwich. YUM.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bush’s Beans. The opinions and text are all mine. The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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