You’ll love this classic crockpot beef chili with just 8 ingredients (and that’s counting salt and pepper!).
I love a good bowl of chili, but some of the recipes out there are just way too complicated. I’m not afraid to say “No, thank you” to recipes with 30+ ingredients, too many steps, or use ingredients that aren’t already in my pantry. There is a small window of time that I can tackle those kinds of recipes, and most days aren’t that kind of day. I mean, even my own Vegetarian Chili has a lot of ingredients so I tend to make this beef chili more often. But man, that veggie chili is delicious!
Most days, I just want a good ol’ basic chili that I can pull together without pulling my pantry and kitchen apart. And that’s exactly how I ended up with this super simple and classic Crockpot Beef Chili recipe. If you are anything like me and just need an easy recipe for dinner tonight, I’ve got ya covered.
I originally came across this crockpot chili recipe from Tommy’s mom who made a similarly awesome chili dish for us one evening. When I saw the ingredient list, I was sold. This is pretty close to her recipe with a few minor tweaks and I think this is pretty close to perfect.
I love, love pairing this chili with my better-than-Martha-Stewart-cornbread. A delicious chili with a side of homemade cornbread is my go-to southern comfort food. I need to make this a few more times while the weather is still a bit chili (heh) at night. Although chili in every season is 100% acceptable, too.
So, let’s get right into the recipe, shall we?
Simple & Classic Crockpot Beef Chili
This recipe serves six healthy portions (and makes awesome leftovers!)
2 pounds lean ground beef (I used 93%)
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
2 (15 oz) cans of red kidney beans (rinse and drain the can)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (10 oz) can tomato soup + 1 can water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Sour cream (I love Trader Joe’s Organic Sour Cream)
Shredded Cheese (I like using cheddar, but the cheese choice is up to you)
Crumbled tortilla chips
Freshly chopped tomatoes
Cook the beef and onion in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat or in your crockpot if it has a saute option. Cook and stir occasionally to break up the beef until it crumbles and is no longer pink (about 10-12 minutes). You want to brown the beef and saute the onions until they are transparent.
Drain the fat and return the mixture to the dutch oven.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Cook in your crockpot for 4-6 hours or set to cook on high for 2-3 hours.If you want a slow cooking chili so you can leave it to simmer all day long, just set that crockpot on the lowest setting.
Go for a run, finish those house chores, or get in a good day’s work while you wait for your chili to finish cooking.
Saute the meat and onions in a dutch oven, drain the fat, then return to the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour.
I can’t give out a chili crockpot recipe without also giving an instant pot version. Sometimes time is not on our side and we just want to eat that yummy chili, like, 5 minutes ago. That’s where instant pots come in!
Similar to the instructions above, after you saute the onions and beef, just throw everything in the instant pot, seal it up and set the timer for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes is up, just do a quick pressure release or let the pressure release naturally (I find that this builds more flavor). And voila!
You can definitely use chicken in this chili. I’ve honestly never tried it because I prefer beef for this particular recipe, but there is no reason it shouldn’t work! But that’s mainly because I make this white chicken chili recipe when I want to use chicken. It’s also delicious.
I mentioned already that I have a vegetarian chili recipe right here that’s extremely delicious but requires a few more ingredients. If you want to add a little more veggies to the chili – feel free. Corn, bell peppers, celery, and carrots all work really well in chili recipes.
Red kidney beans are always my go-to for chilis, but pinto beans, black beans, and great northern beans all work well if you don’t have kidney beans handy. Feel free to mix and match, too. I have a famous three-bean chili recipe right here that is extra delicious but also has quite a few more ingredients than this classic chili recipe.
You also don’t have to use canned beans if you prefer dried beans. Just make sure to soak your beans overnight and cook them before you add them to this recipe.
You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. To equal one can worth, you probably need at least 5 or 6 tomatoes. I like my chili more tomato-y, so I would always opt for more tomatoes rather than less when using fresh ones.
Onions and Garlic
I know, onions and garlic go really well together. They go even better in a chili. If you’re a garlic fan, just add in 1-2 cloves of garlic (or more). I decided not to add the garlic here because I wanted this recipe to be super simple and accessible –and some people just don’t have garlic hanging around!
If beans aren’t your thing or you follow a paleo diet, I’ve got a super simple bean-free Paleo chili for you right here.
If you try this classic crockpot beef chili, leave a rating and a comment with how it went and any tweaks you made!! It helps others who make it too!Print
- 2 pounds lean ground beef (I used 93%)1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
- 2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 (10 oz) can tomato soup + 1 can water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Cook the beef and onion in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat or in your crockpot if it has a saute option. Cook and stir occasionally to break up the beef until it crumbles and is no longer pink (about 10-12 minutes).
- Drain the fat and return the mixture to the crockpot.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Cook in your crockpot for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
- Calories: 2,193
- Sugar: 36g
- Sodium: 4,256mg
- Fat: 105g
- Carbohydrates: 92g
- Fiber: 105g
- Protein: 209g
- Cholesterol: 567mg
This recipe was originally published in 2016. The photos got an major upgrade and I made minor tweaks to the recipe to make it even better for you! Enjoy these old school photos! 🙂