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Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili


This Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili is a crowd-pleasing ‘pull out all the stops’ kind of chili.

Your new go-to chili recipe is here.

We all have a go-to chili recipe that we make whenever we need an easy weeknight meal or a dish for potluck or party. Some have beans and some don’t. Some are mild and mellow and some nearly take your breath away.

I think that a person’s go-to chili is a window to their soul.

Just kidding. I don’t know what your go-to recipe says about you other than how spicy/chunky/thick you like it. I do know, however, that this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili is all of those things and more. It’s truly a ‘pull out all the stops’ kind of chili – seasoned ground beef, fire-roasted tomatoes, chiles, peppers, three kinds of beans, sweet and savory spices – it’s all in there. And although the ingredient list looks long, the prep time is surprisingly short with only a few veggies to chop and a few cans to open.

It also pulls out all the stops when it comes to flavor. Trust me!

Why I love this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili.

  • Chunky – There are lots of veggies, ground beef, and beans in here to give it texture.
  • Thick – No soup-like chili here. This one is almost thick enough to stand your spoon up in.
  • Spicy – Or more accurately, spicy as you want it to be. Omit the jalapeño pepper for a milder chili, or double it and use spicy chili powder for some more serious heat.
  • Packed with fiber – Boasting 11 grams of fiber from beans, one serving meets almost 1/2 to 1/3 of the daily recommended fiber intake for women (25 grams) and men (38 grams) according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • Packed with flavor – From the fire-roasted tomatoes and chiles to the cinnamon and cocoa powder, this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili boasts a complex set of flavors that will have you coming back for more.

Slow Cooker Convenience + Slow Simmer Flavor

It’s no secret that I LOVE my Instant Pot and that nine times out of 10, I reach for it before I reach for the slow cooker. But when it comes to this Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili, the slow cooker is hands down the way to go. The long, slow-cooking time results in a chili that’s thick and concentrated with more developed flavors.

Plus, few things beat coming home after a long day away to a meal that’s ready when you are! I mean, what’s better than opening the front door to smell of slow-cooked chili?

Go wild with the toppings.

This Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili just begs for alllllll the toppings. I love to set them out in bowls on the counter and let my family and friends top their bowls as they please. Here some of my favorite chili toppings:

  • Finely diced red or sweet onions
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • Crumbled cotija cheese
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Diced or sliced avocados
  • Sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, or cashew cream sauce (like this one)
  • Lime wedges
  • Hot sauce
  • Corn chips or tortilla chips
  • Warm corn tortilla for dipping

You really cannot go wrong with any of these toppings when it comes to a bowl of this thick, rich, soul-satisfying Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili. Give it a try, it just might become your new go-to chili recipe, too!

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 20 mins.
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hrs, 20 mins.
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free


  • 2 tsp. cooking fat of choice 
  • lbs. lean ground beef or bison (may substitute ground turkey)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced (seeds and membranes removed for less heat)
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup beef broth (may substitute water or chicken broth) 
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon


  1. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until onions and peppers just start to soften.
  2. Add ground beef, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Use a large spoon to spatula to break up the meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is almost cooked through. 
  3. Transfer beef mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4-5 hours). 
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with desired toppings.


  • Serving Size: 1/8th recipe
  • Calories: 342
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 979mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 26g

Pin it now & make it later!


All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


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