Classic Chili Recipe for Busy Cooks

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Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
800 Calories
20g Fat
101g Carbs
56g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 800
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 296mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 28g 101%
Protein 56g
Calcium 308mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Classic chili is made in the crockpot with chunks of beef, lots of tender beans, tomatoes, onions, and spices. This recipe isn't technically "classic," because true chili doesn't contain beans. But it is a classic in every other way. The slow cooker is a great way to make chili. The long cooking time makes all of the vegetables very tender, and the flavors blend beautifully.

Serve this chili with some sour cream and guacamole to cut the heat, along with a green salad tossed with sliced mushrooms, and some icy cold beer or iced tea.


  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 15-ounce can chili beans (undrained)
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (minced)
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves (dried)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Toss the cubed beef in the flour, and add salt and pepper to taste. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the coated beef; brown on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Remove the beef from the skillet and place in 4 to 5-quart slow cooker.

  2. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet; cook and stir for 3 minutes, then place in the slow cooker. Add the water to the skillet and bring to a boil; cook and stir for a few minutes to scrape up the drippings from bottom of the pan. Add this mixture to the slow cooker along with celery, green bell pepper, chili beans, kidney beans, tomato paste, jalapeno pepper, diced tomatoes, oregano, chili powder, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

  3. Stir the chili and cover. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the chili is blended and thickened.

Recipe Variations

  • You can substitute ground beef or ground pork sausage for the cubed beef in this recipe if you'd like. Brown it well in a saucepan and drain it before you proceed with the recipe. Omit the beef and flour and the browning step. You can make this chili as mild or as spicy as you'd like. For more heat, add some minced habanero peppers, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, and cayenne pepper. More hot pepper sauce would do the trick too.