The Easiest Crock Pot Chili

The Easiest Crock Pot Chili

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
367 Calories
11g Fat
38g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 367
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 1995mg 87%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 17mg 84%
Calcium 121mg 9%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 1354mg 29%
*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.)

Create a hearty family dinner with this easy crock pot chili recipe. Made with lean ground beef, tomatoes, and pinto beans, it's quick to throw together and cooks in your slow cooker all day, so dinner will be ready when you are. Serve the chili in warm bowls with a side of warm cornbread and butter for a complete meal.

By using a purchased chili seasoning mix and canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and pinto beans, this delicious ground beef dinner couldn't be more simpler to create. It requires eight to 10 hours of cooking in a slow cooker set on low and is a perfect set-it-and-forget-it dish.

If you like, you can use a homemade chili seasoning mix. It requires a few common spices, including chili powder, minced onion, garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper. This allows you to control the ingredients, adjust the flavor, and keep some on hand for the next batch of chili. For an equivalent measurement to the average envelope of store-bought seasoning, use about 1/3 cup of your homemade mix.

One critical step to this recipe is browning the ground beef. By precooking the beef before adding it to the slow cooker, you'll sear in the flavor, improve the meat's texture, and be able to drain off any grease. The low temperature of a crock pot simply cannot replicate these results, even over the hours-long cooking time. As a bonus, the sautéed onions that are cooked along with the beef will add flavor to your chili and make it even better than if you were to use raw onions.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (85 to 90 percent lean)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 (1.25-ounce) envelope chili seasoning mix, (e.g., McCormick)

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The Easiest Crock Pot Chili ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Brown the ground beef with the onion and drain.

    beef and onions in a pan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Transfer the ground beef and onion mixture along with the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker; stir to blend.

    The Easiest Crock Pot Chili ingredients in a crock pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Cover the pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

    The Easiest Crock Pot Chili cooking in a crockpot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Serve in heated bowls with hot cornbread and butter on the side.

    The Easiest Crock Pot Chili in a bowl, served with a side of bread

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Note: For thicker chili, add a few tablespoons of cornmeal about 30 minutes before it's ready.

Kitchen Notes

Top your chili off with freshly baked cornbread croutons. Toss about 2 cups of cubed cornbread with 1/4 cup of melted butter and a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Spread the cubes out on a large baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 450 F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are browned.