Crock Pot Chili Beans With Ground Beef

Slow cooker chili beans with ground beef

The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  • Total: 9 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 9 hrs
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
376 Calories
10g Fat
40g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 376
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 787mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 12g 41%
Protein 33g
Calcium 125mg 10%
*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.)

This flavorful slow cooker chili recipe contains dried pinto beans, ground beef, chili powder, and a variety of seasonings. Plan to soak the beans overnight or follow the quick soak directions on the package of beans. 

The recipe is made from scratch with dried pinto beans or small red beans. You could also use kidney beans or great northern beans if you prefer them. 

These chili beans are versatile and could be made with the addition of other vegetables. The recipe is also easily doubled.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups dried pinto beans (or small red beans)
  • 1 pound ground beef (very lean, or lean ground round or ground sirloin)
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can French onion soup
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Garnish: shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, hot sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for slow cooker chili beans
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  2. Pick the beans over and discard any malformed or damaged beans. Look for any small stones.

    Pick beans over
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  3. Rinse the beans and put in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water (to a depth of about 3 to 4 inches over the beans) and soak for 6 hours or overnight. 

    Rinse beans
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  4. Drain the beans and rinse.

    Drain beans
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  5. Put them back in the saucepan and cover with 3 to 4 inches of water.

    Beans in pot
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic 
  6. Bring the beans to a boil over medium heat and cook for about 1 to 2 hours, or until tender.

    Bring beans to boil
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  7. Drain and transfer the beans to the crock pot.

    Drain and transfer beans
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  8. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the onion.

    Brown beef
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  9. Add the browned beef and onions, plus the tomato paste, soup, water, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and sugar to the slow cooker. Stir to thoroughly blend ingredients.

    Crockpot
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  10. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 7 hours or on HIGH for about 3 hours. Check about halfway through the cooking time and add more water if necessary.

    Cover and cook
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  11. Serve the chili in a bowl topped with cheese, sour cream, green onions, and hot sauce and enjoy!

    Serve chili
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Tip

  • If you have no trouble with beans becoming tender in the slow cooker, there should be no need to cook them first (step 6). Put them right in the crock pot after soaking and add the remaining ingredients.

Variations

  • Use two (15-ounce) cans of drained pinto or small red beans instead of dried beans. 
  • Add shredded or julienned carrots to the skillet with the ground beef and onion. If desired, add some fresh chopped green or red sweet bell pepper as well.
  • Add one (14 1/2-ounce) can of diced tomatoes or zesty chili-style tomatoes along with the tomato paste.
  • Add a 4-ounce can of chopped mild green chile peppers to the slow cooker along with the soup.