Spicy Hearty Beef Chili Recipe for Fall Comfort

Are you in search of a hearty and flavorful beef chili recipe? Look no further! I have the perfect recipe for you that will satisfy your cravings and provide a warm, comforting meal. This slow-cooker beef chili recipe is versatile and easy to make, making it perfect for any occasion.

Not only is this chili recipe delicious, but it is also packed with wholesome ingredients such as lean ground beef, kidney beans, onions, garlic, and spices. This nutritious and filling dish is perfect for cold winter evenings or game day gatherings.

This slow-cooker method ensures that the beef is tender and perfectly cooked every time. Plus, you can set it and forget it – allowing you to carry on with other tasks while your chili simmers away in the background. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to enjoy a bowl of hearty and delicious slow-cooker beef chili – with minimal effort required!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili
Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili

My dear foodies, let me take a moment to convince you why this slow-cooker hearty beef chili recipe is one of the best dishes that has ever existed. Trust me; this chili is the perfect combination of delicious, easy to make, and satisfyingly hearty.

Firstly, imagine coming home from a long, tiring day and walking into your house filled with the tantalising aroma of this chili. The lingering scent of chilli powder and cumin will whet your appetite and make your mouth water in anticipation. It’s like an unspoken invitation to indulge in something wonderful.

Secondly, the ingredient combination will make your taste buds dance with joy. Imagine biting into a succulent piece of beef slowly cooked to perfection, bursting with flavour. Add some juicy diced onions and garlic cloves minced with love for extra aromatics? Heaven! Let’s not forget Tabasco sauce, which will give it just enough kick to wake up your senses.

But wait, there’s more! The surprise ingredient that takes this slow-cooker beef chili recipe over the top is the Taco Bell Home Originals thick ‘n chunky salsa. Yes, you heard that right! The salsa will add the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness to counter the spices beautifully.

Lastly, let’s talk about how flexible this recipe is. You can switch it up, substitute ingredients, or even double or triple the recipe for a large gathering. You are free to adjust its consistency by adding more liquid or thickening agents like cornstarch, ensuring that you get just what you want.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for something simple yet packed with flavourful goodness for dinner tonight or just a lazy day inside comfort food option – look no further than this slow-cooker hearty beef chili recipe!

Ingredient List

 The ultimate comfort food
The ultimate comfort food

Before we start cooking, let’s take a look at the ingredient list for this Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili Recipe.

Here are the key ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Taco Bell Home Originals thick ‘n chunky salsa
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Make sure to gather all of your ingredients before starting to cook. It makes the process much smoother and enjoyable.

The Recipe How-To

 Get your slow cooker ready
Get your slow cooker ready

Making Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili from Scratch

Who doesn’t love a cozy bowl of chili? Making it slow cooker beef chili at home is easier than you think with this quick recipe. In this section, I’ll outline everything you need to know.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of crushed or strained tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of Taco Bell Home Originals thick ‘n chunky salsa
  • 2 cups of frozen corn
  • 3 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste

How to Make It
Step One:

In a skillet over medium heat, add some olive oil or canola oil (about one tablespoon). Sauté the diced onion until it becomes translucent for about two minutes. Then, add in the garlic and stir for an additional minute until fragrant.

Step Two:

Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook it over medium-high heat for about seven minutes until browned. Be careful not to overcook it but make sure that the meat has caramelized.

Step Three:

Transfer the beef mixture into your crockpot. Drain and rinse the kidney beans then add them alongside the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, corn kernels, chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper.

Step Four:

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Set your slow cooker on LOW and cook it for eight hours or more until you achieve the desired consistency. If you prefer a thicker chili then use less liquid or cook it uncovered for the last hour. Top with shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream if desired.


You could put raw beef into your crock pot however doing this can actually result in an unpleasant texture due to that unappetizing grayish color that cooked ground beef often gets. By caramelizing your meat beforehand on higher heat in a cast iron skillet, you create brown crusts which adds depth of flavor as well as texture to your chili

Now that you know how easy it is to prepare this hearty slow cooker beef chili at home from scratch instead of eating store-bought ones full off unknown chemicals, go ahead and surprise your family and friends with a delicious homemade meal!

Substitutions and Variations

 Chili, it's what's for dinner!
Chili, it’s what’s for dinner!

One of the great things about chili is that it’s a flexible dish, and you can make plenty of substitutions and variations to create your perfect slow-cooker beef chili. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

– No Beans: If you’re not a fan of kidney beans or just want to try something new, you can create a beanless chili. You can substitute the kidney beans for pinto beans, black beans or just skip them altogether.

– Italian Sausage: You could switch up the recipe with Italian sausage instead of ground beef or use 50/50 ratio beef and sausage. This adds a bit more punch and spice in the finished dish.

– Vegetarian Chili: Simply swap out the meat for vegetarian beef crumbles or add a medley of vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots etc. Just sautee them before adding them to the crockpot.

– Steak Chili: Substitute ground beef for cubed steak in your recipe. Cube your meat into bite-sized pieces and sear over high heat in batches until cooked through. Add the caramelized meat cubes to the slow cooker in place of raw beef.

– Three Bean Chili: Add three different types of beans (kidney, black, and pinto) instead of using only kidney beans to create a rich variety chili.

– The Spice Mix: The original recipe calls for chili powder and cumin oregano mix but feel free to substitute this mix with other seasonings like smoked paprika, chipotle powder, ground coriander or even add additional spices.

When experimenting with substitutions or variations in any recipe It’s critical to taste as you cook. Adjusting for seasoning throughout the cooking process is key to creating the exact balance you want in taste.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect dish for a cold winter night
The perfect dish for a cold winter night

When it comes to serving and pairing this slow-cooker hearty beef chili recipe, there are plenty of options to choose from. The warm and savory flavors of this dish pair well with a variety of sides and toppings that can take your meal to the next level.

One classic choice is to serve your bowl of chili alongside some freshly baked cornbread. The sweetness of the cornbread perfectly complements the spiciness of the chili, creating a flavor combination that will have your taste buds singing. You could also switch things up by serving some crusty bread for added texture.

Another great option is to top your chili off with some shredded cheese or a dollop of sour cream. This adds a creaminess to the dish that balances out the bold and spicy flavors.

For something a little lighter, you could also serve your chili with a simple green salad. The crunch of fresh greens and vegetables will add a refreshing contrast to the warm and hearty chili.

Finally, if you want to elevate your dish even further, consider pairing it with a bottle of full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. These wines complement the rich meaty flavors in the chili and bring out its depth and complexity.

No matter how you choose to serve or pair this delicious slow-cooker hearty beef chili recipe, one thing is for sure – it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hearty bowl of goodness
A hearty bowl of goodness

The beauty of this slow-cooker beef chili recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later. Once the chili has cooled down to room temperature, store it in an airtight container to retain its freshness. You can freeze it for up to one month or refrigerate it for up to four days.

To reheat the chili, place it in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to simmer, stirring occasionally. If you want to speed up the process, transfer the chili into a microwave-safe container and heat it on high for about three minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

While reheating, you may notice that the chili has thickened up quite a bit. Not to worry – this is normal. Simply add some water or stock to thin it out before heating. Do not overcook the chili while reheating as this will result in dry meat and mushy beans.

If you’re planning on making a large batch of this hearty beef chili ahead of time, consider using pre-portioned containers so that you can grab and go without having to thaw or reheat more than you need at once. This way, you can always have a comforting bowl of chili ready for those chilly nights when you just don’t feel like cooking from scratch.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Bring on the spice
Bring on the spice

When it comes to cooking slow-cooker beef chili, there are a few key techniques you’ll want to keep in mind to make sure your recipe turns out perfectly. Here are my top tips for achieving the best flavor and texture possible:

First, be sure not to overcook your chili. While slow cooking is the name of the game with this recipe, it’s important to remember that there is such a thing as too long. If you let your chili cook for too many hours, the beef will become tough and the flavors may become muddied. Instead, keep an eye on the time and aim to cook your chili for around 6-8 hours on low heat or 3-4 hours on high heat.

Another tip that will take your slow-cooker beef chili from good to great is caramelizing the meat before adding it to the slow cooker. This simply means browning the beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until it develops a slightly crispy exterior. This step adds extra depth of flavor while also helping to lock in moisture.

Speaking of moisture, one of the biggest challenges with slow-cooked meat is keeping it from drying out. To combat this issue, try using an additional half cup of liquid (such as beef broth or diced tomatoes) than what’s called for in the recipe. You can also add some frozen corn or chopped bell peppers towards the end of cooking for an extra burst of moisture and color.

If you’re not quite satisfied with the level of spice in your chili, don’t reach for more chili powder right away! Instead, try adding a sprinkle of cumin or smoked paprika to deepen the flavors without making things too spicy. And if you do decide to go hotter, be sure to add spices gradually and taste-test frequently so you don’t accidentally overpower your entire recipe.

Finally, one of my biggest tips for any slow-cooker recipe is: don’t be afraid to get creative! While this recipe is delicious as-is, there are plenty of ways to customize it based on your personal preferences. Try experimenting with different types of beans (such as pinto or black beans), using ground turkey instead of beef, or adding in additional vegetables like zucchini or butternut squash for extra nutrition and flavor. The possibilities are endless!


Now, let’s move on to the FAQ section of the Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili Recipe. Here, I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this recipe to ensure you have all the information you need to make a delicious and hearty chili that your family and friends will love! So, let’s get started:

Do you have to brown meat before slow cooker chili?

I highly recommend browning or caramelizing meat before adding it to a slow cooker as it greatly enhances the overall taste and appearance of the finished dish. Although it’s not mandatory, the effort put into browning meat pays off with a more flavorful and rich end result. The caramelized surface of the meat contributes to the final dish’s color and depth.

Can you put raw ground beef in a slow cooker?

It’s absolutely possible to include raw beef in a slow cooker recipe. Some slow-cooker chili recipes suggest searing the beef first for added richness and depth of flavor, but it’s not always required. The caramelization process can enhance the taste of the meat, but it’s not a strict rule.

What is the secret to making good chili?

As a passionate food adventurer, I have discovered some essential tips to elevate the flavor of any dish. One of the most crucial things to note is the importance of creating homemade chili powder. This quick and easy step can take your cooking to the next level. Additionally, spicing up the other spices can also enhance their flavor.

Before you start cooking, you need to ensure that you prep the vegetables properly. This includes cleaning them thoroughly and cutting them into uniform pieces. Moreover, giving the beans a brine can greatly improve their texture and flavor.

When it comes to meat, it’s crucial to treat it right. Take your time to marinate it or season it well. Choosing the right type of poultry is also significant. Opt for leaner cuts of chicken as it cooks faster than other types of meat.

If you’re using ground beef, slow and low is the way to go. Cook it slowly over low heat to ensure that it doesn’t become tough or dry. Lastly, don’t shy away from using fat as flavor. In moderation, fat can add depth and richness to any dish.

By following these simple tips and tricks, you can unlock the full potential of your cooking and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.

Can you overcook chili in a slow cooker?

If you are planning on making chili in a crockpot, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the cooking time. Overcooking can result in dry and tough meat as well as overly mushy vegetables. It’s important to be mindful of the cooking time to ensure that your chili turns out delicious and tender.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili recipe is not only easy to make and delicious, but it also provides a fantastic meal option for anyone looking to enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal. By following these simple steps and using high-quality ingredients, you can create a dish that will impress your friends and family every time.

Whether you are making this chili for game day or just a weeknight dinner, there is no better way to enjoy the fullness of its flavors than through the slow-cooking process. And with its many substitutions and variations, no two servings have to be the same, allowing for experimentation in the kitchen that can lead to unexpectedly delightful results.

Overall, I highly recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a new favorite chili recipe. So why not give it a try today? With its ease of preparation, versatility and unforgettable taste – there’s nothing to lose by giving this Slow-Cooked Hearty Beef Chili recipe a spin!

Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili

Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili Recipe

I received a booklet from Kraft Foods today which is called "food & family" and this is one of the recipes in it that I am posting here to try at a later date.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 cups
Calories 383.4 kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups Taco Bell Home Originals thick 'n chunky salsa (mild)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce, no-salt-added
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup kraft four-cheese Mexican blend cheese, shredded


  • Brown meat; drain. Add to slow cooker with remaining ingredients except cheese; stir. Cover with lid.
  • Cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours (or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours).
  • Stir just before serving. Serve topped with cheese.
  • Serving suggestion: Serve with a simple side of Ritz Crackers.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 349gCalories: 383.4kcalCarbohydrates: 34.5gProtein: 30.4gFat: 14.7gSaturated Fat: 6.8gCholesterol: 72.6mgSodium: 1011.9mgFiber: 9.2gSugar: 6.6g
Keyword Beans, Beginner Cook, Easy, Meat, Potluck, Stove Top
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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