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Crockpot Chili is sweet & spicy and so good served with sour cream, cheese, and Fritos. Made with three different beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, beef broth, seasonings, and my favorite chili ingredient … cocoa powder!

For more chili recipes be sure and try my classic chili recipe or this taco chili

Crockpot Chili is sweet & spicy and so good served with sour cream, cheese, and Fritos. Made with three different beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, beef broth, seasonings, and my favorite chili ingredient ... cocoa powder!

CROCKPOT CHILI RECIPE

I have been working to create a delicious, sweet, spicy (not like hot! spicy) chili recipe that cooks in the slow cooker. This crockpot chili is just that and more. 

Loaded with 3 kinds of beans, tomato sauce, ground beef, seasonings, and my favorite “secret ingredient” for chili … cocoa powder! This simmers for hours in the slow cooker, all the flavors just melt together, and it makes for really delicious chili. 

We love to top ours with shredded cheese, sour cream, and Fritos corn chips. 

Crockpot Chili is sweet & spicy and so good served with sour cream, cheese, and Fritos. Made with three different beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, beef broth, seasonings, and my favorite chili ingredient ... cocoa powder!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR CROCKPOT CHILI

Ground Beef – I always use lean ground beef (93/7) but you will drain it anyways so it really does not matter.

Onion – Use a yellow or white onion for chili. 

Salt

Baked Beans – Do not drain. Just dump the entire can into the crock pot. 

Ranch Style Beans – These are pinto beans in a tomato seasoned sauce. Dump the entire can into the slow cooker. You will find these beans with the other beans in the grocery store, the can has a black label and it specifically says ‘ranch style beans’ right on the front of the can. 

Chili Beans – These are pinto beans in a seasoned chili sauce. Again, you do not want to drain them. Just dump the entire can into the crock pot. They come in mild, medium, and hot so get what one you prefer. I always use mild. 

Tomato Sauce

50% Reduced Beef Broth – If all you have is regular full-salt beef broth that is fine. Maybe reduce the salt in the ground beef to 1/2 teaspoon. 

Worcestershire Sauce

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Cumin

How to make crockpot chili with step-by-step photos. You will love this chili recipe!

TIPS AND HELPFUL HINTS FOR THIS RECIPE

  • How do I thicken chili?

    • I have tested this recipe many times for it to be the right amount of thickness + enough liquid for chili. But I know all people are different when it comes to thick chili vs. more liquid based chili. If you want to thicken this chili then here are two different ways. After the cook time is done take the lid off the crockpot and let it sit there. This will help thicken the chili. If it’s still not as thick as you would like then mix together cornstarch + water and pour that into the chili and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes or so. 
  • Can I substitute the beans in this chili?

    • Yes you can! Use whichever bean you prefer, making sure that it is the same sized can (15 oz). I love the combination of baked beans (sweetness), ranch style beans, and chili beans. Make note that the chili beans and ranch style beans both have a seasoned sauce with the beans, so if you don’t use them it may effect the final taste of the chili slightly. 
  • When you open the can of baked beans there may be some fat pieces and very large bacon pieces at the top. I always take those out (just with a table fork or spoon) before adding the can into the slow cooker. Some might think I’m crazy but it’s just what I prefer. So feel free to do the same if you don’t want those large white fat pieces in your chili. 

Crockpot Chili is sweet & spicy and so good served with sour cream, cheese, and Fritos. Made with three different beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, beef broth, seasonings, and my favorite chili ingredient ... cocoa powder!

MORE CHILI RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE

One Pot White Chicken Chili – Chunks of chicken in a heavy cream and sour cream base. Loaded with green chilies and great northern white beans. 

Ground Beef Queso ChiliChili recipe with a homemade cheesy queso sauce. This has added pasta to it for a thicker, heartier chili. 

Crockpot Chili is sweet & spicy and so good served with sour cream, cheese, and Fritos. Made with three different beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, beef broth, seasonings, and my favorite chili ingredient ... cocoa powder!
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Crockpot Chili


Author Jessica
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 8 people (1 cup each)
Crockpot Chili is sweet & spicy and so good served with sour cream, cheese, and Fritos. Made with three different beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, beef broth, seasonings, and my favorite chili ingredient ... cocoa powder!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow or white onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 50% reduced sodium beef broth *see notes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) ranch style beans do not drain
  • 1 can (15 oz) chili beans do not drain
  • 1 can (16 oz) original baked beans do not drain
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • sour cream, shredded cheese, Fritos corn chips for toppings

Instructions

  • In a skillet pan, brown and crumble the ground beef, onion, and salt. Once beef is no longer pink drain the excess liquid and grease.
  • Add the cooked ground beef mix into the insert of the crockpot. Add all the remaining ingredients (NOT the toppings : sour cream, cheese, Fritos) and stir it together. Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.
  • Top each serving with sour cream, shredded cheese, and Fritos corn chips.

Notes

Draining ground meats : I have found the easiest way to drain ground meats is to put a colander into a bowl (I use a dirty bowl so I don't dirty a new bowl) and pour the ground beef into the colander. That way the grease is drained because the bowl below catches it, and you won't have extra grease in your chili from the ground beef
If you want your chili thicker : Once the cook time is done if you take the lid off of the crockpot and let it sit there for several minutes, it will naturally thicken up on it's own. If you want it really thick then add 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 3 tablespoons cold water into a small bowl and mix it together well. Pour it into the chili and let it cook on LOW for about 30 additional minutes. I have never added the cornstarch to this chili so I can't say for sure the results. That said, I have tested this recipe and written it to make it thick but still have some liquid in it. But it's not like soup. 
Beans : Do not drain any of the beans. Just dump the contents in the can straight into the crockpot. Make note that if you substitute some of the beans, then it may change the final flavor of the chili. The ranch style beans and chili beans both have a seasoned chili sauce base and a seasoned tomato sauce base that provides lots of extra flavor. If you can't find the ranch style beans then use two cans of the chili beans. 
Beef Broth : I have only made this recipe using the 50% reduced sodium beef broth (I just measure out 1 cup from a 14.75 oz) plus the 1 teaspoon salt when I cook the ground beef. If all you have is full salt beef broth you can either reduce the salt when cooking the beef to 1/2 teaspoon. Or just use the full salt beef broth and don't change anything else. 

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1860mg | Potassium: 1251mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 398IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 6mg

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