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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Cumin
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.
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 Chili – Chili recipe with a homemade cheesy queso sauce. This has added pasta to it for a thicker, heartier chili.
- 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
- 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.