/ / / / / Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

Need an easy weeknight dinner? This slow cooker chili is the ultimate hearty comfort food made with ground beef or turkey and a trio of beans. Perfect for those cold nights when you need something to warm up with.

Everyone claims that their chili is the best version there is. This one is our family’s favorite because there is a slight sweetness to it that makes it particularly appealing to children.

I got this recipe from a friend who had made it for a freezer meal exchange group that I did a few years ago. When we had her dinner, my family ranted and raved about it to the point that it totally annoyed me.

And then she beat me in a chili cook off and that sealed it. I relinquished my own favored recipe and started making hers. She was gracious enough to give me permission to share her recipe and now you can benefit too.

Ingredients

Shopping list

  • ground beef
  • onion
  • celery

Pantry staples

  • ketchup
  • lemon juice
  • apple cider vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • mustard
  • canned beans
  • tomato sauce
  • chili powder

Substitution

You can use ground beef, ground turkey, or a combination of both. My friend does a mix of half ground chuck and half ground turkey, I usually go with a lower fat ground beef because then I don’t need to drain off as much rendered fat.

For the beans, I generally do a mix of 3 beans, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, and pinto or black beans. At some grocery stores they have a 3 bean blend you can do or you can choose to do 3 separate cans. I do 3 cans because it helps the chili to extend further for my big family.

Top Tips

Can you put raw ground beef in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can put raw ground beef in the slow cooker. However, I choose not to for two reasons.

First, you can get better flavor from the meat if you brown it in a pan first. Second, the chili turns out less greasy by browning the beef and draining off the fat before adding the rest of the ingredients.

How to make this on the stove top

  • Brown the beef over medium high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat and put meat in a separate bowl.
  • In the same pan, add a bit of oil and sauté the onion and celery for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Return the beef to the pot.
  • Add the ketchup, water, celery, lemon juice, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and mustard.  Stir well to combine. Simmer for 15 minutes
  • Then add the beans, tomato sauce, and chili powder.  Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm with corn chips, saltine crackers, oyster crackers, cheese, sour cream, or over baked potatoes.

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Recipe

a blue grey bowl filled with ground beef laced with different beans and pieces of onion

Slow cooker beef and bean chili

This beef and bean chili is perfect for a busy weeknight. Throw everything in the slow cooker and come home to a warm and comfort filled dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 2701kcal
Author: Jade Jones

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey or a mix of both
  • ½ cup chopped onion about 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard or ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3 15-ounce cans beans like black, kidney, or cannellini
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder

Instructions

  • Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium high until meat is no longer pink. Drain off any fat.
  • Add the onion to the ground beef and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Transfer the meat and onion from the skillet to the slow cooker. Add the ketchup, water, celery, lemon juice, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and mustard. Stir well to combine.
  • Then add the beans, tomato sauce, and chili powder. Stir again and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  • Serve warm with corn chips, saltine crackers, oyster crackers, cheese, sour cream, or over baked potatoes.

Notes

You can use ground beef, ground turkey, or a combination of both. My friend does a mix of half ground chuck and half ground turkey, I usually go with a lower fat ground beef because then I don’t need to drain off as much rendered fat.
For the beans, I generally do a mix of 3 beans, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, and pinto or black beans.

Nutrition

Calories: 2701kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 162g | Fat: 183g | Saturated Fat: 70g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 80g | Trans Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 644mg | Sodium: 6617mg | Potassium: 3710mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 3738IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 21mg
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