Crock-Pot Chili


Chili really benefits from being simmered low and slow. And if you want to use dried beans instead of canned, in a slow cooker, it's never been so effortless. Add them with the ground beef, tomatoes, and spices, and just six hours later, you have perfectly tender beans, perfectly delicious chili. For a spicier dish, add a minced, seeded poblano chile or two minced, seeded chipotle chiles in adobo along with the jalapeños.

Crock-Pot Chili
Remember when we said you have nowhere to be? This spicy chili really benefits from being simmered low and slow — for six hours. Photo: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 30 mins
6 to 8


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 pounds ground sirloin

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 1 pound dried small red beans

  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped (1 cup), plus whole leaves for garnish

  • 4 jalapeños, seeded and minced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • Sliced scallions, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream, for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil until nearly smoking. Add the ground sirloin, 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a slow cooker. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices along with the beans, onions, chopped cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano and 6 1/2 cups of water. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours, until the beans are tender.

  2. Skim any fat from the surface of the chili and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with scallions, cheddar and sour cream.

Make Ahead

The chili can be refrigerated for 4 days.

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