This smokey slow-cooker chili takes the classic dish to a whole new level. Such an easy, yet flavorful, weeknight meal that will blow you away! Combine simple ingredients – like beans, garden-fresh vegetables, and ground beef or wild game – for a cozy, hearty dinner on a dreary day.
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What’s a good dish without tons of flavor? Or at least that’s our motto!
So I can promise this chili is nothing like the classics you’ve had before. Just the right amount of heat and smoke – you’ll feel like you walked right into a cookoff!
One thing that usually comes with great flavor is a lot of ingredients. But don’t get scared off!
Though there are a few things to pull together, it’s still a very simple dish to make. A little prep work, brown some meat, dump a bunch of things in, and you’re home free.
And speaking of meat…let’s talk choices….
Traditionally a dish like this is made with ground beef, but let me propose another option…
How about wild game!?!?
Ground elk, deer, and moose provide the same “red meat” qualities, while at the same time drastically cutting the fat in the dish. That’s because wild game is incredibly lean. It’s a fabulous substitute for beef that we highly recommend.
For that reason, we usually use 1lb ground beef & 1lb ground elk when making this recipe. The combination is divine!
Curious how we got our elk meat? Learn more here.
That being said, either way, you’ll love this slow cooker chili recipe.
So what do you think? Are you ready to make the last chili recipe you’ll ever need? Snuggle up with a bowl of this chili to warm you on the next rainy night.
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Check out these articles for more recipes…
The Best Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
Meat & Canned Goods
- 2 lbs ground meat (beef, wild game, turkey)
- 2 cans pinto beans (15,5 oz each)
- 1 can chili beans (15.5 oz each)
- 3 cans diced tomatoes (15.5 oz each)
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1 red bell pepper - finely chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery - finely chopped
- 1 cup onion - finely chopped
- 1-2 jalapenos - finely diced, optional seeds removed
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 4 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 3 cubes beef bullion
- Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add a tbsp of oil or fat - we prefer to use bacon fat.
- Saute the prepared vegetables - red pepper, poblano pepper, celery, onion, and jalapenos - until tender, just a few minutes. Dump this mixture in your slow cooker.
- To the slow cooker, also add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and both types of beans (do not drain or rinse the beans).
- Use the same skillet to brown your ground meat. Saute over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain off the fat and add the meat to your slow cooker.
- Dump in all of the seasonings and give it a good stir.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6.
Suggested Toppings: Fresh cilantro, diced onion, jalapeno rings, sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese, cojita cheese, tortilla chips, and/or Fritos
**This chili stores great in the freezer*
I’ve tried a lot of different chili recipes and always have to tweak the recipe a ton to make it just how I like it. But this…. This is perfect. I will say I added 1/2cup of brown sugar instead of the 1tbsp on white sugar. But other than that, it’s perfect how it is. 10/10!
Ooh that’s a fantastic substitution! May have to try that next time. So glad you enjoyed the recipe & thank you!
How mant qts does your slow cooker hold?
It’s a 6.5 quart slow cooker