Easy CrockPot Chili
Chili is one of my go-to recipes as a (rather poor) college student. Luckily, I happen to have this easy recipe to turn to. There are only a few ingredients, but the final product is delicious and makes plenty of leftovers for me to eat (and, like with all chilis, the flavor just gets better over time!)
Also, this chili can be assembled in advance (either the night before in the ceramic insert) or assembled in a freezer bag and tossed into the slow cooker at a later date! If prepping the night before/freezing, follow the directions in the "Preparations" tab, then cover/store until you want to cook. Then, when you want to cook it, follow the directions under "Cooking"
- 1/2 lb Ground Beef, (I use 80%-85% lean)
- 1/2 half onion, chopped
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 packet chili seasoning, (choose your favorite, or use a couple of tablespoons of your own)
- 2 15 oz cans kidney beans, (You can also use dried: soak 1 cup overnight and use in place of these)
- Chop your onions and brown your beef in a large skillet. You want the beef to develop a darker color than regular cooked ground beef, because this will add flavor to your chili.
- Add your onions to the beef mixture, and cook on medium heat until the onions soften.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans, and add them to the slow cooker. Add the can of tomatoes as well, and mix in the chili mix. If you would like, add more seasonings to your taste as well. (I add garlic, paprika, and black pepper to mine).
- Add the onions and beef to the slow cooker and mix everything together. You may need to add a bit of water to loosen everything if your tomatoes are too thick.
When you are ready to cook your chili, cook on high for a minimum of 4 hours (6-8 hours is recommended for blending of flavors and if you are using dried beans). If you prepped the chili in advance, let the ceramic sleeve warm up a bit before putting it into the outer heating sleeve (30 minutes to an hour works well).
Everything in the chili is fully cooked before going into the crock pot, so the cook time only affects how well the flavors of the chili have blended together. Make sure to taste your chili before serving to see if there were any last minute spice adjustments.
Serving Suggestions and Other Comments
This chili is delicious as is, but I prefer to serve it one of three ways:
- Topped with the classic chili toppings, such as cheese and sour cream.
- Served with several crushed saltine crackers.
- Served over rice, mashed potatoes, or a baked potato.
Serving the chili with a starch, such as in the last suggestion, makes about 8 servings for me, whereas serving it as in the first two tends towards 4-6 servings (particularly if you're serving big eaters).
- This chili has a lot of beans in it, which I prefer, as beans are a great source of protein, vitamins, and fiber. Adjust the amount of beans to your preference, and substitute others if you prefer (black beans in particular have a very rich, meaty flavor that goes well with this chili).
- This chili is cheap to make! I snagged all the ingredients in this on sale and made it for less than $4. Overall, it should net to $1 or less per serving (particularly when served with a starch).
- Rice and beans, when eaten together, create a full set or proteins and amino acids. Just another reason to eat this with rice ;P
- You shouldn't need extra fat to fry the onions in, as the ground beef has a lot already in it. If there's too much fat, remove it by soaking it up with a paper towel or napkin before adding the beef to the crock pot.
|Serving size: 1/6 of recipe, about 7 oz|
|Calories from Fat||36|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 4 g||6%|
|Saturated fat 2 g||10%|
|Carbohydrates 24 g||8%|
|Sugar 5 g|
|Fiber 5 g||20%|
|Protein 14 g||28%|
|Cholesterol 22 mg||7%|
|Sodium 337 mg||14%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|