Crock Pot Chili Recipe
I LOVE chili. There's no other way to say it! I've tried many kinds of chili, and I like it just about any way you can prepare it.
The only problem I have with chili is that it takes a long time to prepare. Although most of that time is waiting while it simmers on the stove, it still makes it a hard meal to prepare on a busy weeknight!
This recipe is an excellent remedy for that issue, because it is made in the crock pot! Using stew meat instead of ground beef means the meat is still hearty after a day's cooking time. Read ahead for this great and easy recipe, as well as a brief history of chili.
Did you know?
Chili has been the official state food of Texas since 1977!
Learn More about Chili
Chili History Fun Facts
Although it is often mistakenly attributed to Mexico, chili actually originates from Texas! In the early 18th Century, a group of people emigrated from the Canary Islands to what is now the city of San Antonio. They formed the first government in the Spanish province of Texas, and the women made a spicy form of stew that is similar to today's chili.
In the mid 1800s, cowboys traveling around Texas and into California needed a way to have a hot meal that could travel. They invented a sort of stew that included dried ground beef, salt, pepper, chili peppers, and fat. They pounded it into rectangles which could be rehydrated easily with water.
Chili was also known as an inexpensive food served to prisoners. Historians believe that prisoners often judged jails in Texas by the quality of their chili! Former inmates even wrote to the prisons asking for their recipes!
In the late 1800s, the city of San Antonio was home to the famous "Chili Queens". The Chili Queens sold a stew similar to today's chili at the Military Plaza Mercado. They made the chili at home and brought it in chili wagons to sell to cowboys and visitors. The Chili Queens sold their chili at night, reheated over fires. They were eventually shut down due to health standards. Now the "Return of the Chili Queens Festival" is held in San Antonio every year to commemorate them.
Easy Crock Pot Chili Recipe
- 1.5 lbs stew meat
- 16 oz. medium salsa
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 8 oz spaghetti
- Cut the stew meat into bite-sized pieces (approximately 1" cubes)
- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Mix well.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- When the chili is nearly ready, cook spaghetti according to package directions.
- Serve chili over spaghetti.
- Top with shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired.
What do you think?
Did you know?
Variations on Slow Cooker Chili
There are many ways to add variety to this slow cooker chili recipe!
- Instead of salsa, try picante sauce! Or make your own salsa instead of using store-bought.
- Use ground beef instead of stew meat.
- Serve over different types of pasta, such as macaroni (for a traditional chili) or serve over rotini or penne for a fancier dish!
- If you don't like a lot of heat, try using only one tablespoon of chili powder or a mild salsa.
- If you like it spicy, add some chopped jalapenos!
- Instead of pasta, serve over corn chips for a Mexican flavor.