Crockpot Chili

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A delicious crockpot chili with dozens of 5-star reviews and winner of multiple chili cook-offs! This crockpot chili recipe winner is made with plenty of spice and packed with lots of flavor.

Overhead shot of two bowls of crockpot chili with add ins such as sour cream, cheddar cheese, and cilantro pictured to the sides

Crockpot Chili

First thing first, this chili is not your typical “dump it and forget about it” crockpot recipe (like most of the crockpot recipes you see on my blog), but this chili is made better by being slow cooked.

While there is a good amount of prep time with this crockpot chili recipe, it’s 100% worth it (and then some)! Not only are we making a massive batch of chili that you can use for several meals throughout the week (hello chili loaded baked potatoes, chili dogs, chili mac, navajo tacos, or taco salads), but it’s also large enough to serve quite a crowd if you’re taking it to a chili cook-off or potluck.

So while this easy crockpot chili does take time, it is still extremely simple to make.

Slow cooking this chili allows all the different flavors to meld together, the meat to get ultra tender, the beans to get delicate, and the veggies to get soft.

While we’re talking exactly what you’ll get with this recipe I’ll point out that this hearty crockpot chili is not the healthiest chili you can eat. If you’re looking for a healthy crockpot chili, check out this recipe. (And that same recipe can be made into a vegetarian crockpot chili by leaving out the chicken.) If you’re looking for a crockpot chicken chili, check out my famous white chicken chili crockpot recipe OR this creamy chicken enchilada chili (both reader favorites!)

How to make chili in a crock pot:

  • Start by cooking the bacon in a very large pot. You’ll use this same pot to cook the veggies and meat in.
  • Throw those veggies and meat into a large (must be 6 quart of larger) crockpot.
  • Add in everything else — the beans in chili sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, and all the seasonings.
  • Give it a good stir and 6-8 hours later you’re ready to devour this crockpot chili!

Step by step process photos of how to make this crockpot chili recipe starting with the bacon and veggies sauteing and then adding all of the ingredients to the crock pot

Up close and overhead shot of the crockpot chili in the slow cooker

Crockpot Chili FAQs:

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Crockpot Chili (Cook-off Winner!)

4.82 from 115 votes
A delicious crockpot chili with dozens of 5-star reviews and winner of multiple chili cook-offs! This crockpot chili recipe winner is made with plenty of spice and packed with lots of flavor.
Print Recipe

Crockpot Chili (Cook-off Winner!)

4.82 from 115 votes
A delicious crockpot chili with dozens of 5-star reviews and winner of multiple chili cook-offs! This crockpot chili recipe winner is made with plenty of spice and packed with lots of flavor.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword chili recipe crock pot, crockpot chili, easy crockpot chili
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 -12 large servings
Calories 275kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 5 slices hardwood smoked bacon
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (~2 stalks) celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (~1 small) yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 small jalapeno peppers, optional* seeds removed and finely diced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces EACH) chili (pinto) beans in medium sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chili (pinto or kidney) beans in mild sauce
  • 2 cans (28 ounces EACH) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 pounds (32 ounces) ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Italian sausage

Seasonings

  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt & 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 regular sized beef bouillon cubes
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, sour cream, freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove on to a paper towel lined plate and dab off the excess grease. Set aside.
  • Reserve the bacon grease in the skillet. Remove the stem and seeds from the red pepper. Finely chop. Remove the stem and seeds from the green pepper and finely chop.
  • Finely chop the celery. Remove the peel of the onion and finely chop. Chop the jalapeno pepper and remove the seeds if desired -- leave them in for extra heat.*
  • Add the red pepper, green pepper, celery, onion, and jalapeno pepper to the skillet with the reserved bacon grease. Saute the veggies over medium heat until tender. Transfer to the crockpot.
  • Add in the three cans of chili beans (undrained and do not rinse), petite diced tomatoes, and tomato paste to the crockpot.
  • In the same skillet used to cook the bacon and veggies, cook the ground beef chuck and Italian sausage until no longer pink over medium high heat. Drain off all the fat and add into the slow cooker.
  • Add all the seasonings to the crockpot. Crumble up the bacon (or chop) into very small pieces and stir that in the crockpot. OR reserve the bacon in the fridge and add at the end. Stir everything together.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, chili powder, etc.) Enjoy with fresh cilantro, sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Video

Recipe Notes

I use a 6-quart crockpot and this chili fills it to the top! It makes a lot which we love to eat throughout a whole week, take to a chili cook-off, or freeze in batches πŸ™‚ *The jalapeno pepper(s) adds a lot of heat. Omit or reduce as desired.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 275kcal

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Nutrition facts for easy crockpot chili recipe

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A delicious crockpot chili with dozens of 5-star reviews and winner of multiple chili cook-offs! This crockpot chili recipe winner is made with plenty of spice and packed with lots of flavor! via chelseasmessyapron.com #crockpot #slowcooker #chili #easy #quick #dinner #kidfriendly #beans #sausage #beef #cookoff #contest
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Recipe Rating




353 Comments

    1. Love this recipe! Would like to prepare another batch but I can’t find the chili beans in medium sauce. Any thoughts on how I can adjust the seasoning s?

      1. Chili beans in mild sauce are also great and if you’d like it a little bit spicier, add in some extra chili powder, slowly to taste!

  1. I made this according to the recipe, turned on my crock pot, worried at how full it was but gave the recipe the benefit of the doubt, and left for my daughter’s basketball tournament. Thankfully I was able to come home in between the morning and afternoon games because it was a horrendous mess on my counter. I had to pour the chili into a big roasting pan, put it in a low temperature oven, and clean the counter and my crock pot. It’s a 6 quart Rival Crock pot. How in the world is that supposed to work? It tastes good but WHAT A MESS!! How am I the only one with this problem?

    1. That is so strange Collette! I’ve made this dozens of times and heard great things from readers and never had it escape the crockpot! Did you put it on high or change the recipe in any way? I too have a 6 quart and it has never even come close to coming out… Was it boiling over? If so, it may be that the heating elements of your crockpot are off.

      1. It was on low and I followed the recipe. No clue. I just know that if I fill my crock pots (embarrassingly I have 4!) to the very top it always boils over. Does yours not come to a boil or does it not fill it to the top?

        1. Haha! Not embarrassing at all, I have 2 and looking at getting a third haha! πŸ™‚ Mine do fill pretty close to the top with this recipe, but a good inch of space left and I’ve never had something boil over. I did a quick search of your particular crockpot (Rival 6 quart) on Amazon and it looks like a lot of reviewers have had problems with it getting too hot, so that could be it? It shouldn’t be a boil, but a slow simmer. I hope that helps, so sorry about the mess, that is no fun πŸ™

          1. Mine overflowed each time I’ve made it. I went ahead and purchased an 8 quart just for this chili!! Everyone loves it πŸ™‚

  2. 5 stars
    You are *officially* my favorite person because this recipe helped me win a chili cook-off! Hooray! It really is the best though. and didn’t change a thing. Thank you Chelsea!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday. About a dozen people and they ALL loved it. The only thing I changed was I added a few canned chipolte peppers.

    Incredible recipe. Thank you Chelsea.

    1. Oh YAY!!! That seriously makes me so happy to hear that! And the chipotle peppers addition sounds incredible! πŸ™‚

  4. 5 stars
    Made the bacon chili in slow cooker yesterday- YUMMMOO I love mushrooms so added some as well. Awesome recipe and is definitely a keeper thanks ??

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you Chelsea… We took 1st place in the Chili Cookoff Challenge this past week!

    Not bad for a guy who has never made Chili … EVER!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this last week for the first time and this is the best chili I have ever had and or made. I finished off over 1/2 the crock pot by myself. (took a couple day) and never got tired of eating it. Two Thumbs up on this recipe.

      1. I made a second batch in a 7 qt. Crockpot and brought with me to work. I arrived at 830 am and it was still warm from the night before. At 845am one of my workers grabbed a bowl and that’s all it took. By 10.15am it was gone. They are requesting another batch next week.

  7. I’m on a low sodium diet, if I reduced the beef bouillon to 1 cube or maybe left them out all together, do you think it would destroy the taste?

    1. I don’t think it would destroy the taste, but it will be a little less flavorful. You can leave it out and add one after a taste test if you want!

  8. I notice in the video you use what looks like Knorr brand bullion cubes. These are usually one cube to two cups of water-while other brands are one cube to one cup of water. So if I don’t use Knorr brand should I be adding 6 cubes?

    1. I’m wondering if the video is making them look larger than they are; I used the regular sized bouillon cubes (1 cup to 1 cup water) Hopefully that helps!

  9. Could I add beer or some other type alcohol(bourbon maybe) to this? If so, what amount would you think? Considering adding either a bottle of beer or 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon.

  10. This recipe looks so delicious! I’m planning to make it for a family party this weekend. I do have a question for you, when you let it sit in the fridge overnight, do you still cook it in the crockpot 6-8 hours first and then cool it down and refridgerate over night? Or do you cook everything and mix it all together, but rather than cooking it in the crockpot at this point put it in the fridge and then the 6-8hours in the crockpot is done the next day? Thanks for your help!

  11. So excited to make this for a chili cookoff tomorrow! Had a quick question — have you tried cooking this on high (for 3-4 hours or so) and then refrigerating overnight, instead of low for 6-8 hours?

    1. I hope you take home first place! πŸ˜‰ I have never tried cooking this on high, but I do find I like beef soups/stews/chilis (other ones I’ve tried) best on low.

      1. It says in your recipe to use 2 cans of beans in mild sauce and one in medium sauce but I didn’t see the medium used in the video (nor can I find it at the store). Can you explain this step? I’d love to make it this weekend.

      1. 5 stars
        This was the best chili recipe. I took second place in a cook off. Next time, I will use San marzano tomatoes and follow the bean ratio. AMAZING since I am not a chili expert chef. Thx for sharing your recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    We took 3rd last year in our chili cook off using a 22qt roaster. Getting ready to fire it up for this year but can’t remember what temp we used. Our toaster doesn’t have low-medium-high settings. Thoughts?

  13. 5 stars
    I want to thank you so much for this recipe. My son called and ask if I would make a pot of chili for a chili cook off at his work. He just called me and your recipe took first place with just a few minor changes. I used smoked paprika,
    1/2 t cayenne pepper, 1/2 t chipotle powder, 1/4 C. Green Tobacco sauce, better than bouillon, and only 1/2 a jalapeΓ±o. It turned out amazing. My son was proud of me and that makes me so happy. Thanks For Sharing,

    1. Ahh this made my day!! Those changes sound like they would be great! Seriously you are such an awesome mom! Thanks Melanie! πŸ™‚

  14. This looks great and I’m looking forward to trying it this week. But if I want to leave out the sausage, should I replace with another lb of beef?

  15. 5 stars
    I’m not a fan of beans, so I’m not a huge fan on chili. My daughter’s first birthday party was this weekend and we had a chili bar. I grabbed this recipe offline, had good reviews and looked easy. It was a great decision!!! Everyone at the party raves about how great it was! Apparently it is extremely similar to a family friend’s late mother’s recipe; which is a huge compliment as her mother was an incredible cook. I will definitely be making this a staple for chili cook offs and other events!

  16. 5 stars
    I read where you said that you made this in a 6 quart but I only have a 4 quart so I did it on the stove because I have a 6 quart pot and it still turned out amazing. Low and slow for 4 hrs and I’ve never made chili before. This is even better than my mother’s(RIP) recipe. My kids licked their bowls clean.

  17. I made this according to directions last night .. it filled to the top lip of a (Rival) crockpot but did not boil over. Two thoughts: one, no where in the recipe did it say to drain the grease from cooking the ground chuck and sausage. While that was my natural inclination (kinda gross otherwise) I did drain off a full 16 oz can of grease. If I had not, that 16 oz would have put the crockpot overflowing at some point. I know it sounds logical to drain it off, but since it’s “no draining” on the beans, and the tomatoes, perhaps there was confusion there. I might also guess that depending on the fat content of the beef/sausage, some may cook down more than others – mine was close enough to the top that an extra cup might have made a difference. This chili is now on it’s way to a support station for a team of 41 mile hikers (the full Maryland AT trail segment) as a benefit to Operation Second Chance and I am sure they will all be grateful for this fabulous chili! Thanks!

  18. 5 stars
    I am very excited that I found this recipe. I had originally planned on doing a dump and cook meal but this looks way better. But I need some clarification. I want to do this right and prepare this in advance (a day) and then wake up the day of the potluck lunch and put the chili into the crockpot, warm it up, come home, grab the crockpot and take it to the potluck. Do I warm this on “Low” or “Keep Warm” setting? I will probably want to pick it up around 11:00 AM to have it at the potluck by 11:30 AM.
    I did google reheating Chili in a crockpot and got all kinds of articles about food poisoning so as much as I want to make a good impression with the chili, I don’t want to make anyone sick. Obviously you have done this a time or two so wanted to ask how you have reheated the chili after refrigeration. Thank you in advance for your response.
    Sincerely,
    Mark L. Ferguson

  19. If I make this the day before in my crockpot, then refrigerate overnight. How do I re heat it in the crockpot? Put it on cook low?? Thank you

  20. Im making your crockpot chili and my question is concerning the bouillon cubes.
    In the video it looks like you’re crushing them into the pot dry but someone asked about water. Do I crush them in dry or dissolve them in water?

  21. Hi Chelsea!
    I have a question, I over looked the ingredients and bought 2 cans of pinto beans and 1 can of kidney beans. None of them are in chili sauce. What would you recommend I do? And would I drain the juices?

    1. I would drain and rinse the pinto and kidney beans. Without the chili sauce, you might just want to bump up some seasonings to taste. Enjoy!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend either because they’ll turn the chili into more of a soup consistency. The boullion cubes gives the flavor without all the extra liquid!

  22. 5 stars
    Best.Chili.Ever! I rarely follow a recipe exactly but almost did with this one! I did substitute 2 cans black beans to the three cans in the recipe since I’m not a huge fan of beans. And I like chipotle chili powder better than cayenne. It’s smokier and although hot, doesn’t quite pack the punch of cayenne. Anyway, I love this chili and although it’s not one of those ‘just throw in a couple items in the crockpot’ recipes, it is so worth the effort. YUM!

  23. 5 stars
    Hands down the best chili I have ever made. I followed the recipe exactly as written and the chili turned out perfect. Had a crowd in (and boy does this feed a crowd) and everyone loved it. Still had enough left over to freeze.
    Thank you!

  24. I modified this to fit into a 4qt crockpot and made it for dinner for some friends. It did not disapoint. They really enjoyed it.

  25. Hi, Chelsea, this looks delicious and can’t wait to try it. I love that this is done in a crock pot. I do have a question about the bouillon. Have you ever used or tried “Better Than Bouillon”? Just wandering if that could be used in place of the cubes. Thanks for any help you can give me. Have a wonderful and blessed day. :).

  26. 5 stars
    Hi Chelsea, this looks delicious and can’t wait to try it. I do have a question about the bouillon. Have you ever used or tried “Better Than Bouillon” in this chili? Thanks for any help you can give me. Have a wonderful and blessed day. πŸ™‚

  27. Omgoodness!!! This chili came out wonderfully delicious!!! My husband did the shopping for the recipe and preferred to leave the jalapenos out, (which I kind of wanted) so I added a little bit more cayenne…I have never in my life tasted chili this good. I tried to make my mom’s recipe last winter, with no success, but I cannot wait for her to try this!!

  28. 5 stars
    To go along with my first reply…Seriously, I let this cook 6 hours and let my husband taste it, we both had three bowls right now!! I wanted to let it refrigerate and reheat as you suggested, it’s too delicious! And I really am not a big fan of chili, but this is beyond delicious! Thanks again! Looking forward to using your other recipes…and eating this tomorrow after it marinates more

  29. I’m excited to try this! But what on earth are chili beans in mild/medium sauce? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I wonder if it’s regional- I’m in NYC, & found your page from a quick google.

    In any case, I’m going to make this tomorrow, but with jalapenos in adobo sauce instead of straight jalapenos. I could eat that adobo sauce stuff straight from the can!!!

  30. 5 stars
    I made your recipe a few days ago minus the jalapeno’s. My family has a more sensitive pallet to heat then I do! Lol. Thank you sooo much for publishing this recipe. It was absolutely delicious and a perfect way to warm up from the cold and snowy day. I will definitely be making it again!

    1. Haha I’ll take the jalapeΓ±o out depending on my crowd too! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed! Thanks so much Melissa! πŸ™‚

  31. I haven’t made this yet – wondering how spicy it is and if I can make a mild version? Our kiddos don’t love spice, but they do like chili! And bacon ?

    1. Hey Lonni! I would leave out the jalapenos, use all chili beans in MILD sauce, and potentially decrease the chili powder, cayenne, and paprika (add slowly to taste!) Enjoy!

  32. 5 stars
    This is awesome. I also added some tortilla flour for a thicker consistency and won 1st place in a chili contest. thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!!!

  33. 5 stars
    I won a Contest with this Recipe. However, I made a few minor changes. I smoked the ground chuck and my sausages in the smoker. I also did not add the celery. Came out Perfect!

  34. 5 stars
    This is the best chili I’ve ever eaten. Sorry I did have to modify the recipe for my son who doesn’t eat beef or pork. I used 3 lbs of ground turkey instead. I also added a can of chipotle salsa, used smoked paprika, and replaced 1 can of tomatoes with Rotel as I was afraid the turkey would be bland. It filled my 6 qt slow cooker to the top and everyone loved it, it was gone in 2 days. I’ll try it one day with the beef, sausage and bacon, I’m sure the flavor is even better. Thanks for posting I added this to my favorite recipes binder!!

    1. I’m so thrilled to hear this makes it in the favorite recipes binder! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the comment and review Karen! πŸ™‚

    1. It is definitely thick! But as it slow cooks, a lot of liquids are released. I wouldn’t add water unless you’re looking for a soupier consistency!

  35. 5 stars
    I made this chili exactly as per the recipe for Super Bowl. I used hot Italian sausage. Absolutely amazing!! I will never buy a seasoning packet mix again. I made this on Saturday, put in the fridge overnight and re-heated in the crock pot on Sunday. Amazing. The sour cream on top with grated sharp cheddar and a fresh sourdough loaf for dipping was just amazing!! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  36. 5 stars
    We had a chili cook off at work and I signed up even though I’ve never made chili. I love cooking and when I read your recipe it had all the right elements; texture, technique, good ingredients, and above all great advice! Im happy to announce I just won our first chili cook off with this recipe! It had it all, great aroma, two types of beans, two types of meat, great aftertasteand bacon! Great job Chelsea! Definitely going to come back here for other recipes!

  37. 5 stars
    Hey Chelsea!
    I made this chili last night and followed the recipe exactly, however the consistency is very much like soup. I love to cook, but this is my first time making chili. Do you have any tips for thickening without much flavor or texture compromising because honestly it’s SO good! πŸ™‚
    I’m a huge fan of your blog by the way!

    1. Hey Annielaura! So happy you enjoyed it! The best way to thicken this chili is to make it ahead of time and let it chill overnight in the fridge. It will absorb a ton of liquid and be super thick the next day (and bonus even more flavorful!) πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your kind words, glad you’ve been enjoying the site <3

  38. 5 stars
    We love this recipe. It’s the only chili we make now. We add a few more jalapeΓ±os or sub serrano peppers and add a bit more bacon cause we love bacon! Regardless it’s awesome every time!

    1. Was i supposed to drain the diced.tomatoes before adding them to crockpot? There is alot of liquid in the crockpot.

      What should indo?

  39. Am I the only one who wants to hear the chili cook off story!? What chili cook-off did you win? Or did you adapt the recipe from another winner? Can’t wait to hear the story!

    1. Hey Maris! Just read through the comments; many readers have reported winning their chili cook-offs with this recipe! πŸ™‚

  40. Trying this recipe tomorrow. Just wondering if I were to add macaroni noodles, how do you suggest adding those in the process? I was maybe thinking to just cook the noodles separate and then dump the chili over the noodles.

  41. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe. Won 2nd place at chili cook off at church this weekend. Even my daughter that doesn’t eat ground beef or chili tried it and loved it.

  42. Hi! I am having people over tomorrow and serving this chili! Can’t wait to have it. Could you please give me info regarding serving size. I track my food everyday to help me stay on goal and it would really help me if I had an idea of serving size.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Donna! I hope you and your guests love it πŸ™‚ There are 10-12 servings, so if you divide all of the chili into 10 or 12 equal parts, each equal part is one serving. (The nutrition facts indicate 12 servings, so you’d divide it equally into 12 parts and each part would be 275 calories) Enjoy!

  43. 5 stars
    Made this today while preparing for the Bomb Cyclon snow storm here in Denver. I usually make Green chili but decided on this comforting red chili. By far the best chili I have ever had!!! I substituted 1lb of beef for some grnd Viel I had on hand. Only put 1 can of tomatoes because I couldn’t fit it in my crockpot? It is fabulous Chelsie! Thanks for the recipe!

  44. This recipe was quite good. I followed the directions to a tee and made no tweaks to it. I found the recipe to be a little salty for my taste.
    We did think it has a nice kick of heat to it. Next time I would reduce the cayenne for the kids sake.

  45. The recipe is basic. It really is. But you forgot Cocoa or a piece of high cocoa chocolate and a bay leaf. Also Mexene Original Chili Powder is the only one to use.

  46. Adding sausages could give another flavor in the crockpot chili. Definitely serving this for a family dinner, every member of the family will enjoy this. Thank you for sharing!

  47. GREAT recipe! I make it with ground turkey, turkey sausage and turkey bacon. My husband always politely ate my chili before but raves about this! We have it on baked potatoes then freeze the rest to eat with pasta, rice or as is! Thanks!

  48. 5 stars
    I made this for a company potluck and it was a huge success!! Followed the recipe ingredients, just changed the preparation. Mixed all except 1/2 tomatoes and 1/2 the beans the night before, refrigerated the mix overnight. Mixed all in crockpot the next morning and cooked on low for 8 hrs. Since luncheon was at noon, it was an early start but well worth it!

    1. Hello! I am so excited to try this chili but I saw that some people said it had a good kick to it. My husbands not a fan of spicy foods and I would rather it not be too spicy for my daughter. I’m not sure how spicy it comes out but if I reduce the cayenne, will that be enough? Or do you recommend I reduce ingredients elsewhere??

      Thanks so much!

      1. It is spicy! I would leave out all of the cayenne pepper, leave out the jalapeΓ±os, and use a mild chili powder brand (maybe 2-3 tablespoons instead of 4 — add slowly!). Also use all chili beans in a mild sauce. Enjoy!

    1. Yes it should be naturally gluten free; I was just confirm with all your spice bottles they weren’t processed in a gluten environment. Also be sure to check the bouillon cubes packaging.

  49. I’m always looking for new chili recipes. This one didn’t disappoint! Even my pickier non-chili-loving kids ate it. The amount of spice was just right. I especially enjoyed the peppers and celery. Also, nice to see you’re still replying to comments so many years after the original post.

    I’m going to tweak it a bit and use it in a cook off next weekend. I plan to increase the bacon, the flavor seemed lost. I also want to boost the sweet/savory-ness. Perhaps a bit of brown sugar, and more seasoned salt? What do the boil lion cubes add?

    1. Hey Jonathan! So happy to hear this was a hit πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment! I think those changes all sound great; add salt slowly so it doesn’t get too salty with the additional bacon as well! The bouillon cubes add a burst of flavor and intensify the flavors of the meat; (similar to what adding stock would do to the recipe but we don’t want it to be too liquid-y for a chili) Good luck on your cook off!

  50. I’m planning to make your chili for a Chili cook-off at my camp grounds this weekend. I know that different brands can make all the difference in a recipe. What brand beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce did you use? I am very exciting about this recipe after reading all the comments.
    Thanks for your help,
    Jenny-First time chili contestant

    1. Good luck Jenny!! I use Bush’s Beans and Muir Glen or San Marzano tomatoes (organic) fire-roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks for your reply. I couldn’t find the tomato brands you used but I did find hunts fire roasted tomatoes. I do have one more question in the instructions I didn’t see if you sautΓ© the garlic or add it to the crockpot raw.

  51. 5 stars
    This recipe turned out perfect!! I use my slow cooker all the time so I was happy to try a new recipe. We love chili and we’ll be making this again! So much flavor!!

  52. 5 stars
    Love it. Almost ate an entire batch just taste testing it. Made again for a chili cookoff we’re having today. Slightly altered it and used
    -1lb bacon, 1lb ground bison, 1lb prime ground chuck, 3 diced habaneros, 2 diced jalapenos. Didn’t have any bullion so used 1cup beef bone broth and 2tbs brown sugar to cut some of the heat. Thanks for the inspiration!

  53. This is probably such a weird question but — I do not like chunky tomatoes in my chili but with two cans it seems like the tomatoes are a big portion of this chili so I don’t just want to omit altogether. Do you have a recommendation of what I could switch that out with? Replace with tomato sauce and add more beans or something//

    Thank you in advance!!

    1. Hey Jill! Not weird at all; I would try crushed fire roasted tomatoes instead! I think tomato sauce would be too overpowering. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks Chelsea I will try that! I live in Houston and its FINALLY supposed to be “cooler” this weekend so I can’t wait to try it.

  54. I’ve never made chili before and when I was searching for a recipe to try for my family I came across yours. It was so different from all the others I saw that I just had to try making it. I just finished preparing everything and put it in the crockpot. I’ll let you know how the family liked it tomorrow.

  55. 5 stars
    My extremely picky husband raved about this. I only used 1lb of ground beef as opposed to 2lbs. This was the only change that I made. Turned out perfectly! I will definitely make again soon and freeze for future meals.

  56. 5 stars
    This is the best recipe, I made a few teaks to make it my own and its always a huge hit. I have won two chili cookoffs with it.

  57. I made this last night, fired up the crock pot today and just had my first bowl. It was AMAZING! I have made a bazillion different chili recipes and this was sooo good. It’s not fancy. It’s simply a fantastic hearty chili with a wonderful layer of flavors.
    And for the record, I have never left a comment or feedback about a recipe I’ve tried. This chili is THAT good. πŸ™‚

  58. Hi from Chicago!
    I made this recipe this past week – overall, flavors were fantastic, but I definitely made some adjustments. I only used half a pound of Mild Italian sausage instead of 1LB, and used just one TB of Chili powder instead of four. I also just used ONE can of 28ounce petite diced tomatoes, instead of two. (I have a 6QT crockpot and it would have overflowed, if I were to use two cans). I didn’t drain the beans or tomatoes, and if I made this again, I would drain at least one can. It was just a little two “soupy,” for my take on chili. I used all McCormick spices, and it really made a difference. My husband and I paired this with crispy garlic bread, and it was perfect. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Nicole! So happy to hear you enjoyed this chili and were able to add your own twist πŸ™‚ The crispy garlic bread sounds delicious!

  59. 5 stars
    Thanks Chelsea! Made it this morning. Had a huge pack of turkey bacon, so I used that and the leftover bacon for BLTs.

    My first time having bacon in chili. I almost couldn’t stop eating when I put all the ingredients in the pot and went for a taste test.

  60. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now without the celery and 2.5 pounds of ground turkey in place of all the beef and pork products because I’m allergic. This recipe is great and my husband loves it. Do you have recommendations on freezing and reheating afterwords?

    1. So happy to hear that! Thanks Anna! πŸ™‚ I haven’t personally tried freezing this chili, but I’m sure it would do great! I’d portion it in freezer bags, label/date, and freeze for probably 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and warm through in the crockpot.

  61. 5 stars
    Chelsea, you are right in naming this Award Winning!! I made this and won a #1 at a chili cook off! Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  62. The chili is very flavorful and delicious but there’s no way it all fits into a 6qt crockpot. I had to use 2 big pots and cook it on low. This would fit into a 12 qt crockpot. Thank you for the recipe, it’s definitely delicious

  63. I want to make this for our office on Halloween, but one of my coworkers doesn’t eat beef. Do you think I could use ground turkey?

    1. I haven’t personally tried so I can’t say for sure how it would be, but I think it would work okay. You might want to add more seasonings to adjust for flavor difference πŸ™‚

  64. 5 stars
    While it took me much, much longer to prep than 30 minutes, it was well worth the effort. The flavor was incredible; I have this recipe bookmarked and will be making again.

  65. Hi! Question! Can you taste the bacon in this or does it just give it added flavor? I don’t care much for bacon (I know, I know)

    Have you ever made it without the bacon?

    1. I have made it without bacon and it’s still super good! The bacon adds flavor, and a slight bacon taste, but it will still be great without it.

  66. 5 stars
    Amazing!! I made this recipe EXACTLY as posted and the chili came out perfectly! We had a party of 20 people and everyone loved it! Thank you Chelsea!

  67. 5 stars
    I can confirm that this recipe is a cookoff winner! I have never made chili before (and to be honest with you, I don’t even really like it), but we had a chili cookoff at my office and I followed this recipe exactly and won out of 12 other chili’s. 10/10 would recommend!

  68. I am one of the hosts at my church, so when I announced that we’d be hosting a chili cookoff at our Fall Family Night, I announced that I found a recipe online and was going to use it to compete. I invited others to compete with my online recipe. Funny thing is, last night was the event and I won the contest with this recipe. People were asking to try “Jake’s google chili” LOL ?!!

  69. 5 stars
    I am one of the hosts at my church, so when I announced that we’d be hosting a chili cookoff at our Fall Family Night, I announced that I found a recipe online and was going to use it to compete. I invited others to compete with my online recipe. Funny thing is, last night was the event and I won the contest with this recipe. People were asking to try “Jake’s google chili” LOL ?!!

  70. 5 stars
    This recipe just won me our office’s chili Cookoff! It’s delicious. I made no adjustments (besides not including the salt). So good! Thank you!

  71. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for our chili cook off at work and won first prize (out of 13!). It was a huge hit! I also made it today for our executive team and they loved it. Great recipe! Highly recommend. The only difference I did was did 16 oz of bacon! 5 pieces just won’t do!

  72. Hi! Has anyone every made this with beef chuck instead of ground beef? I prefer big chunks of meat in my chili but I’m wondering if replacing the ground beef with 3 pounds of chuck would be right? Thanks!!

    1. So sorry it was too spicy! If you try it again, you can leave out the jalapenos, cayenne pepper, and slightly reduce the chili powder!

  73. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I made a few minor changes: 1 jalepeno, and 2 serrano peppers instead of the 2 jalepenos, A poblano in place of one of the green bell pepper, doubled the garlic. and added my own homemade Spicy Italian sausage instead of the pound of Italian sausage. I also ground my own mix of mild chilis rather than store bought chili powder. AI generally grind my own chuck and pork should so I can use a chili grind rather than regular grind. Might be the best chili I have ever tasted.

  74. 5 stars
    I made this chili for a group last night. Everyone said it’s the best chili they’ve ever had! I will definitely be using this for my upcoming chili cook off. I used 1 jalapeΓ±o, and it was still pretty spicy. If you don’t like heat, you might want to omit.

  75. 5 stars
    This recipe was super easy to follow and it turned out AMAZING!!!!
    We had a Chili Cook-Off at work and guess who won?………………………. This girl right here!!!
    Thank you so much Chelsea for sharing this award winning recipe. β™₯

    1. YAY!! Congratulations Charis πŸ™‚ So happy you won the cook off! Thanks so much for the comment and review πŸ™‚

  76. 5 stars
    I have made this twice and nothing but rave reviews. I followed the recipe exactly and would not change a thing! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!

  77. I’m making this over the eve before Thanksgiving.
    I’ll be enjoying this for a while. It suits my style as it is a very thick chili. I’ll update how it turned out.

  78. 5 stars
    I have to say that this is the best chili I’ve ever had!!! 10 stars!! I recommend just half a jalapeΓ±o and I add a packet of taco seasoning. I also only do 1 lb of ground beef because more wouldn’t fit in my crockpot!! It’s fabulous!!!! I highly recommend this recipe!! You won’t be disappointed!!! My husband just raves about it and he can be a tough critic!! We’ve had friends over and I served this and everyone loved it! I’ve made it twice now!

  79. Hi! Would this stretch to feed 15 in a large crockpot? Wondering if I could add an extra can of tomatoes and an extra can of beans without changing the consistency/flavor too much?

  80. The only misleading thing here is the “2 stalks of celery”, 2 stalks would make several cups so I’m assuming you meant “2 ribs of celery”. I made this exactly as directed and it was wonderful. I got one large jalapeno and removed the seeds, this gave the chili a “mellow bite” and rich depth of flavor.

  81. 5 stars
    This is the best chili recipe I have tried! I followed the recipe as written and it was fabulous! My boys love it! Thank you for sharing!

  82. I skipped the hot peppers because im not a spicy fan. And i skipped the bacon because i already had 3 lbs of meat.( Glad i did because i barley had room in my 8qt. Crock pot after filling it)
    Anywho, i made this for dinner one night and l was told it was the best chili that hes ever had. And so i decided to make it again for the packers play off party and EVERYONE who tried it said it was LITERALLY the best chili that theyve ever had. And there was lots of people eating it. There wasnt a single drop when i left! Felt amazing. Also they requested it for next weeks packer party???? one lady asked if i would make it for her for dinner in a few weeks as well. All in all i had so many compliments and some asking if i can cater !! You wont regret this low and slow chili. Also dont be afriad to use some garlic.. mmmhmm

  83. I changed a couple things (2 pounds sausage 1 beef – and a can of rotel) but won my Church’s annual Chili cook-off with this recipe!

  84. 5 stars
    This really was a great recipe. I won my chili cook off today with it! All I added was chipotles in adobo sauce that I purΓ©ed for added smokiness to go with the bacon. Also a little cocoa into the spice mix.

  85. 5 stars
    Ok, this really is good chili. My first time making chili and I won my office chili cook-off. I used a 7 quart slow cooker and cooked it on low for 6 hours, put in the fridge overnight and then reheated for about two hours before the event. Putting it in the fridge did thicken it up when it was reheated. I did use 3 jalapenos instead of 2, smoked paprika, doubled the garlic and used hot ground Italian sausage. Besides that, I followed the instructions exactly. Chelsea – thanks very much for recipe!

  86. 5 stars
    All I can say is wow????????!! Hands down, the best chili I’ve ever had and I’m happy to say it’s a direct result of this recipe. I replaced the Italian sausage with a hot ground sausage. I also didn’t have enough beans so I added a can and a half of water instead and it still came out delicious!!! Thank you!!

  87. 5 stars
    Loved it!!!!. by accident got 1 jar diced tomatoes and 1 minced. cooked it for 8 hours and it seemed that it had too much liquid (not sure if its because of tomatoes mix up). unfortunately i didn’t have time to fridge it before use, so i removed some of the liquid from the top as i like it thicker… it still come out delicious and was devoured by 5 people. will do it again soon.

  88. 5 stars
    Super Bowl Sunday was a huge hit with your chili recipe. It’s my first time cooking chili and I was blown away by how easy and amazing your recipe was. Everybody loved it including my two children who are in culinary. Will definitely be making more again soon.

  89. Hi. Bacon Chili is so yummy. Trying to do keto and I noticed a serving you list as just 6.5 g net carbs (total carbs minus fiber = net). Is this accurate because the bell peppers and mostly the beans would add a lot of carbs to it. Just wondering but I can do without both of those and I’m sure it will still be outstanding. Thanks.

    1. I plug in all the ingredients to an online calculator that creates a nutrition label so it’s as accurate as I know how to do that πŸ™‚ If you want to double check in My Fitness Pal or a different online calculator, I definitely recommend doing that!

  90. 5 stars
    Made this chili almost exact. I did omit the celery but might add it next time. I used fresh sweet Italian sausage and cut off the casings. Used 1 jalapeno with the seeds and used the Hunts salt free petite diced tomatoes, cento tomatoe paste and Bush’s slow simmered chili beans. It was spicy at first but after letting it sit in the fridge for 2 days, the flavors really mingled. It started off like a mild chili, but then the spice hit you in the back of throat. I made this for a chili cook-off at my church for super bowl Sunday and came in first. Had A LOT of compliments about how it was the best chili in the whole bunch out of 20 chilis. Will definitely be making this again.

  91. 5 stars
    I made the chili just like the recipe with the exception of the jalapenos. It was good and spicy without being too hot. I made it for a club meeting and chili cook off . The panel of six judges voted mine the winner out of ten entries unanimously ! Everyone at the meeting loved it . Mine was the first one to disappear. This was my first time making chili and my first cook off. The chili recipe is truly a winner .
    Thank you !

  92. Ran out of Chili Powder while making this recipe and still came in 3rd place (only had 2.5 tablespoons in it). If I had the correct amount of chili powder I would’ve taken first for sure! Great recipe.

  93. 5 stars
    I was looking for a good recipe to stand a chance in winning our annual company chili cook-off. This is the recipe I chose. Award winning indeed. Thanks to you, I am the 2020 Chili Champion! ????

  94. Can this be made with dry beans vs. canned? If so, will that affect any of the spice/liquid ratios? Also, how long would it cook in an instapot?

    1. I haven’t personally tried dried beans, but I do think it would change it a lot since dried beans would need a lot more cooking time. I’d cook them separately and then use them in this chili.

  95. 5 stars
    This chili is amazing! It’s packed with so much flavor and just the right amount of heat. I’ve made three times now and I’ve discovered it’s also really good with beer added in (I used a 12 oz bottle of Guinness Extra Stout and let the chili cook with the lid off for a while so it wasn’t too runny.) I was originally going to make it for a chili cookoff at my office, which ended up getting cancelled (stupid pandemic!) but I’ll have this recipe up my sleeve for the next one. Thanks for the great recipe, Chelsea!

    1. Thank you so much for this amazing comment! I really appreciate it and I’m so glad you loved it so much! πŸ™‚

  96. INCREDIBLE the best I EVER had….My husband loves when I make this. He uses the left overs on just about everything, chili omelette for breakfast the next day. He also adds it to can tomato soup…he can not stop eating it until it is all gone!!

  97. 5 stars
    Just put it in the slow cooker a few hours ago but I can already tell it’s delicious! I used 1lb of ground chicken & no sausage because all I have is chicken sausage & added a can each of black/kidney/cannellini beans because that’s what I had on hand. Added a tablespoon or 2 of brown sugar & a few splashes of chicken broth. I can tell already it’s fantastic. Thank you.

  98. 5 stars
    this is seriously the best chili ive ever had i swear by this recipe!!!!! I use the frozen onion and bell pepper mix and substitute one can of dice tomatoes with crushed tomatoes and it is so good!!! Thank you for this recipe my family and friends love it!!!

    1. Yay! I am so happy you love this Crockpot Chili! Thanks so much for your comment and the tip on the frozen veggies! πŸ™‚

  99. 5 stars
    Made this Chili and it’s still winning awards. I do tell people I got it online. But I take credit for how well I execute the recipe.

  100. 5 stars
    The chili was a great success. Flavor is wonderful, the texture is sublime, and the meal is very filling. It did take me over an hour to put the entire “pot” together but well worth it. This will be a keeper recipe and for me, a diabetic, the low carbs are an added plus.

  101. 5 stars
    I just made chili for the first time in my life (I’m 55 yrs old.) I do not enjoy cooking AT ALL, but was accidentally/jokingly entered into a chili cookoff. UMMM…WHAT?!? Oh Lord, what the heck I’ve never made chili!!!πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ There were 11 entries total, all had pride in their tried and tested recipes, and then theres me, Mrs. Burnt toast is a staple food.
    I WON overwhelmingly. πŸ˜³πŸ˜³πŸ˜³πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ
    These are strange times indeed…😁
    I modifed a little. Omitted oregano, added a half bottle of really dark beer (like Guinness) and my crockpot was only 2.5 qt, so I used my Dutch oven on the stovetop and simmered for 2 hours.πŸ˜πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

  102. 5 stars
    Knocked it out of the ball park, Love Love Love this recipe! Won a family chili cook off! Thanks so much. This one goes in my recipe book forever!

  103. 5 stars
    Just finished making this chili recipe. I really like it. Tastes great. I will add this recipe to my book and make it on a regular basis. Thank you for this, my family will love it.

  104. 5 stars
    My favorite chili recipe ever! I’ve been making it for a year now and the family always goes crazy for it. Just got a new 10 quart crock pot and I’d figured I’d share with everyone that if you use 1.5 of everything listed it will perfectly fill a 10 quart crock pot.

  105. Video is misleading and so is the recipe. Followed to the letter as was. The video & recipe omitted the yellow pepper. So when following down the steps one doesn’t realize it until near the end after other peppers are cooked Found it to be bit dry but that could be because the canned tomatos were more tomato then liquid. Over all, not bad at all. I tossed in a handful of the chopped yellow pepper before allowing it to cook. I added smoked paprika and a splash of tomato juice to make it a little more saucier. Thank you very much for sharing your recipe.

    1. I’m a little confused about what you’re talking about with the yellow pepper; there is no yellow pepper in this recipe which is why it’s not in the recipe or video.

  106. I have a 5 quart slow cooker, so I’m assuming it won’t fit. Any way I could modify it to have it fit? Or should I just half the recipe? I need to feed 5 hungry so I want to have enough.

  107. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! Everyone loves it!! I made it once with the beef bouillon cubes and once without and didn’t notice a difference. Is it ok to leave them out? Thanks again! Colleen

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed Colleen! If you didn’t notice a difference then you absolutely can omit it! Thanks! πŸ™‚

    1. The entire chili divided into 12 equal parts; each part is one serving. Sorry I don’t have exact cup measurements of that

  108. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was a huge hit! The best chili I’ve ever made by far and my two boys, 12 & 23, ate two huge bowls. I was hoping we’d have leftovers but the whole crockpot full was gone in one meal! Definitely a keeper recipe!!!

  109. 5 stars
    This recipe is really, really good. I can see why it is a cook-off winner. I used it as the basis for the recipe that I am making now, which does a few things differently based on personal preference. Though I have also made the recipe above exactly, and it is so amazing without any alterations!

    1) I omitted the bacon, but used maple Italian sausage instead of regular Italian sausage. I love bacon, and it’s a super good add-in, but for my alterations it was just too many flavors happening at once
    2) I only drain half of the diced tomato liquid, and use regular drained beans (pinto, kidney, and black). I cook the meat in a half a can of beer, and add the rest of the ran directly to the crock pot.
    3) I dump a can of chipotle peppers in adobo in a food processor, and process until it is uniform (sauce+peppers both) and stir that into the mix as well. I found that this gives a really nice level of heat without being overly aggressive. I’ve always disliked too-spicy chili, and this definitely provides a tolerable level of heat for someone who enjoys spicy food but isn’t a maniac. Sometimes I omit the jalapeΓ±os when I do this, depending on who I am serving.
    4) I add all of these ingredients into the biggest bowl I have (since my crock pot is on the smaller side), and stir until all of the ingredients are mixed well. I put as much as I can fit in my crock pot and freeze the rest in a bag. The bagged stuff seems to thaw out normally, and then I just cook that for 8 hours when I’m ready to use it.
    5) (Last thing, I promise!) I like to cook the mixture in the crock pot for the full 8 hours, refrigerate, and reheat in the oven in a pumpkin (I find that this is an especially nice addition around Halloween!).

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    1. We prefer the long cook time as it allows flavors to really meld and chili to thicken, but doesn’t necessarily have to be the whole time if you’re in a hurry.

  110. Currently making this in my cooker. Uh, I don’t what size it is, but I had to leave out one can of diced tomatoes. I also hope my pot doesn’t overflow because it is right near the top. ~_~ It’s simmering, right, so should be fine… Thanks for the recipe; first time ever making chili and I went with this one.

      1. I had to sub out ingredients due to unavailability; used a different type of sausage. Not sure that I was happy with the canned beans I used either. Turned out spicy and very well seasoned. Next time I’ll add less spice because my brother can’t handle it, but he took a bunch to work and everyone loved it. Already thinking about making the next batch. Thanks again for a great recipe.

  111. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe. The chef of our family (my dad) gave it two thumbs up and it really meant a lot!! ❀️

  112. 5 stars
    This is my first time making Chili and I entered a Chili cook off contest here in my town and chose your recipie to make it. I made this Chili the night before and kept it warm the following day until the contest. In a matter of 2 hrs my Chili was gone out of 4 of us. Later that evening I was announced the winner! I now will make the Chili on Dec 5th 2020 for our yearly Blanket Run and Chili cook off contest for our county. Thank you for making such a great recipie and glad I chose urs to make for the first time! This time I will need to make double the recipie… Great Chili!

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