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Taco Chili (Stovetop, Instant Pot, Crockpot!)

This ridiculously flavorful Taco Chili is better than any restaurant version and so simple to make -- empty a bunch of cans into a pot and simmer until you're ready to eat! Load each bowl with your favorite toppings like Cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips (or chips), fresh lime, and/or cilantro! This chili can be made on the stovetop, pressure cooker, or slow cooker.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword taco chili
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 392kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $10.42

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup (130g) diced yellow onion (1 medium onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) ground beef lean (93/7)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder Note 1
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes for some heat
  • 3 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning mix Note 2
  • 2 cans (16 oz.; 454g each) chili beans undrained Note 3
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.; 432g) southwestern corn undrained Note 4
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.; 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 can (10 oz.; 283g) diced tomatoes with green chiles undrained Note 5
  • 1 can (4 oz.; 113g) fire-roasted mild diced green chiles
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.; 432g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Toppings: sour cream (fat-free or light), freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, diced ripe avocado, fresh lime, tortilla strips or chips

Instructions

  • STOVETOP: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and sauté until tender and turning golden, ~5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Increase heat to high and add in the ground beef. Cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon until browned. If there is any grease, drain off here (Note 6 for a shortcut!).
    Reduce heat to medium and add all the seasonings: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano, 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Add red pepper flakes if using. Add in 3 tablespoons (not the entire package) of dry ranch seasoning mix. Cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
    Now add in all the other ingredients except for the toppings. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, stirring every now and again, for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened and flavors have melded. Taste and season if needed with salt and pepper to taste. While it's simmering, prepare the toppings! Serve chili in bowls with your preferred toppings and enjoy immediately.
  • INSTANT POT: Heat the instant pot on the sauté setting. Once hot, add in the oil and the onion and sauté until tender and turning golden, ~5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Increase heat to high and add in the ground beef. Cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon until browned. If there is any grease, drain off here (Note 6 for a shortcut!).
    Add all the seasonings: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano, 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Add red pepper flakes if using. Add in 3 tablespoons (not the entire package) of dry ranch seasoning mix. Cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Next, add in the canned tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the instant pot to deglaze and ensure nothing has stuck to the bottom (or you'll get a burn notice).
    Once you're sure nothing is stuck, add in all the other ingredients except for the toppings. Give everything a really good stir and then place the lid on and seal the pot. Select soup and set time to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then release any remaining pressure. Give it another good stir and taste for needed salt/pepper. While it's cooking, prepare toppings! Serve chili in bowls with your preferred toppings and enjoy immediately.
  • SLOW COOKER: If your slow cooker has a sauté function, you can do this first part in the base of the slow cooker. If not, use a separate pot to brown the onion, garlic and meat, and transfer to the slow cooker after.
    Add the oil to a large pot (or the slow cooker sauté base--see above) over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and sauté until tender and turning golden, ~5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Increase heat to high and add in the ground beef. Cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon until browned. If there is any grease, drain off here (Note 6 for a shortcut!).
    Reduce heat to medium and add all the seasonings: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano, 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Add red pepper flakes if using. Add in 3 tablespoons (not the entire package) of dry ranch seasoning mix. Cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Transfer all of this mixture to the base of the slow cooker and then dump in all the other ingredients except for the toppings. Stir and then cover with the lid. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 3-6 hours.
    While it's cooking, prepare toppings! Serve in chili in bowls with your preferred toppings and enjoy immediately.
  • TACO CHILI STORAGE: How to reheat: This chili (without toppings) stores nicely in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. To reheat, add the chili to a small pot and heat over low heat until warmed to desired preference. Or reheat in the microwave (make sure to cover it so it doesn’t splatter!). Freezing: Taco Chili (without toppings) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Here are some best methods for thawing frozen soup.

Notes

Note 1: Chili Powder: Be sure to use chili powder — not to be confused with chilli powder, which is very hot. We’re using American chili powder (I use McCormick which is very mild).
Note 2: Ranch Seasoning: Don't use the entire packet -- only 3 tablespoons here! Depending on the packet used, it can be fairly salty, so I typically wait to add salt until the end. Taste and add salt only if needed.
Note 3: Chili Beans: You can find Chili beans near other beans in the grocery store. They are generally pinto beans in a mild chili-spiked sauce which adds a great flavor to this chili (don't drain or rinse these beans!). If you can’t find chili beans (sometimes called ranch-style beans), I’d recommend using a can of pinto beans instead.
Note 4: Southwestern corn: This corn has poblano and red pepper mixed in which adds a nice flavor to the chili. If you can't find this particular corn, I'd recommend using fire-roasted canned corn or even plain. Don't drain/rinse the corn, just dump the whole can in!
Note 5: Tomatoes with chiles: Such as Ro*Tel. If you're sensitive to spice use mild Ro*Tel which is indicated on the can. Use original or hot for more heat! If you are super sensitive to spice, use plain diced tomatoes instead.
Note 6: Get rid of grease: I like to grab a few paper towels with tongs and dab the pot and beef and then throw out the paper towel. Easier and quicker than draining off grease when there isn't lots of it!

Nutrition

Serving: 5serving | Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1029mg | Potassium: 874mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 729IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 5mg