Cold winter months make us long for warm, soul-satisfying home-cooked meals. When weekday schedules get overscheduled with to-dos and weekends get crazy with commitments, there’s something special about coming home to a meal that requires little effort and tastes like home.
Nothing takes the chill off a late fall afternoon or early winter evening like a hearty bowl of chili. It’s simple enough to make-ahead and great for freezing and pulling out when you need a last-minute crowd-pleaser. Serve it with a big bowl of salad and plenty of warm, fresh-from-the-oven biscuits or rolls. This one-pot meal makes a great holiday potluck addition, warms hungry fans at football tailgates, and is delicious enough to be worthy of a Sunday Supper main dish.
How much do you love your chili? Let us count the ways and variations for how we’ve made it over the years, from white and green to black bean and turkey. There’s even a spin that calls for rotisserie chicken. Some like it mild, others like it spicy. But, we can all agree that a simple homemade chili beats all of the rest.
We’ve served many bowls of chili over the years, and most, if not every single one, have been winners. But when it comes to choosing the best of the best, we’ll always select our easy Crock Pot chili made with ground beef. Delicious, doable, with little hands-on time thanks to your slow cooker. The ingredient list is low-maintenance, calling for supermarket staples like ground beef, kidney beans, onion, bell pepper, and diced tomatoes. And the seasonings suggested are cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Prep it, set it, and then forget it. That is, until it’s time to serve for your family around the table or a houseful of guests.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (16-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14-1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
How to Make It
Cook first 4 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Place mixture in 5-quart slow cooker; stir in beans and remaining ingredients. Cook at HIGH 3 to 4 hours or at LOW 5 to 6 hours.
Notes: If you want to thicken this saucy chili, stir in finely crushed saltine crackers until the desired thickness is achieved.