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Easy Slow Cooker Chili

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My Easy Slow Cooker Chili is based on my mom’s recipe plus some extra spice. Lean ground beef, white beans, tomato juice, and diced tomatoes make this a lean and mean meal for the new year.

** This recipe is a make-over of my old one. I’ve updated the pictures and some of the text. The actual recipe is the same.**

Overhead shot of a hand spooning a bite of slow cooker chili, in a white bowl on a gray tray with a blue napkin.

This recipe is Norma Jean’s plus a little adapting by me. I asked my siblings if they remembered her recipe and my smart-alecky brother, Dave, texted, “Recipe?? I don’t think so. It goes something like 3 quarts homemade stewed tomatoes, ground beef, a bunch of beans, and lots of onion and chili powder to get Don off my back.” Ha! As you can see, Dad LOVED onions and chili powder in his chili. Lots of it.

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Since I didn’t have an ACTUAL recipe from Mom, I added a few ingredients to her base, like cumin, jalapeños, and diced tomatoes, instead of her homemade stewed tomatoes (because I don’t have any homemade stewed tomatoes). Mom and Dad had a huge garden with lots of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. And Mom spent a lot of time canning in August, when tomatoes were coming out of her ears. Dad couldn’t eat them fast enough. They were SO good.

Overhead shot of two bowls of slow cooker chili, with crackers inside the bowls, on a gray tray with a blue napkin and spoons.

The following pictures are from my parents’ yard before we moved them in 2013.

  • They had a huge garden with very large and high producing tomato plants. Mid-August was prime season for eating tomatoes. One year, they sent me a box of them, carefully wrapping them in bubble wrap. I would say about 2/3 of them survived the journey.
  • Dad was very proud of his tomatoes, and ate them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when they were plentiful.
  • Mom’s beautiful flower garden was her pride and joy. It sat directly across the street from the church, so everyone enjoyed it each Sunday.
A picture of my parents tomato plants in their garden in Iowa.
A picture of my Dad kneeling next to a porch swing that is loaded with garden tomatoes.
A picture of my mom's beautiful flower garden in Iowa.

If you don’t like spicy, do the following to this recipe.

  1. Skip the jalapeños in the sauté.
  2. Use regular diced tomatoes instead of fire-roasted ones.
  3. Reduce the amount of chili powder and cumin.
  4. Omit the red pepper flakes.

My Easy Slow Cooker Chili recipe should definitely be on your list of meals to make in the new year. It’s lean – low in calories and high in protein – and makes a great game day meal as well.


Overhead shot of a slow cooker full to the top with chili.

Try this slow cooker recipe next: Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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Overhead shot of a hand spooning a bite of slow cooker chili, in a white bowl on a gray tray with a blue napkin.

Easy Slow Cooker Chili

A hearty chili, with lean proteins, beans, and tomatoes, and slow cooked to perfection!
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 237kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion – chopped
  • 2 large jalapenos – diced (with or without seeds)
  • 4 cloves garlic – diced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper – to taste
  • 46 oz tomato juice
  • 2 15 oz. cans fire roasted dice tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 15 oz. cannelloni beans – rinsed and drained
  • shredded cheddar cheese – for serving
  • saltine crackers – for serving
  • sour cream – for serving


  • In large sauce pan, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add onion and jalapeños, and sauté for approximately 5 minutes, or until soft. Add ground beef, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is browned.
  • To large crock pot, add the ground beef mixture. Add tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cannelloni beans, and sugar – and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low all day, or up to eight hours.
  • Serve chili with shredded cheese, saltine crackers, and sour cream.


If you don’t like spicy, do the following to this recipe.
  1. Skip the jalapeños in the sauté.
  2. Use regular diced tomatoes instead of fire-roasted ones.
  3. Reduce the amount of chili powder and cumin.
  4. Omit the red pepper flakes.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 994mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2210IU | Vitamin C: 33.8mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 5.5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!


  1. Sherri (Becker) Labayen says:

    I was craving chili and remembered that your posted this, Sue. I made it this weekend and it was amazing! Best chili I have ever had. Thank you!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Oh yay! So great to hear from you, Sherri!

  2. My son ask me to make homemade chili since it was cold and rainy so broke out this recipe and after his second helping his comments were “this chili should not be this good” ?! I think we have a winner?! The only 2 things I did different was not add the beans and used ground turkey instead of beef but everything as written!!!! Easy to make and flavorful!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Cheryl! I’m so glad you (and your son) enjoyed the chili! My mom made this version all the time when we were growing up. Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

  3. Kellie Gaffney says:

    Easy and delicious. I did notice that it didn’t say when to add the garlic, but knowing Sue’s other delicious recipes, I added it to the ground beef. I have never added tomato juice to a chili. It was a really easy addition and helped it serve more people.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Ahhh, thanks for the heads up, Kellie! I’ll go fix that today. 🙂

  4. Jackie Thill says:

    On cold winter days there is nothing better than a bowl of hot chili, and when you pair that with a football watching party you really can’t lose. Thanks for this delicious chili recipe Sue! I doubled the recipe and I think there is enough left for one bowl.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Wow! That must have been SOME party! I hope your Packers won! Thanks for the sweet feedback, Jackie. 🙂

  5. Albert Bevia says:

    This here is a super recipe for chili! love the addition of jalapenos, this is a super treat and perfect for this cold weather

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thank you Albert! We love it! 🙂

  6. This is the best Chili that I have ever had and check out the nutrition information! Low calorie and high protein. #leanandmean

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