This is my favorite slow cooker beef chili recipe. I think I made it over a dozen times last year—and already once this year. It is my no-fail, fool-proof, easy recipe for game-day and feeding a hungry crowd.

So, speaking of no-fail, let’s get real and talk kitchen fails because everyone makes mistakes.

slow cooker beef chili

I actually did screw up this chili once. But it won’t happen to you—I swear! This was entirely an electrical fail. I followed the recipe exactly and set my slow cooker. When I came home, I was expecting to open the door to the warm smell of chili that had been simmering all day. Nope. I ran to the slow cooker and it was off and everything was raw. Total fail.

slow cooker beef chili

I had another fail recently too.

I made a corn soup with fresh sweet corn from the farmers market. The recipe I was using called for poblano peppers, which are not spicy. I was wondering around the farmers market and found some peppers that looked like poblano peppers. I didn’t bother asking the guy at the farm stand or tasting the peppers before I roasted them and added them into the soup. Big mistake. They were not poblano peppers and were so spicy! I couldn’t even eat the soup. Fail.

slow cooker beef chili

Cooking is fun—and you always learn from your mistakes. What kitchen fails have you had recently?

Here are more chili recipes that I love: Chicken White Bean Chili Verde and Texas Chili with Cornbread.

slow cooker beef chili

Let’s keep this going! Sign up for the Sage Recipes Newsletter and Join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for all of the latest recipes and updates.

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Yield: 6 servings

Slow Cooker Beef Chili


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound ground beef, I use grass-fed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth, beef broth or water

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and finely chopped (add more with the seeds for more spice and smoky flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Toppings: green onions, shredded cheese, avocado, lime


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place beef in the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until brown. Drain the fat and add the beef to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, tomato sauce, stock, diced tomatoes, beans, chipotle, chili powder, cumin, and sugar. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with toppings.