This top-rated slow-cooker chili is a tasty crowd-pleaser, perfect for tailgating, Super Bowl parties, and other cool weather gatherings.
4 pounds ground chuck
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
4 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 (16-ounce) cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
Toppings: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, sliced ripe black olives
How to Make It
Cook ground chuck, in batches, in a large skillet over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Place meat in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir in onions, next 12 ingredients, and, if desired, beans. Cook, covered, at HIGH 5 to 6 hours or at LOW 6 to 8 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with desired toppings.
Cooktop preparation: Cook ground chuck, in batches, in a large Dutch oven. Drain beef and return to Dutch oven. Add onions, next 12 ingredients, and, if desired, beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 4 to 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf.
To freeze: Let chili stand 30 minutes. Evenly divide chili mixture into 3 (1-gallon) zip-top plastic freezer bags; seal and lay each bag flat. Stack bags of chili in freezer. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw frozen chili overnight in refrigerator or defrost in microwave. Pour thawed chili into a 9-inch square baking dish. Cover tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap, and fold back a corner to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 6 to 7 minutes or until bubbly, stirring after 3 1/2 minutes.
This looks like a very mild chili recipe that may appeal to those that like mild things. It could use much more chili powder, definitely needs cumin and celery, if not celery seed. Maybe some ground mustard as well. It's not bad looking, but, it needs a bit more....
This is a great recipe, whether you make it "as is" or you want to make adjustments to make it your own. Served it at a chili feed for the local hockey team and it disappeared! Did make a few adjustments though. I actually made two batches; one with ground beef and one with shredded beef (I can't stand ground meat of any kind; I've always hated the texture). For each batch I doubled the garlic, added 1 1/2 tsp of cumin, and subbed out half the regular chili powder for powdered chipotle chili pepper. That may be too hot for some people; you might want to try powdered adobo chili pepper instead. That gives you the wonderful smoky flavor without all the heat.
I made it for another family, and they loved it. Some of the kids added tabasco sauce. I added more chili powder, and next time will add more garlic. But this was great--and I didn't even have time to let it simmer. I know that it'll be even better tomorrow! Best recipe I've found. Thanks.
Very pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It's hearty, and just spicy enough. Extra hotness can be added for those who want it. It filled my slow cooker to the absolute brim - I was constantly checking for overflow! I substituted a lb of sausage for a lb of the beef, and added a can of chili-seasoned pinto beans. Also added an extra teaspoon of salt.