Tested Tried & True: Crockpot Chili – Hot & Spicy or Meek & Mild

What’s this?

Ok – I’m a chili lover.  So’s Chuck.  So are all 4 of our boys.  We typically make Taco Soup (I’ll put that recipe up the next time we make it, with photos, with reviews) however, I wanted to make “traditional” chili.  Chili is insanely easy to make.  I don’t go for the exotic, I go for the feel-good, comfort-food satisfaction of yummy chili.

With that, let me give you a chili we recently made:  “Crockpot Chili” – no, I’m not creative with names but it aptly describes the meal!!

First a recommendation: If possible, use fresh meat from a butchered cow, not from the grocery store.  Use full fat sour cream and full-fat cheese.  My reasons why are in previous posts – but you’ll enjoy it so much more and it’ll be better for you!!

Ingredients: ground beef, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes w/green chilis, red kidney beans, tomato sauce, cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions

Supplies: crockpot, measuring cup, skillet, can opener, bamboo spoon

Make-a-heads: brown the meat ahead of time!  I tend to buy in bulk and do prep work ahead of time – so divide the meat into 1 or 2 lb increments and brown it, put it in freezer bags and stick it in your freezer.  Do not season it until you need it, that way you can use it for all sorts of different recipes.

The following recipe feeds a family of 4 boys not enough food (and this was a doubled recipe) !!  It only filled the crockpot perhaps 1/3 full.  Chuck and I would have been in trouble if we’d wanted some!!

  • 2 lbs ground beef (browned and drained)
  • 2 packages chili seasoning mix (I used 1 hot and 1 mild)
  • 1-28oz can Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilis) undrained
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Chopped green onions (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)

How to:

  • Brown ground beef in skillet, keep meat broken up, drain fat.  Stir in seasoning mix
  • Combine beef, tomatoes, beans and tomato sauce in crock-pot.
  • Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours, high 2-3 hours.


  • I like chili in it’s original state so I’m not much for variations on this one – but you could use different meats (stew meats, etc)
  • Different types of beans
  • Home made sauces


The adults:  Yet again, we didn’t try this one (losing weight, will try in future).  However, what I did notice is that this is a meal we won’t be cooking during the week.  I cooked it too long (we were away from the house longer than anticipated) and although it turned out good (see kid reviews), it just cooked too long.   Also, for the amount of meat in this recipe, it just didn’t feed the kids as well as I’d like it to.  As I mentioned above, this is a doubled recipe and it didn’t quite fill up my 4 boys.

The kids:

How it worked in our house:  I popped everything into the crock-pot in the morning before leaving the house.  Don’t do this recipe if you’ll be gone more than 4 hours.  That would have been enough time on low, instead it got nearly 7.5 hours – WAY over what it calls for.  oops!  The kids loved it so I will make it again, but with more variations to spread out the cost of the meat and on a weekend so it doesn’t cook too long.  The thing is, the kids like the thickness of it – that it wasn’t ‘soupy’ so I’ll have to figure out other variations without just adding more liquid.

Dealing with the leftovers: What leftovers??


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