Monday, November 4, 2013

Easy (Lazy) Slow Cooker Chili

This isn’t a made from scratch recipe, but it is delicious.  I’m all in favor of made from scratch recipes, but sometimes the reality is that they’re just not possible. 
Does it seem to you that your obligations, appointments, social engagements, etc. are never spread evenly throughout the month, but instead are all in the same week or three to four day period?  This certainly seems to happen around our house!  Last week was our super busy, this is when everything is happening week.  Some of what we had going on was fun stuff (pumpkin carving!) so I’m definitely not complaining, but it still made for a busy week.
Busy weeks call for fast, easy dinners and this one definitely fits the bill.  My friend Crystal and I carved pumpkins Wednesday night, so I wanted a dinner that wouldn’t require me standing over the stove.  It was also very cold Wednesday, so chili just seemed perfect.  Here’s the recipe:
½ pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 banana pepper, chopped (optional)
1 packet taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
chili powder and cumin to taste
2 jars (24 oz. each) pasta or marinara sauce
2 cans (15.5 oz. each) pinto beans, drained
2 cans (15.5 oz. each) kidney beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) tomatoes with jalapenos, drained (any type of canned tomatoes will do, this is just what I had on hand)
1 can (15.5 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup water
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
A few sprinkles of black pepper
¼ - ½ tsp red pepper flakes
Brown ground beef with pepper(s), onion, and chili and powder and cumin to taste.  Add taco seasoning and water.  Simmer for about five minutes.
(Make ahead tip:  do this part the night before, and you can just put everything in the slow cooker in the morning.  Or make a double batch of this and freeze half of it until you’re ready for chili again.)
Place beef mixture and all remaining ingredients in a large slow cooker.  Cover and cook on Low for 4 – 6 hours.

Sometimes we serve this over rice or macaroni noodles, and usually top it with cheese, sour cream, onions, etc.  We opted to forgo the rice or noodles in favor of saving time, but we topped it with cheese, sour cream, chopped onion, and diced avocado.  It was delicious!  This chili re-heats well, so the leftovers are great for lunch the next day.


  1. That does look delicious! Sounds pretty easy too to put together. I know it is hard sometimes to plan and then cook meals when time is short or people are on different schedules. I think I'm definitely going to have to try this sometime this fall/winter!

    thanks for the recipe!


    1. I love using the slow cooker for those times when schedules just don't mesh.

      I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Yum! Today is going to be super busy—I might just give this recipe a try. Thanks. ☺

  3. mmmmm this looks and sounds so gooood!

  4. Sounds pretty good. I love chili during the winter months. I'll have to try adding some of these into my next batch of veggie chili :)

    1. Isn't chili great during the winter? We've made this a veggie version before, usually by adding an extra can of beans and another onion and/or pepper.

  5. Hi Danielle,

    I'm loving that recipe. Suddenly, I'm very hungry. I'll be right over! LOL

    Gary :)

    1. I imagine you'll be very hungry by the time you get here! :-)


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