Chili Con Carne Recipe

If you have about 15 minutes of free time right now, and then four to eight hours between now and dinner, then your meal tonight can be something the whole family will enjoy. It's all thanks to this slow cooker chili con carne recipe. Chef and recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply says, "This [recipe] is pretty much foolproof." If you can handle a bit of chopping, some sautéing, and a bit of time management, then you can cook up a tasty entrée that can be enjoyed in so many ways.

"Get some tortilla chips and serve the chili con carne on top with sour cream, jalapeño, and melted cheese for nachos. Or [serve it] on chili dogs or even in loaded tacos," says Dalton. And for the easiest meal ever, simply ladle large servings of the dish over rice, and serve a freshly tossed salad on the side.

While the recipe Dalton lays out could not be much simpler to follow, it can indeed be made even simpler. "If you're looking for an even easier method, you can also throw in all the ingredients, and let it cook in the slow cooker without browning the beef or onions. It still works," Dalton says, however she adds, "The reason to brown is to caramelize the onions and meat for a richer flavor. But if you're short on time, just throw it all in!"

Gather your ingredients to prepare this slow cooker chili con carne recipe

To get started with this recipe, you'll need a pound of ground beef, a can of chopped (aka diced) tomatoes with their fluid, a can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed), a diced red onion, minced garlic cloves, tomato paste, a beef stock cube (crumbled), cumin, hot chili powder, paprika, sea salt, ground black pepper, vegetable oil, and a minced red chili pepper (which is optional for added heat). You'll also need fresh chopped cilantro and sour cream for serving.

If you don't like your chili spicy — or if your kids don't, as is the case with Dalton — you can tone down the heat. She says it's no problem to "remove the chili powder and the fresh [chili pepper]."

Stir fry the ingredients in order

Finely chop the red onion. If you will be using red chili pepper, chop that as well, and set aside.

In a large skillet (or right in your crockpot insert if you can safely put it on the stove), heat the oil on the stove over medium heat. Then, add the onion and garlic, and cook for about three to five minutes, stirring until they become translucent.

Next, add the ground beef, and stir. Cook for several minutes until it browns, which should take another three to five minutes.

Combine the rest of the ingredients, and transfer to the slow cooker

Once the beef is evenly browned, add the crumbled beef stock cube into the pan (or the slow cooker insert if you are using it for this step), and mix the crumbles into the other ingredients well. Next, add the paprika, chili powder, and cumin — and again stir well, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now, transfer all of the ingredients into your slow cooker. Then, add the canned tomatoes and their liquid, the kidney beans, and the tomato paste. Stir again to combine well.

Slow cook the chili con carne, then enjoy

If you want an extra hot dish, now is the time to add that finely chopped red chili pepper into the mix before covering everything up to cook. Either way, now it's slow cooking time. Put the lid on, and cook your chili con carne on a high setting for four hours or on a low setting for eight hours if you have that amount of time.

When the dish is ready, serve it with chopped cilantro and sour cream, ideally over rice. And if you have leftovers, that's absolutely no problem. "It will store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days," says Dalton, "[and] you can reheat it in the microwave. You can also freeze batches [of chili] for up to three months."

Chili Con Carne Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
Serve the chili con carne on top of tortilla chips with sour cream, jalapeño, and melted cheese for nachos. Or, enjoy it on chili dogs or in loaded tacos.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne served over rice
Total time: 4.25 hours
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red chili pepper, minced (optional for added heat)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 beef stock cube, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • fresh cilantro, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving
  1. Finely chop the red onion (and red chili pepper, if using).
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Then, add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the beef, and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally while the beef browns.
  4. Next, add the crumbled beef stock cube, and stir to combine well. Then, add the spices (paprika, chili powder, and cumin) stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the ingredients into your slow cooker, and then add the canned tomatoes, kidney beans, and tomato paste, and combine well.
  6. Cover and cook on a high setting for 4 hours, or on a low setting for 8 hours. (And if you want extra heat, add finely chopped red chili pepper into the chili before covering to cook.)
  7. When cooking is done, garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream, and serve over rice.
Calories per Serving 464
Total Fat 28.4 g
Saturated Fat 9.8 g
Trans Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 82.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.0 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Total Sugars 7.8 g
Sodium 877.2 mg
Protein 27.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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