Fall is finally in the air and for me, it means pulling out my slow cooker and making some hearty chili. Chili is great for many reasons. It’s easy to make, delicious, feeds a crowd and it’s super inexpensive — this recipe costs just $11.45. For a few dollars per person, you have a one-pot meal that satisfies everyone. And I always have enough left over for lunch the next day.
I love making chili in a slow cooker because, as the flavors heat together, the chili develops a rich taste. Most importantly, I can set it and forget it. This is also a great game-day dish. Whether you’re picking up the kids at the field or settling in for some Sunday night football, this dish delivers.
Everyone can grab a bowl and dig in. You can even make a chili bar. Place the slow cooker full of chili at one end of the table and fill bowls with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips. Let everyone customize the chili with their favorite topping. I make some mini jalepeno corn bread to serve alongside. That’s just Jiffy corn bread mix with one chopped jalepeno baked in mini loaf pans. Easy and delicious.
Super slow cooker chili
Prep time: 25 minutes (4 to 8 hours cook time)
- ½ medium white onion, chopped, medium dice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 canned adobo chiles, adjust to your spice level
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef, 90% lean
- 8 ounces diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese for serving
In a large skillet, fry onion, garlic, red pepper, cilantro, salt and pepper. Cook on low heat until all ingredients are soft and onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add chilis and black beans. Mix to combine.
Empty pan into the slow cooker and wipe clean.
Add olive oil and ground beef and cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat for even browning.
Once meat is no longer pink, add spices, tomatoes and sauce.
Empty meat mixture into slow cooker and mix with the beans.
Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
Looking for another cheap and healthy meal option? You'll love this vegetable soup recipe.
Image: Anna F. Gass