It’s Chili Season

On cold winter days, nothing beats coming home to a warm hearty meal; and few things are easier than throwing it all in a pot.  This is my husband’s family chili recipe.  Just brown the meat and add everything to the slow cooker.  It’s an easy one to doctor-up to suit your group, add a little extra spice, a few peppers, or barbecue sauce.  (I use a 6 quart slow cooker.)

Slow Cooker Chili

Ingredients:Slow Cooker Chili Ingredients

  • 2-2.5 lb. hamburger
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • little salt and pepper
  • 46 oz tomato juice
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • ketchup (less than 1/4 cup) – squirt a couple of rings into the pot
  • chili powder to taste
  • water (about 1 cup) – I rinse out the jars/cans to get all of the sauce and put that into the pot
  • 15 oz red beans
  • 1 or 2 diced tomatoes (canned can be used but glass jar or fresh recommended)


Brown and drain hamburger

In slow cooker add and stir until combined: tomato juice, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, brown sugar, ketchup, chili powder, and water.  (Divide at this point if wanting multiple types, e.g., spicy, meatless, barbecue)

Carefully add hamburger, beans, and tomatoes

Cook on high for 2 hours then turn to low for an additional 4 hours.  If you’re going to be out of the house you can cook on low for 8 hours.

Makes about 10 to 12 bowls of chili, which is perfect for a large group or enough for a family to have leftovers.  It also freezes well.  I ladle out individual portions into freezer/microwave safe bowls for easy re-heating.

My husband and I have differing tastes; I prefer a meatless chili, and he does not like beans.  So after I get the base all mixed together, I take out half and put it into a smaller slow cooker.  His part only gets meat, and to mine I add the beans (sometimes I also add black beans or other varieties), tomatoes, barbecue sauce, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  If you don’t have multiple cookers you can use a pot on the stove.  I put it on high until it bubbles; turn down and cook on medium for about 45 minutes to an hour; then decrease the heat again to medium-low for at least another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout.

I love the versatility of this recipe.  It is great as-is, or a perfect base for pleasing the whole family.

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