This is a favorite chili recipe of mine that I decided to make in my slow cooker this past Sunday. Life is very busy for me with a full-time job, food blog, wife, two kids, and now a brand new puppy. As much as I like to cook and bake sometimes I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen; I want to spend time with my family.
When I hear chili, I picture a big stock pot simmering on the oven for hours while the chili develops flavor. Using a slow cooker for chili is kind of a life hack because it doesn’t take much time to prepare the ingredients for this dish, and then let the slow cooker do its thing. I felt very liberated when we were all in the back yard trying to play fetch with Clark (our new puppy), I was asked about dinner and I was able to say, ‘We can eat whenever you guys want.’
Enough about my love for the Crock Pot, let’s talk about the chili. This Slow Cooker Chili recipe isn’t overly spicy, but it is very filling. It has things you would expect like ground beef, kidney beans, red onion and diced tomatoes, but this chili has things you wouldn’t expect, like diced red bell peppers and sweet potatoes. Not only do these two vegetables add flavor to the chili, but they add some color to it and make it look nice.
I started making the Slow Cooker Chili right after I cleaned up from breakfast. I used my cast iron skillet to brown about a pound of ground beef, and prepared the vegetables while it cooked. I diced a red onion and two red bell peppers then tossed them into my slow cooker. I peeled and diced two sweet potatoes, and added them along with a small can of tomato paste, large can of diced tomatoes, and a can of kidney beans that I rinsed.
When the ground beef was done cooking I drained the grease and added it to the slow cooker with a cup of beef stock, some pressed garlic cloves and some spices. I used salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, chili powder and paprika. I gave the uncooked chili a decent stir, latched the locking top of my Crock Pot into place and then set the temperature to low.
I took my family out for coffee; we ran some errands and played with the puppy in the backyard until we were hungry for dinner. That was the freedom I got from making this with my slow cooker. When I served the chili I cut some green onions to sprinkle on top along with some shredded cheese.
This is the slow cooker that I use and I really love it. This one is much nicer than the old ones with the glass lid and the mechanical switch. It has a programmable timer from 30 minutes to 20 hours so I can set it on high or low heat for a certain time, then it will operate in a mode where it will just keep the food warm. This is nice because when I was single I would worry about the food getting overcooked if I had to stay at work longer than I planned.
One other thing I really like about this slow cooker is the lid which locks into place and has a gasket to seal the food inside. This is especially nice if you’re making something to bring to a party so there’s no worrying about the lid coming off in the car and food spilling all over your trunk. That is what sold me on this slow cooker.
CLICK HERE for more of my slow cooker recipes.
Adapted from The Cozy Apron.