Our crockpot chili recipe is so good, you won't know what hit you! It's great to make for a crowd and it freezes phenomenally. Your biggest struggle will be figuring out what to pair it with. Lucky for you, we have a great list of options!

Chili in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Chili is somehow better leftover than it is fresh, right? There's something magical about it sitting in the fridge that makes it better the next day. Lucky for you, the crockpot has those same magical powers that makes it truly delicious after it's been cooking all day.

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It's time to get as excited about our fresh chili as we are about the leftovers! Start making this crockpot chili recipe and be prepared to have your mind (and taste buds) blown. Your house will smell mouth-wateringly good, it'll have you chomping at the bit for dinner to come. Who's ready to get started?!


Crockpot chili is pretty straightforward, but as with pretty much every other recipe on our site, you can make modifications and substitutions to use what you have. No more random trips to the store, where you end up walking out with some impulse buys that you hadn't planned on! Use these tips and you'll be on your way to Chilitown in no time.

  • Ground Meat – You can never go wrong using ground beef in chili, but ground turkey or chicken would also work well.
  • Onion – If you don't have a whole onion, feel free to use frozen onions, minced onion, or even onion powder.
  • Diced Tomatoes – Have some whole tomatoes? Use those instead! You could also add in some Rotel-type tomatoes with green chilies and that would work as well.
  • Tomato Puree – If you only have tomato sauce or paste, then you're good! You can sub the same amount of tomato sauce in the recipe, it'll just be a bit thinner. To sub the tomato paste, mix ⅔ cup paste with 1⅓ cup water. Since paste isn't seasoned, you'll probably want to add in a little more seasonings to your crockpot chili.
  • Beans – Kidney, pinto and red beans all go great in a chili. Black beans will also work, but you'll want to drain and rinse those before adding.

Pretty simple, right? If you're a chili purist who doesn't believe in eating beans in your chili, then feel free to leave them out. However, they're a great way to stretch the meal further so you can feed more people. Don't knock it 'til you try it! 😉


chili fries on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

Frito chili pie, chili cheese tots, chili dogs… What do they all have in common? Chili, of course! We've got those, plus more, on our list of things you can serve with your chili. You really can't go wrong with any of these, so serve it with what you have and you'll be chowin' down in no time.

Seriously, the hardest part is figuring out what you want to eat with your crockpot chili! It's so good by itself or paired with any of those ideas.


It's best to freeze your crockpot chili once it's had time to cool. You can go about doing this two ways. Throw the whole covered crockpot into the fridge and allow it to cool overnight, then portion the chili into freezer bags or freezer-safe soup containers, label and date them, and put them in the freezer.

Or if you didn't have a liner in your crockpot and you're ready to get that baby soaking already, no worries! Go ahead and portion the chili out into the freezer-safe bag or container, label and date it, then stick it in the fridge to cool. Once it's cooled, then it's ready to go in the freezer.

Whether you doubled the recipe in order to freeze half, or you have leftovers that you won't be able to eat before they go bad, you now know how to freeze it in order to get a meal or two (or three!) out of it. When you're ready to eat your freezer chili, stick it in the fridge overnight so it can fully thaw. Then throw it in a pot on the stove and allow it to reheat and come to a simmer. It'll taste as great as the day you made it!


You won't be disappointed with how easy this recipe is, we promise! The most work that you'll have to do will be cooking your meat and chopping the onions. After that, the crockpot can do the rest!

bowl of chili with cheddar cheese on a countertop with a red gingham napkin from Shelf Cooking

Best Crockpot Chili Recipe

Make this easy chili that can feed an army and freezes amazingly well. Cook up the meat and let your crockpot do the rest of the work!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 lbs ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 10.75-oz can tomato puree
  • 1 16-oz can kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 4-oz can diced green chilies, with liquid
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  • Mix all ingredients in lined slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!


To freeze, add meal-sized portions to freezer bags and stick in the fridge until cooled. Freeze flat to help conserve space and thaw quicker! Stick in the fridge to thaw overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Keyword cold weather, crockpot, slow cooker

Super simple, super delicious. The whole family will love this recipe! When you do your weekly meal plan, make sure you include a leftovers night so none of this magical chili goes to waste.

What's your favorite thing to eat with your chili? Let us know in the comments!

Image with text that reads "freezer-friendly crockpot chili recipe" from Shelf Cooking

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