Slow Cooker Chuck Wagon Chili

You guys! It's chili season again! Welcome fall weather and tasty, filling, warm dishes like a good bowl of chili. Why does chili always make me think of camping? Probably because most of my camping trips have involved taking or making chili - it's such a good, can friendly recipe that is so easy to tweak to make use of what you have available. 

My sister is in the "no beans in chili" camp, but I've decided she's wrong and since I do the majority of the cooking around here, you'll always find beans in my chili! I do, at least, accommodate her by leaving kidney beans out of my recipes, and using pinto beans instead since that's her preference. I happen to love kidney beans too, and would usually mix a can of red kidney and pinto in my chili, but this one just has pinto. Use whichever combination you prefer! Great Northern are another one we like to use in recipes like this. 

Have I told you lately how much I love my crock pot? I adore it. Completely. We're in a committed relationship. Recipes like this just remind me, yet again, of why it's one of my very favorite small kitchen appliances. Just don't make me pick between my Vitamix, Kitchen Aid Mixer, Instant Pot, and Crock Pot... please. 

This chili is warmly spiced, chock full of chunky vegetables and bites of beef, and just completely hits the spot on a cool day! 

Slow Cooker Chuck Wagon Chili

2 lbs ground beef
1 large white onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
3 TBS chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS brown sugar
1 cup beer (use your favorite, I used a hard cider)
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (or stewed tomatoes)
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 15-oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 beef bouillon cube, crumbled
2 TBS water

  1. Brown your ground beef in a nonstick skillet sprinkled with some salt and pepper during cooking, and drain off excess grease if needed.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker and give it a stir to combine ingredients. 
  3. Give it a stir after a couple hours to recombine ingredients, and to be sure bouillon cube has dissolved into the mixture evenly.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low on 8 hours. 
  5. Taste test after cooking and adjust the seasonings if desired.
  6. Serving suggestions: top with sour cream or cheese, serve over rice or a baked potato, and / or alongside a tasty slice of cornbread


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