It’s October —
and that means my slow cooker will get put to great use again! I like being able to put dinner in it early in the day and when it’s time to eat we have a great meal that I didn’t have to spend a lot of time preparing.
One of my favorite slow cooker meals to make is chili. Chili is a hearty meal that can be made in such a variety of ways that it doesn’t ever get old to serve. You can make it with beef, chicken, or a mixture of different meats. You can serve it with cornbread, rice, or even on top of a potato. You can top it with cheese, sour cream, avocado or hot sauce. You can do so much with it — including a make-your-own-chili bar (doesn’t that sound like the perfect fall get-together?!).
I have a basic recipe that I make many times in the fall season, but after my recipe I’ve included a few fun variations including a spicy cornbread and a tip to have a chili-night with friends!
Ground Beef and Bean Chili
1 lb Ground Beef
2 Cans Kidney Beans
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 White Onion, chopped
1 Red Onion, chopped
2 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Paste
Red Chili Flakes
Combine the onions and bell peppers and saute until cooked. Put to the side.
Cook ground beef.
Combine all of the ingredients (except spices and seasonings).
Add in spices/sauces one at a time until you find the taste/heat that you like. I use a different amount every time. I usually start with one teaspoon at a time.
Heat until it boils then lower the heat and keep cooking until ready to eat (generally 30 minutes).
When it’s done I taste it again and adjust the spices/seasonings until correct.
To do this in the slow cooker, first cook the ground beef. Combine all of the other ingredients and just a teaspoon of each seasoning in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before serving taste your chili and adjust the seasonings as needed. Make sure to do this early enough for the flavors to combine before serving.
White Chicken Chili is a hearty chili that gives you a break from the traditional chili recipes. Creamy Chicken Enchilada Chili is another chicken chili but with a twist –the addition of corn and other spices make this chili standout in a new way! New Mexican Red Pork Chili will not only be interesting because of the pork, but this recipe also uses coffee as it’s secret ingredient.
If you are looking for a new cornbread recipe to serve with your chili try this Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread! You can go lighter on the heat of your actual chili if your guests aren’t crazy about spicy food and bring the heat instead with this cornbread for your friends who like a little more spice.
And finally, fixing dinner is always more fun with extra people. Whether you are making dinner for your family or hosting a party for friends, setting up a chili bar would make your event a little more special. This site has great tips for how to serve your chili along with fun ways to present the toppings!