Chef Donald Miller's Easy to Make Crock-Pot Chili

Author: Cory Hankins


From the recipe files of our Senior Executive Chef Donald Miller

Many people believe Chili originated in Mexico, but in fact history has shown that it was concocted in the mid-1800’s by Texan adventurers and cowboys and soon garnered the name ‘chili’ because of the spicy chilis indigenous to the area. Chili made it to the national stage at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 at the San Antonio Chili Stand and soon became a national culinary treasure such that there is now a designated National Chili Day on the fourth Thursday of February. There are countless Chili cook-offs to be found around the country, with Chili Chefs who believe there is only one way to make good chili. Unfortunately, they all have different recipes.

“I can’t think of a better dish to serve on Super Bowl Sunday than a hot spicy chili with all the toppings. This chili is one of my favorites because it tastes great, is easy to make, and foolproof when you cook it in a Crock-Pot, and by the way, it is inexpensive as well,” says Chef Don.

For the Chili:

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 medium yellow onions, medium dice
• 1 medium red bell pepper, medium dice
• 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup chili powder
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 2 pounds lean ground beef
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
• 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
• 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pickled jalapeños or green chilies, drained

For Serving:

• Shredded cheddar cheese
• Thinly sliced scallions
• Sour cream


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and bell pepper, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and measured salt and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.

3. Transfer the mixture to the Crock Pot, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce and beans—stir to combine. Cover and cook until the chili thickens and the flavors meld, about 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.

4. Stir in the jalapeños or green chilies. Taste and season with salt as needed, and serve with the cheese, scallions, and sour cream.