Jim’s Big Batch Slow Cooker Chili

“In researching many recipes to achieve the perfect, awesome chili that I could make in a large batch by using my 6 qt crock pot (slow cooker), I came across 3 different ones that I deconstructed and then reconstructed using my own variations and twists. I had a wonderful success on my first try. I served this during the holidays in 2012 to a large group and many came back for 3RDs! Chili is normally regionalized, but this one is so GOOD, that any part of the country will love it and gobble it up! For Nutritional Data purposes, I calculated a recommended serving size to be approximately 13 oz. per serving to feed 10 people. Realistically if you have several hungry guys with large appetites hanging out, watching football, playing cards, etc. this may only yield enough to serve 8 people 16 oz.”
8hrs 40mins
1 4 qt batch

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 lbs 80% lean ground beef (or three pounds ground chuck same %)
  • 1 lb ground sausage (Jimmy Dean or other brand HOT)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (I normally use an 8 oz white onion)
  • 1 (1 1/2 ounce) packet chili seasoning mix (McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix for Slow Cookers)
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce (Hunt's, or you may use 2 15 oz. cans as the extra ounce shouldn't make much of a difference)
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste (Hunt's, trick open both ends of can and shake out)
  • 2 (16 ounce) canslight red kidney beans (Bush's Best Light Red, RINSE and DRAIN in cold water before using)
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth (or measure 14.5 oz. from a box)
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottlemedium-heft beer (such as a Pale Ale)
  • 1 tablespoon ground oregano
  • 12 teaspoon paprika (or use McCormick ground ancho chili powder instead to add some heat)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or substitute same amount of common iodized table salt)
  • 34 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 14 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Optional Adds: 1 Green Bell Pepper chopped OR 2 Jalapeno Peppers seeded and chopped for extra added heat. Personally, I do not use either of these, but you may. You may also use 2 (14.5 oz. cans) of Hunt's Diced Tomatoes, undrained, if you like a chunkier chili. Personally, I do not use these either.
  2. Optional Substitution: Although the beer is utilized to give the chili a great flavoring, it is NOT to have any alcoholic content after cooking it for over 2 1/2 hours according to the USDA. If you decide to omit the 12 oz. beer for any reason, use an ADDITIONAL 14.5 oz. of Chicken Broth to take its place.
  3. Cook the meats in at least 2 separate batches in a Large Skillet over Med-High heat right before it crumbles. Add and mix in the finely chopped onions. When the meat crumbles and no longer is pink; drain.
  4. Place the meat and onion mixture in the large crock pot (slow cooker). Add the rinsed/drained light red kidney beans and the remaining ingredients.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, may stir a couple times. Since this is a Slow Cooker, it is always discouraged to use the HIGH setting… but if you must and running short on time, can be done roughly around 5 hours on HIGH.
  6. Remove and Discard the Bay Leaves before serving.
  7. Condiments and/or Sides to consider having on hand when serving: Sour Cream, Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Rice, Chopped Green Onions, Black Sliced Olives, Crackers, Limes (cut in quarters), Jalapeno Slices, Baguette Bread Sliced, Cornbread (or Jalapeno Cornbread), Salad.
  8. Beverage Pairing: Milk, Beer, Ripe Zinfandel, or Syrah.
  9. ENJOY! For whatever reason, a well-made Chili is much like Jambalaya. The leftovers, the day after, is generally better. . Maybe it takes a day for the flavors to truly fuse together.
  10. Directions for freezing and/or reheating portions:
  11. Let Chili cool before freezing.
  12. Evenly divide chili into 2 (1-gallon) zip-top freezer bags (only 1 1-gallon bag needed if you are looking to freeze only half).
  13. Seal and lay each bag flat.
  14. Stack bags of chili in freezer.
  15. Freeze up to 1 month.
  16. Thaw 1 bag of frozen chili overnight in refrigerator (or defrost in microwave).
  17. Pour thawed chili into a 9-inch square baking dish.
  18. Cover tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap, and fold back a corner to allow steam to escape.
  19. Microwave at HIGH 6-7 minutes or until bubbly (stirring once after 3 1/2 min mark).

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a