Slow Cooker Texas Chili – the best crockpot chili!
Rich and full of warm heat, this slow cooker Texas chili will instantly become your favorite chili recipe. The big chunks of beef will fall apart in your mouth!
Alright people…Tuesday, I shared a recipe for chili seasoning and today I am sharing our all-time favorite recipe for slow cooker chili. I’m a liiiiiiitle nervous to call this Texas Chili because I’m not from Texas. Actually, I’ve never even been to Texas (it’s on my bucket list, though!). It’s a recipe that is adapted from Emeril’s Chuck Wagon Chili, so I considered that name…and I thought about Chili Con Carne…and then I went down a Google and Wikipedia hole and learned lots about chili but was left still a little unsure about what to call this.
All that to say, if you’re from Texas…I’m fully aware that this is probably not completely authentic. I’m not trying to be…I’m just trying to share an absolutely delicious chili recipe, and I’m 100% confident that this recipe falls perfectly under the characterization of “absolutely delicious.”
What I did find in common with all the information was that Texas chili must not include beans. And you will find no beans anywhere in this recipe. So, there’s that.
That’s my disclaimer. Now let’s talk about this chili.
I’ve been making this chili for a few years for our annual harvest party. I typically make two types of chili, and my mom makes our white chili recipe. I usually make a gigantic batch of this – I’m talking probably in the ballpark of 15 pounds of meat. Because it always disappears! It’s always gone way before the other two types, and people always absolutely rave about it.
It’s slightly more labor-intensive than a chili made with ground meat and beans, but not much. If you’re looking for a recipe like that, this turkey and beef chili is always a hit, too.
About this Slow Cooker Texas Chili
Even though this chili cooks in a slow cooker, you don’t want to skip the step of browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables. Browning the meat adds a ton of great flavor and gives it fantastic color. After you sauté the vegetables, you’ll add in the spice mixture and toast it for a little bit to really draw out the flavors. These small steps lead to maximum flavor in this chili.
Then, once everything is combined in the crock pot, the magic happens. The end is result is meat that falls apart, and chili that everyone goes crazy for. It makes a big batch but it’s great leftover and it also freezes well.
What to serve this slow cooker chili with:
It’s great served with this healthy cornbread, or these fancy-pants corn muffins. Another great choice would be this brown butter skillet cornbread. Or Fritos (why is chili soooo good with Fritos?!). Or oyster crackers. Or all of the above, if I’m being honest with myself. Of course, don’t forget loads of cilantro, and some sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
Michigan is still being a little bit stingy with spring and I could 100% go for a bowl of this chili tonight. But unfortunately, it hasn’t been simmering away in my slow cooker all day, and Ben is working late, so I’ll probably have popcorn for dinner.
- 2 tablespoons oil (avocado, olive, or vegetable)
- 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 1/2 cups diced yellow onions (about 3-4 small to medium yellow onions)
- 2 cups diced celery (about 6-7 stalks of celery)
- 2 jalapeños, diced (remove seeds for less spicy chili)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 full recipe of chili seasoning (see recipe below)
- 2 teaspoons dark or light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (12 oz) bottle dark beer
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons masa harina, more if desired/needed (see notes)
- Optional toppings: jalapeño, cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt, cheese
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add meat in a single layer (you’ll need to cook it in batches). Brown for 1-2 minutes on each side and then move to slow cooker. Continue this process, adding more oil to pan if needed, until all meat is browned and in slow cooker.
- In the same pan, add onions, celery, jalapeño, salt, and pepper. Saute until celery is softened and onion is translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add chili seasoning, brown sugar, and oregano and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables with tomato paste. Keep stirring to prevent burning. Add beer and cook for 4-5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Add this mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and bay leaf. Stir to combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
- Remove bay leaf and stir in parsley and cilantro. Sprinkle masa on top and stir in. If needed, add more (1 tablespoon at a time) to thicken chili further. Keep in mind it will thicken slightly if it continues to cook, and also as it cools.
- Serve with your desired toppings.
- adapted from Emeril Legasse
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 692mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 65g
Husband’s take: Ben loves this too. I think it’s probably his favorite chili.
Changes I would make: NONE!
Difficulty: Don’t let the long-ish ingredient list fool you, this one is easy!
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika (use smoked paprika for a smokey twist)
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl or jar. Store in a small airtight container.
- After cooking meat and vegetables for chili, stir in spice mix and toast for 1-2 minutes before adding liquid ingredients to chili.
- I use this entire spice mix with 3 pounds of meat in a beanless chili. Since each chili recipe is different, it's hard to say exactly how much to use. Start with half if you're unsure, and you can always add more.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 8Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g