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A beef mince Chilli Con Carne is the classic dish that so many of us turn to time and time again, but have you tried a Slow Cooker Chilli version?!

NO BROWNING necessary! Simply throw all the ingredients in and out comes a bubbling, delicious chilli a few hours later… Yes, it WORKS. And it’s so good and so easy.

Slow cooker Chilli Con Carne topped with cheese and chillis after it has finished cooking.

We all love an easy beef mince recipe, especially a classic Chilli Con Carne. This is the classic recipe but made as a Slow Cooker Chilli con Carne.

It doesn’t need any browning of the meat, so it’s also a perfect dump bag recipe, which means you can stick all of the ingredients in a bag and freeze for another day’s slow cooking!

Alternatively, cook a double batch and freeze another ready-to-go portion that you’ll just have to heat up.


Why you’ll love this Slow Cooker Beef Chilli

⭐️ Low cost and low effort

⭐️ Nutritious and full of rich flavour

⭐️ Perfect to double and feed a big group


Close up of the dish Chilli Con Carne that's been cooked in the slow cooker.

How we came up with this Slow Cooker Chilli recipe

As with my Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese, I knew that I was going to have to nail this classic recipe if anyone was going to make an adapted version of their usual go-to chilli con carne. 

Making what is usually an on-the-hob dish is a whole different ball game in a slow cooker. And ESPECIALLY if we’re not browning the meat, because depth of flavour can be an issue.

But I set myself the challenge because slow cookers make life so much easier, and, thanks to LOTS of testing, we’ve got it! Which means you can now enjoy following this simple recipe and enjoy this family favourite in a far more convenient and fuss-free way. 

➡️ This report explains some of the history of chilli con carne and the traditional ingredients if you’d like to learn more about its origins.

➡️ This chilli recipe is my take on the dish, using our beloved slow cookers and plenty of store cupboard ingredients and similar flavours.

I have lots of tips and tricks below for getting the very best out of this recipe. 

I hope you love it! ❤️


Ingredients

Ingredients for slow cooker chilli laid out on a counter top.
  • Lean beef mince – Try and use the low fat (5%) option if you can. This will avoid too much fat in the dish, as none will be cooking off like it might in a pan. Any mince will still work though so it’s up to your preference. If using a higher fat mince, you may want to brown if off first and drain some of the fat
  • Onion – Dice one fresh onion or cheat and use pre-chopped frozen. One onion is about 200g of pre chopped
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Red kidney beans
  • Beef stock cubes – No need to dilute, just put them straight in. Stock pots are fine too but just use one
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Garlic powder – Use the same ratios for garlic granules or dried ground garlic. Not garlic salt, that’s very different
  • Chocolate – This brings a lovely depth of flavour without adding sweetness. It’s a well-known secret ingredient! It’s important to use a very dark (70% or over) chocolate. If you only have milk chocolate, just skip it altogether, it’ll be too sweet
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Green peppers – You can also use frozen or the colour of your choice instead

How to make Chilli Con Carne in a slow cooker

The raw ingredients for a slow cooker chilli all in a slow cooker pan, ready to cook.

1. Put all of the slow cook ingredients (apart from the peppers) into the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.

A slow cooker pan filled with slow cooker chilli, with raw green peppers on top, ready to go in.

2. Add the peppers 30 minutes before the end of cooking. Serve with your chosen side dish.


Substitutions

  • Beef mince – If you want to save money, you can buy the meat with a higher fat content. Just be aware that more liquid will come out of it as it cooks, which you may have to drain away if it gets too much.
  • Peppers – I use green peppers but any colour will work. You can also cheat by using frozen peppers, but bear in mind these tend to be cut up quite small.

Leftovers

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully in the microwave or on the hob before serving.

How to freeze leftover Chilli Con Carne This recipe freezes really well. Just wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer-proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating in the microwave or oven.

Top tips

What to serve it with

There are so many ways to serve up Chilli Con Carne, how about in tacos, on baked potatoes, on nachos, with rice.

You can also dish it up as part of a buffet banquet if you’re feeding guests, with side dishes and dips like sour cream/yoghurt, chopped chillies, guacamole, tortilla chips, salsa, refried beans or my Mexican-style salad.

You can make this a little EXTRA by

⭐️ Using the best quality tinned tomatoes and tomato puree you can afford
⭐️ Brown off the onions and mince before adding to the slow cooker
⭐️ Adding 2 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce at the end of cooking
⭐️ Stir every so often during cooking, this helps the meat to break up and cook evenly

Prep the night before

You can save yourself even more time in the morning for this recipe and prepare the ingredients for your slow cooker THE EVENING BEFORE! 

Simply throw everything for the initial cook into the slow cooker, pop the lid on, then store it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, put it into the slow cooker and don’t forget to switch ‘on’.

Chilli FAQs

Can I make this vegetarian?

Not if you want to use a substitute meat. For example, Quorn says its mince is not recommended for slow cooking. Try my Vegan Chilli recipe here instead.

Should I brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker?

If you want to get scientific, the reason we brown meat before slow cooking is because it causes a Maillard reaction. The process of frying and heating it until it’s hot and turns brown changes the flavour compounds in the meat, which adds a depth of flavour.

Does it add something to most slow cooked dishes? Yes. Is it vital in this dish though? No. If you want to brown the meat, go ahead. BUT I feel that sometimes we need a super quick preparation dinner and it’s worth sacrificing maybe 10% of extra flavour? Your choice.

Is this recipe spicy?

I’d say this is a very mild spice level, suitable for kids and families. If you like it more pokey, use double the cayenne pepper, or add in 2 or 3 tsp of chilli powder.

If you get to the end of the cooking time and taste it and it’s not spicy enough, you can add in some chilli sauce too. I sometimes add to the grown up portions only.

Can you recommend a slow cooker?

Easy slow cooker recipes are a saviour for family dining, so it’s important to get one that works well for you. The Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Slow Cooker is my all-time favourite because you can use it for initial browning on the hob and it’s really light. For induction hobs, I recommend the Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker instead.

Can I make this recipe on the hob?

This recipe has been designed and modified specifically for the slow cooker, so I would suggest following my Easy Chilli Con Carne if you’d rather make it on the hob.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 167 votes

Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne {Easiest EVER Recipe!}

Chilli Con Carne is a classic dish that so many of us turn to time and time again, but have you tried the slow cooker version?! So good, so easy.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

For the slow cook

  • 750 g Lean beef mince
  • 1 Onion, Peeled and chopped
  • 800 g Chopped tomatoes (2x 400g tins)
  • 800 g Kidney beans (2x 400g tins), Drained and rinsed
  • 75 g Tomato puree
  • 2 Beef stock cubes
  • 3 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • 4 tsp Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 25 g Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa type

Before serving

  • 2 Green peppers, Cut into medium-sized chunks

Instructions 

  • Put all of the slow cook ingredients (apart from the peppers) into the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.
  • Add peppers about 30 minutes before the end of cooking.

Notes

Mince: Try and use the low fat (5%) option if you can. This will the finished dish being too fatty, as none will be cooking off like it might in a pan
Onions and garlic: I like to use pre chopped, frozen to save time where I can
Stock cubes: No need to add any additional liquid, just the cubes themselves
Peppers: I use green peppers but any colour is fine. You can also use frozen peppers. Remember to add these in about 30 minutes before the end of cooking

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 41gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 605mgPotassium: 1464mgFiber: 14gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 531IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 10mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

5 from 167 votes (147 ratings without comment)

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23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last week and it was a bit hit with the whole family! Thank you so much for Shari the receipe. Off to try the honey and garlic chicken next which looks delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    The perfect recipe, tastes delicious and easy to prepare! My 5 year old son asked for seconds so it must be yummy 😊 We had it serviced with rice and tortilla chips on Friday night and there was so much left that we had it with jacket potatoes on Sunday. Tried the slow cooker jacket potato recipe and it was a perfect pairing. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I followed this recipe the letter and have to say it was the best chilli I’ve ever made…. I didn’t brown the meat and just throw everything in the pot then forgot about it for 6 hours! Delicious!!! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Looking forward to trying this! If we use a Knorr stock pot instead of the 2 stock cubes, how many should put in… 1 or 2? Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Sarah, please keep doing what your doing. You’ve transformed my life, I’ve struggled with cooking for years but your recipes are something else, your an inspiration. Thank you so much.

      Nancy. X