Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.
Chili is a fabulous winter comfort food, but it's just as tasty any time of year! Making it in a slow cooker couldn't be easier, and the results are fantastic. The longer cooking time helps to blend the flavours and results in a very tasty meal.
This recipe is simple to put together, and it's so easy to customize it to suit your tastes.
- 1-2 pounds ground beef
- 1 can white and/or red kidney beans
- I can black beans
- 1 jar salsa
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 hot pepper or chili pepper, optional
- 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse and drain the canned beans. Add the beans to slow cooker.
- Brown the ground beef in a frying pan. Drain the fat and add meat to slow cooker
- Add remaining ingredients (salsa, onions, peppers and spices) to the slow cooker.
- Stir lightly to mix the ingredients.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low from 4-5 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
There are many variations of this recipe you can use, to suit your preferences.
Here are some suggestions to customize this recipe:
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- Use ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef.
- Experiment with different salsas.
- Use different types of beans - red or white kidney beans and black beans all work well. If using dry beans, make sure you pre-soak them as directed.
- Add extra vegetables to increase the nutritional benefits. My favourite veggies to add are fresh mushrooms, frozen corn, and red or orange peppers. Green peppers work well too.
- Add extra hot peppers or chili flakes to increase the spice level, if desired.
- Try adding some cinnamon for an interesting variation. One day I accidentally added cinnamon instead of the chili powder I thought I had grabbed and was pleasantly surprised by the result.
- Top with grated cheddar cheese and/or sour cream.
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When Should I Eat Chili?
Crockpot chili is a great food to bring to a potluck meal. You can plug in the slow cooker, and it will stay warm. You don't have to worry about using valuable oven space or food safety.
It's is a perfect food for Super Bowl parties or watching the hockey playoffs. It also makes a delicious meal to come home to after an afternoon spent outdoors in the winter, partaking in your favourite activity like tobogganing or skiing.
On nights when your evening schedule is filled up with kids' activities or sports, having this cooking in the crockpot can help you avoid the temptation to grab a takeout meal.
Cooking up a big batch on the weekend can help you get a head start on lunches for the week ahead. It also freezes very well.
In the fall, nothing beats going for a family hike and coming home to a crockpot full of delicious chili!
© 2012 Kathy Sima