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Sending a chili recipe out into the world may be one of the most controversial things to do. We each hold dear to what chili is to us, which is oftentimes heavily influenced by what we had while growing up. Nothing beats Mom’s chili, right? Also, no two moms seem to have the same chili recipe.
Growing up in the Midwest, our chili is by no means an authentic recipe. It was often on the sweeter side, always included ground beef, and, if made in my mom’s house, it was prepared in the slow cooker all day long. Mom’s chili had no odd ingredients. Instead, she used what we always had on hand in the pantry.
And here’s the greatest thing about this chili: for me, nothing is more nostalgic or more delicious on a cool day.
Why use a slow cooker for this chili?
This chili tastes the same whether you use a slow cooker or a stockpot on the stove. When it first was invented, the slow cooker was an incredible time saver because you can simply place all the ingredients in the cooker, turn it on, and at the end of the day have a soup that’s ready to eat. There’s no watching a stovetop or adjusting the heat. For anyone making soup, that’s an incredible decrease in the amount of work. So go ahead and let the slow cooker do all the work!
Slow cookers have two settings: low and high. Both settings warm up to the same temperature, but low gets to the desired temperature slowly while the high setting gets there quickly. Pretty logical, right? For this recipe, either setting will work as follows:
- High setting: will be ready in approximately six hours
- Low setting: will be ready in approximately eight hours
Why does cooking chili all day make sense?
There are not too many soups that can cook for so many hours and still retain their great texture without seeming… blah. This chili uses raw vegetables and a few spices. During the long cooking process, the spices, vegetables, and tomato pureé have time to truly mix and become full-flavored. To ensure the flavors stand out after a long cook time, strong amounts are needed. The flavors meld together to create a well-rounded chili that can only be created with a long cooking time.
In case you canned tomato juice along with me this summer, this is the perfect recipe to use it up! No need to purchase the store version anymore!
Watch how to make this slow cooker chili
Slow Cooker Chili
- 1 lb ground beef cooked
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 ½ cups chopped peppers (sweet or spicy)
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans
- 1 15-oz can pinto beans (half whole and half mashed)
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 3 bay leaves
- 8 cups tomato pureé
- In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine the cooked ground beef, onion, peppers, kidney beans, pinto beans (both the whole and mashed portions), molasses, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, bay leaves, and tomato pureé. Stir to combine and turn the slow cooker on high for 6-8 hours.1 lb ground beef, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 ½ cups chopped peppers (sweet or spicy), 1 15-oz can kidney beans, 1 15-oz can pinto beans (half whole and half mashed), 2 tbsp molasses, 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1 ½ tsp salt, 3 bay leaves, 8 cups tomato pureé
- Once the chili is cooked and slightly thickened, remove the bay leaves, and flavor with any additional salt as needed. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.