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Crockpot Chili Recipe {Heat It Up!}

This shop sharing my recipe for crockpot chili has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KingOfFlavor #CollectiveBias
Perfect dump and go crockpot chili recipe

Winter has finally arrived in Chicago. It’s officially freezing outside, and I’m often cold even after I come inside. And yes, it’s my favorite time of year, not because of the weather – I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold – but because it’s finally football playoff time. I have done my best to turn the wee ones into as big of football fans as my husband and I are, and I feel like I’m slowly succeeding. Finally.

Needless to say, we spend the majority of the weekend in front of the tv cheering on our favorite team du jour (mostly since I am thoroughly in a funk after a rather depressing loss this last weekend where I no longer have any skin in the game), and that means I’m not in the kitchen whipping up dinner because I just might have better things to do.

Fortunately, I figured out long ago that crockpot chili is one of the perfect football foods. We make it many playoff weekends, and it’s always our go to main course whenever we host a party for the (wink wink nudge nudge) Big Game come February. We make up a big batch of it – a double batch when we’re hosting friends – and munch on that. This is one of those recipes that’s better on day 2, which is perfect for a long football weekend.

Crockpot chili for lunch

Crockpot chili is ridiculously easy to put together, to the point that my husband often claims this as his domain, leaving me off the hook when it comes to cooking. Of course, we inevitably forget one ingredient and have to make a last minute run to the Jewel-Osco to pick up something. This time around, we were magically out of hot sauce (how does this happen in my house?) and tomato paste. Oops! Fortunately, Jewel-Osco is just around the corner, so it’s easy to make a run to pick up the El Yucateco habanero sauce I love to add to this and the tomato paste.

El Yucateco at Jewel-Osco

If you’ve never used El Yucateco red hot sauce, definitely pick some up for the next time you’re cooking. I love the fresh red habaneros and tomatoes  in the red sauce that has less vinegar than most hot sauces, so you get more of a true pepper taste that is a little hotter than other sauces. It’s a perfect all purpose sauce and works great in crockpot chili.

El Yucateco also has two other sauces that we often use in other recipes, too. The green hot sauce uses green habaneros and garlic, along with other spices that is a little hotter than the red but is their best seller and works great in creamy dips and dressings, as well as grilling lighter foods like chicken, fish, and veggies. Their XXXtra Hot Kutbilik Sauce has 90% of the fruit (the most raw material in its category) and has a slightly rustic and earthy flavor, as it uses the ripest habaneros. It needs bold flavors to pair with it, but at 12,000 on the Scoville Scale, it isn’t too hot to enjoy in a variety of uses.

The flavors in the El Yucateco hot sauces garner passionate fans (I may be one of them), and there’s even an El Yucateco gear store where you can find cool products to show off your love of El Yucateco. There is both men’s and women’s apparel from board shorts for summer weather (it will come again, right?) to hoodies for the winter. I love the raglan tees and wish they had more of them.

I may not have been wearing an El Yucateco embroidered tee while making my chili this past weekend (football season – gotta go with team gear!), but once we had the last ingredients, we were ready to go. This batch started out on Saturday morning while my husband was out coaching at a tournament and cooked all day on low. I may have even let it cook on low overnight after we enjoyed it for dinner to intensify the flavors even more. All I have to say is that we have some happy tummies, especially after I set up a chili bar with our favorite fixings. While we include the traditional cheese and onion, I also like to add oyster crackers and diced avocado – and of course more El Yucateco hot sauce for my husband who likes his chili extra spicy!

DIY Chili Bar Components

Making Crockpot Chili

Beautiful bowl of loaded crockpot chili

This is one of those recipes that isn’t just easy, it’s stupid easy. If you can brown ground beef, you can make this crockpot chili. You start by browning your beef. We tend to use a lower fat beef, which means we don’t need to drain as much fat from it at the end. If you use a less lean ground beef, make sure to remove the excess fat.

Brown ground beef

While your beef is browning, dice an onion. You’ll use a little over half of it in your chili and save the remainder for topping your crockpot chili later. Once your onion in diced, add it to your ground beef and let it cook with the ground beef. Don’t know how to chop an onion? I created a quick video tutorial to make it easy.

Once your ground beef is fully cooked (and drained), add it to your crockpot, along with your beans, tomatoes, pepper, and tomato paste. Fill your tomato paste can with water and add that, as well. Stir to distribute the tomato paste and cover.

Add tomatoes and beans to meat and onion

Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or longer). After it has been cooking for four or so hours, add in the chili powder and your El Yucateco red habanero sauce and stir again.

Add El Yucateco hot sauce to chili

When you are ready to serve, add the lime juice and vanilla and stir. Check for flavor and add salt, pepper, lime juice, or hot sauce, as needed. Serve your crockpot chili with your favorite toppings. This tastes even better the second day, reheated in your crockpot.

Perfect bowl of chili

Crockpot Chili Recipe

This crockpot chili is easy to make and so delicious. It's even better the second day when the flavors meld more! The vanilla is your secret ingredient to great chili!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Michelle


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup onion chopped
  • 15 ounces cans diced tomato
  • 16 ounces cans chili beans one mild and one medium
  • 6 ounces can tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 limes juiced


  • Brown ground beef. While beef is browning, chop the onion and add to the beef to cook with it. Drain grease from beef once cooked.
    1 pound ground beef, 3/4 cup onion
  • Add beef, onion, tomato, chili beans, tomato paste, garlic, pepper, salt, and water to the crockpot. Turn to low and cook 6-8 hours.
    15 ounces cans diced tomato, 16 ounces cans chili beans, 6 ounces can tomato paste, 4 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 6 ounces water
  • After 2-4 hours of cooking, add the chili powder and El Yucateco hot sauce. Continue cooking.
    1 teaspoon chili powder, 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • Before serving, add the vanilla and lime juice. Stir to distribute and taste, adjusting flavors as needed.
    2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 limes


  • This tastes even better the second day, reheated in your crockpot.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1068mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Have you ever made crockpot chili? What’s your favorite hot sauce recipe?

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  1. […] love chili in all its forms, but my kids aren’t huge fans of my husband’s traditional chili recipe, so I like to mix it up when I make it for them. Thai is one of their favorite foods, so this time, […]

  2. This sounds so perfect for the cold winter months! Thanks for sharing on the Tasty Tuesdays link up 🙂

  3. This chilli looks like a winner to me so comforting thanks for participating in this shop #client

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