I've been making variations on a crock pot chili recipe for the last few months and finally have a combination we really like.


1.5 - 2 pounds of ground beef
1 medium red onion
1/2 medium or large yellow onion
1/2 - 1 cup of frozen yellow sweet corn [see notes below]
1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 14-16 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes [see notes below]
2 15-15 oz. cans of pinto beans [see notes below]
1 11.5 oz. can of V8 juice (hot if you can find it, regular otherwise)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper


Chop the red onion and add it with the ground beef. Brown over medium heat.

While the meat and onion are browning, add beans, V8, and spices to the crockpot. Chop green pepper, yellow onion, and jalapeno and add them as well.

Once the meat has browned and onions softened, add them to the crock pot as well.

Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve with freshly made corn bread or fresh noodles. Optionally top with shredded cheddar cheese and onion. Enjoy with a nice cold beer, if that's your sort of thing. :-)


Safeway sells 15 oz. cans of Pinto Beans that are "Mexican Chili Pinto Beans." They work very well if you can find them.

Safeway also sells 14.5 oz. cans of Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil. Also highly recommended. Some people use canned Stewed Tomatoes in their recipes but I find them to be too chunky. I like a nice uniformly thick chili.

Trader Joe's sells some truly excellent frozen Organic Super Sweet Cut Corn. Get it if you can. They also sell a good corn bred mix.

Posted by jzawodn at January 10, 2009 01:16 PM

Reader Comments
# Derek said:

"I've been making variations on a cock pot chili recipe"

WOW... is your wife cool with that?

on January 10, 2009 02:20 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

She *loves* it! :-)

[Typo fixed. Thanks.]

on January 10, 2009 02:24 PM
# shadowfirebird said:

Although, if you can make that chilli, you can certainly make cornbread from scratch. And it will taste lots better.

on January 10, 2009 02:29 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

I'd love to. Do you have a good recipe?

on January 10, 2009 02:30 PM
# shadowfirebird said:

I'll leave it up to you to decide if it's good or not. It's simple.

dry ingredients: 1,5 cups cornmeal; 0.5 cups flour; 2tsp baking powder; 1tsp sugar; 1tsp onion or garlic salt; >= 1tsp dried herbs.

wet ingredients: 1.5 cups milk; 1tsp vinegar; 1tbsp oil; 1 beaten egg.

1) mix together the dry ingredients.
2) mix together the wet ingredients in a big bowl.
3) add the dry to the wet a little at a time, stirring as you go.
4) mix some more and adjust consistency by adding milk if necessary. A few lumps are okay. Should be a liquid but only just.
5) pour into a greased tray (rub with butter) to a depth of no more than an inch.
6) Bake for about 20 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

Made for fiddling with. Don't have an egg, vinegar, oil, herbs? Leave them out -- it still works. Immeasurably improved by grated cheese, fresh herbs, corn, cooked bacon, chopped chilli, whatever.

Hope that made sense.

on January 10, 2009 02:52 PM
# Geof F. Morris said:

I take it that this is sized for a 4-qt. crock pot? I ask only because I have a 2-qt. and want to make sure I size it down appropriately. :)

on January 10, 2009 03:11 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Geof, yes. Good point. This is a 4 quart pot.

on January 10, 2009 03:21 PM
# Shirley said:

Shadowfirebird, looks like a good recipe -- but what is the oven temperature? and what size pan to use -- loaf pan? 8" square? 8"x13"? thanks

on January 10, 2009 03:37 PM
# Peeping Tom said:

The recipe sounds good but I would add more chili powder and use cubed beef rather than ground. Also, red bell pepper rather than green. I usually use eye of round since it is one of the leanest cuts of beef when trimmed properly, and it is a fairly cheap cut (at C*stco around $3 and change/lb.). I have not cooked chili in the crock pot but the beef cut I use would benefit from the low and slow cooking.

on January 10, 2009 05:19 PM
# BCS said:

Try the slow cooked version.

Go get a big, cheep, boneless rost. Cut it cross grain into 3/8 - 1/2 in slabs. Throw that in with the liquids, spices and onions. Start it cooking on low. Make breakfast. After lunch add everything else and cook as usual.

on January 10, 2009 08:07 PM
# Joe Zawodny said:

Replace the 1 green pepper and 1 Jalapeno pepper with either 3 New Mexico Roasted Big Jim peppers or, best of all, 6 Roasted Sandia Peppers.

After all, chili needs to have real chilies.

on January 11, 2009 06:57 AM
# Robert Spychala said:

Thanks for the chilly recipe. My own interpretation is getting slow cooked as I type this.




on January 11, 2009 11:50 AM
# Aimee said:

Chili is one of my faves and guess what I just bought a crockpot this weekend.I am slow cooking some BBQ pork as I write.I'm new to cooking with crockpots and very excited I'll be sure to try your chili recipe.

on January 11, 2009 01:03 PM
# Rob said:

For cornbread I find no better than "Jiffy" brand sold in little boxes. The "johnny cake" recipe on the side is great.

Our chili doesn't use corn but does use more chili powder.

on January 12, 2009 12:49 PM
# Primerjava cen said:

You got a point.

on January 14, 2009 06:34 AM
# Chelle said:

I never thought to use V8 juice in chili. I might have to think about adding the V8 sometime, I'd imagine it would make it a little more soupier. (If soupier is even a word, I am not sure!)

I usually make mine with diced tomatoes, red & green peppers & onions (our grocery store sells a bag of them frozen and mixed together which is a huge time saver!) corn, black & pinto beans and the chili seasoning stuff that I have. I think ALL chili needs a little shredded cheese on top too :)

Another good chili recipe is white chicken chili - its made with navy beans instead of pinto and chicken instead of beef. I can't remember off the top of my head how to make it, but McCormick sells seasoning packets for it with a recipe.

on January 16, 2009 11:22 AM
# kellan said:

You're missing one of the key ingredients for all good chilis, while you're drinking one of those cold (preferably dark) beers, you should pour another one into the chili.

on January 17, 2009 04:22 PM
# Kent Brewster said:

If it's got beans in it, it's not chili. It's beans. :)


on January 29, 2009 09:40 PM
# said:

Just made this chili and it was wonderful!! I made a few modifications that I thought I would share....

1 can pinto beans and 1 can black beans (just to mix it up)

Left out the jalapenos and pepper as my husband doesn't like them

used regular V8 b/c I couldn't find the spicy and added in a little tobasco

uses small can sweet corn

made cornbread from a mix and it was DELICIOUS!! Thanks for sharing!!

on February 4, 2009 02:11 PM
# said:

why do you brown meat and onions. seems like a wasted step and makes more dishes for something that will cook for 8 hours. will it work without that step?

on January 21, 2010 07:09 PM
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