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Southern Crock Pot Chili Recipe

Southern slow cooker chili recipe
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Tasty Southern Crock Pot Chili Recipe

There were a lot of great things from my childhood and the food I ate left me with tons of great memories. The chili my grandmother would make is one of those and while she usually made it on stove top, I decided to make it in a slow cooker. 

It’s not loaded with tons of different ingredients and is fairly simple to make. In fact, it’s pretty quick to make if you decide to make it on stove top since the crock pots longer cooking time is the only reason this recipe will take a while. 

Also, if you’re looking for other hearty slow cooker recipes, try our Slow Cooker Beef Stew!


Chili Ingredients

The list of ingredients isn’t that long. One of my favorite things of southern recipes are the use of very few ingredients but always having the right combination for a rich and hearty flavor. 

The list includes:

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 (28 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes (or fresh)
  • 1 (28 oz.) Can Tomato Sauce (or fresh)
  • 2 (12 oz.) Cans Bushes Baked Beans

I use premade diced tomatoes and tomato sauce since it’s easier. However, if you’re inclined to make it from scratch it will taste even better with fresh ingredients. Also, you can use your own beans for the chili but I recommend using Bushes since it adds a southern flavor. 


How Slow Cooker Chili Is Made

There are a few different ways to prepare chili and using a slow cooker allows for some ingredients to not be precooked. However, I never risk under cooking ingredients so I start off by thoroughly browning the beef in a pan. While I’m browning the beef, I’ll have a second pan for partially caramelizing the onions with chopped garlic cloves added in. 

The reason I cook them separate is to drain a lot of the fat from the beef after it’s been browned, that way I don’t lose any of the flavor from the onion and garlic when it’s added. 

After the beef is browned, I mix in the garlic onion mixture into the crockpot. I don’t bother stirring yet as I will add in the rest of the seasonings and ingredients into the crockpot. The reason I season after the beef is browned is the same as why I brown the beef apart from the onion/garlic, to not lose any seasoning when draining the fat. 

Once all of the chili ingredients are combined in the crockpot, I stir to thoroughly mix the chili and set the crockpot to cook on high for 3 hours. Occasionally, I’ll stir the chili and check on it because I’m impatient when it comes to food. 

Three hours later and the chili will be ready to serve!


What Kind Of Bread To Serve With Chili

Most bread will pair alright with chili, but the most common go to is cornbread! Cornbread offers a sweet, but not too sweet, contrast with hot and hearty chili. Despite growing up in Georgia, I’m not the biggest fan of cornbread and opt for other breads or sides. 

Another bread option would be simple buttered rolls. I’m lazy and usually just buy a pack of Hawaiian rolls and call it good, but homemade work just as well!


What To Serve With Chili Besides Cornbread

There are endless options for side dishes you can serve with chili, but not all of them will be that delectable. Thankfully, there are still plenty of options that go incredibly well with chili. Some examples of great sides/combos for chili are:

  • Chips (tortilla)
  • Bread/Breadsticks
  • Tacos (combo)
  • Potato Skins
  • Hot Dogs
  • French Fries
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Salads


Can This Chili Be Made On Stove Top?

Originally this recipe was made on stovetop, so there’s no reason you can mix all of the ingredients together in a large pot the same way I do for a crockpot. I recommend preparing the beef, onion, and garlic the same way I do though. 

The cook time will also vary for this and would only take around 20-25 minutes on a medium low heat, stirring often.


How Long Does Chili Take To Cook On The Stove

Time to cook varies a lot on the heat applied and the equipment used. If you’re planning on cooking your chili on low heat, it could take as long as 50 minutes if it’s in a standard sized pot. 

However, if you’re cooking on medium to high heat (not too high), you can expect some cooked chili in as little as 20 minutes. 


Finger Foods That Go With Chili

Finger foods are the best sides for chili as they don’t take away from the central part of the meal and offer a small improvement for taste. 

My favorite finger food with chili is tortilla chips! They work well as a dipping tool and go just as well crumbled up in the chili. A few other great options are bread and French Fries, although I think French Fries can go with anything. 


What Sandwich Goes With Chili

The best sandwich that can go with chili is a simple grilled cheese sandwich. Grilled cheese is nothing complicated and takes no time to make properly, making it the perfect side to cook while you wait for the chili to finish. 


Best Chili Toppings

What you add to your chili is entirely up to you. That being said, there are some common chili toppings that are more preferred for how great they go with this hearty meal. Some great options for chili toppings are:

  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Breadcrumbs 
  • Bacon Crumbles
  • Guacamole
  • Jalapeno 
  • Olives
  • Peppers
  • Honey
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Lime Wedges


Dark Red Kidney Beans vs Light Red Kidney Beans 

Red kidney beans are very common in chilis and soups for their texture and great taste. Dark red kidney beans are usually bright in color with a thick skin, while light red kidney beans are lighter in color and don’t have as thick of a skin.

While there are small differences in nutritional value between the two kidney beans, they share a lot of similar traits other than their durability. Because of this, the main difference between deciding between the two will be the desired texture you want in your chili or soup. If you want a chewy bean with a rougher texture, then dark red kidney beans should be used. Alternatively, if you want less chewy and an easy to eat texture, then light red kidney beans are perfect. 


Southern slow cooker chili recipe

Southern Crock Pot Chili Recipe

A delicious and hearty southern chili recipe filled with beef and beans!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 354 kcal


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 (28 oz. can) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (28 oz. can) Tomato Sauce
  • 2 (12 oz. can) Bushes Baked Beans


  • Brown ground beef in a skillet or large pan. Once partially brown, drain fat from the pan, then add in onion and chopped garlic cloves and continue cooking until fully browned.
  • Combine browned beef mixture and tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bushed baked beans, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper into a crock pot or slow cooker.
  • Cook chili mixture on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve with desired sides and toppings.
Keyword chili recipe, slow cooker chili, southern crock pot chili


Helpful Recipe Conversions

You might have a different measurement for your ingredients, so here are some helpful conversions to make it easier to follow the recipe.

Grams to Cups Conversion Table

Tablespoons to Cups

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