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Credit: Photos: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Design: Kitchn
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5 (Super-Easy) Slow Cooker Chilis You Can Make with Just 6 Ingredients

updated Oct 25, 2019
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As the temperature begins to drop and the leaves start to turn, there’s only one thing I want to be cooking: chili. There’s not much to complain about when you’ve got a big bowl of warm chili in front of you, piled high with garnishes (and ideally paired with cornbread). Better yet, there are so many different ways to make it! 

Growing up in the Midwest, I ate a lot of chili. My mom would cook up a massive batch of slow cooker chili both for tailgates and easy weeknight meals, which taught me that slow cooker chilis are the perfect set-it-and-forget-it mealtime solution. The only downside? They often contain upwards of 10 or 20 ingredients.

I’m here to change up your slow cooker chili game by showing you that a delicious chili can be made with just six ingredients — and still pack in a ton of flavor. Here are five easy chili recipes that will cut your meal prep time to 10 minutes or less.

5 (6-ingredient) Recipes for Slow Cooker Chili

The ingredients: All recipes call for six simple ingredients, not including salt, pepper, olive oil, and garnishes. All recipes serve four to six people. 

The chili formula: Each chili is based off this formula: protein (optional) + vegetables + legumes + spices + liquid + toppings. This allows you to make any chili your way. 

The slow cooker: All recipes were made in a six-quart slow cooker. You can choose one of two methods of cooking your chili: low or high. If you want to combine the ingredients in the morning and let the chili cook throughout the workday, cook it on LOW for eight hours. For Saturday game-day preparation, you may want to cook it on HIGH for four to six hours.

Credit: Photos: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Design: Kitchn

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili 

Place 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen peppers and onions, 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed black beans, 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed chickpeas, 1 (10-ounce) can mild tomatoes with green chiles, 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until the flavors are combined, 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 6 hours on HIGH. Garnish with Greek yogurt, cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips, and hot sauce, if desired. 

Get the full recipe: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Credit: Photos: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Design: Kitchn

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili 

Place 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen peppers and onions, 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices, 2 (14-ounce) cans drained and rinsed large red kidney beans, 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 1 (1-ounce) chili spice packet, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in a slow cooker. Stir to combine; nestle in 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 6 hours on HIGH. Shred the chicken with two forks. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, and hot sauce, if desired.

Get the full recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Credit: Photos: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Design: Kitchn

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili 

Place 1 medium diced red onion (about 1 cup), 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices, 1 cup rinsed dried green lentils, 1 medium peeled and diced sweet potato, 1 1/2 cups water, 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until sweet potato and lentils are tender, 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 6 hours on HIGH. Thirty minutes before serving, stir in 1 cup stemmed and chopped flat-leaf kale leaves. Garnish with coconut yogurt or pickled red onion, if desired.

Get the full recipe: Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

Credit: Photos: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Design: Kitchn

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound ground turkey and cook, breaking up meat into small pieces, until browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes and their juices, 1 (12-ounce) lager beer, 2 (14-ounce) cans drained and rinsed black beans, 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen peppers and onions, 1 (1-ounce) taco seasoning packet, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until flavors are combined, 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 6 hours on HIGH. Garnish with Greek yogurt, sliced scallions, hot sauce, and shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. 

Get the full recipe: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Credit: Photos: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Design: Kitchn

Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 small diced white onion (about 1/2 cup) and 3 minced garlic cloves. Cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce, 1 cup water, 1 (2.25-ounce) Cincinnati Chili Spice packet, 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until flavors are combined, 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 6 hours on HIGH. Serve over cooked spaghetti, topped with finely shredded cheddar cheese, raw diced white onion, and hot sauce. 

Get the full recipe: Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili