Are you looking for an easy slow cooker recipe to impress your family and friends? Look no further than our slow cooker chilli con carne!
This dish is simple to make and can be tailored to your taste. You can add as much or as little spice as you like and substitute ground beef for pork, chicken, or turkey.
We'll give you all the tips to make this chilli con carne perfect every time, including cooking and serving suggestions. So what are you waiting for? Start cooking now!
Perfect for feeding a crowd (or meal-prepping for the week ahead)! No need to check on it whilst it's cooking. Throw the ingredients in the pot early afternoon. Spend time with your family and friends; dinner will be ready and waiting when you are.
I will break down the ingredients for you so you can easily slow-cook your yummy beef mince chilli con carne!
Use any cooking oil to fry the onion and brown the mince lightly. If you want to keep it lean, use fry light spray. If using a 20% beef mince, you will have enough fat from the mince and won't need oil.
You can use any minced beef you like; lean beef keeps the dish healthy with less saturated fat. Or, for a more traditional chilli con carne, go for a higher fat-content mince.
You could also change it by using pork, chicken, lamb or turkey mince instead.
Frozen mince works better for slow cooker chill con carne as it breaks down more and doesn't dry out.
Onion is crucial for most slow cooker recipes as it helps build flavour. Use red, white or brown onion. Or you can use shallots for a more subtle, sweeter onion flavour.
We like to use the beef stock pots (knorr rich beef) as they add great rich flavour. However, you could use beef or vegetable stock cubes/powder instead.
Although the stock cubes state mixing with 500ml boiling water, we recommend only using 250ml, which results in a nice thick chilli.
We use tinned tomatoes in chilli con carne, but fresh chopped tomatoes would work just as well,
Tomato paste or puree helps thicken the sauce and gives it a lovely, rich tomato flavour.
Here in the UK, canned kidney beans are the most common bean used in a chilli con carne. However, you can use any beans that you like. Black beans, pinto beans and even chickpeas would all work well as a substitute for kidney beans.
I like to use garlic puree as it's easy. However, you could use freshly chopped garlic cloves or garlic granules in this recipe.
The amount of chilli powder to use is entirely up to you and how much spice you like. Use one teaspoon (very mild), one tablespoon (medium hot) or two tablespoons (very hot). You can also buy different heat chilli powders, so adjust accordingly.
I usually use 1 tablespoon of hot chilli powder, which gives a nice heat without overpowering.
Ground cumin is one of the essential spices in many Mexican dishes; it gives the chilli con carne a lovely smoky flavour. Smoked paprika can help.
Cinnamon might seem like an odd ingredient, but trust me, it works! It gives the chilli a lovely, warming flavour.
Salt & Pepper
As with all recipes, season to your taste; you can always add more once cooked.
Add fresh green chillies or red chilli if you want extra heat. Cut a slit lengthways down the chilli to remain intact at the stem.
Add to the slow cooker for the during cooking. Remove before serving (or give to the family member who loves chilli?)
When serving younger children, a fantastic family meal idea is to cook the chilli con carne mild.
Serve the kids' chilli with some sour cream. Then stir in some chilli sauce or add chilli flakes to the adult's portions.
Adding extra vegetables is optional; we like to add mushrooms, sweetcorn, and red pepper. (but I forgot to buy it when we cooked it this time!)
You could add other veggies such as red pepper, grated carrot, celery or courgette. Let us know what you add.
Coriander, or cilantro as it is sometimes called, is the perfect herb to garnish your chilli. It brightens up the dish and gives it a lovely, fresh flavour.
Use the stems to add during cooking, and save the coriander leaves for garnishing.
There are so many ways that you can change up this slow cooker chilli con carne recipe to suit your taste.
As I've mentioned, you can use different types of minced meat, beans and vegetables.
You could also add other spices such as smoked paprika, oregano, a splash of Worcestershire sauce or some swear that adding dark chocolate makes it even better! (Not for me)
For a vegetarian option, try using Quorn mince and vegetable stock cubes.
For a vegan option, use soya mince and vegetable stock cubes.
Chilli Con Carne - Slow Cooker Advice
The great thing about slow cookers is that you can set and forget. Add all the ingredients into the pot and leave it to do its thing.
I would recommend cooking on low for best results. You could cook it on high, but I find that the beef can become a little tough.
When slow cooking a chilli con carne, it is best to saute onion and raw mince in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil (if needed). This helps to build flavour and also prevents the beef from drying out.
Cook mince and onion until the meat has browned, then add to the slow cooker pot.
If you're short on time, you can skip this step and add the beef mince and onion straight into the pot.
Add the other ingredients and use a slotted spoon to give all the ingredients a good stir. You will not stir it again for hours so make sure it combines well.
Do not feel tempted to open the lid any time during cooking with a slow cooker; if you do, you will need to add at least 30 minutes to the cooking time.
The general rule for slow cooker cooking is "low and slow". You should cook most items on the low setting for an extended period rather than cooking on high for a shorter time.
I recommend cooking this slow cooker chilli recipe on low heat for 5-6 hours.
If you're in a hurry, cooking on high for 4 hours will also work. However, I find the beef can become a little tough, and the chilli sauce is not so thick when cooked on high.
You can serve this slow cooker chilli con carne in so many ways.
One of our favourite things to serve it with is some plain white rice and grated tasty cheese. We also like to add a wedge of lime, some jalapenos and freshly chopped coriander leaves.
If you want a lighter option, try serving it with steamed broccoli or green beans.
For extra spice, sprinkle some chilli flakes or smoked paprika on top. To cool it down, serve with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped coriander leaves.
This slow cooker chilli con carne is an excellent meal for the whole family, and I should mention, should there be any, that the leftovers taste even better the next day!
All the flavours have had time to mingle and meld together overnight, so if you can, try and resist the urge to eat it all in one go! Or double it up!
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne
- Splash of Olive Oil or Spray Oil
- 500 g Beef Mince
- 1 Onion diced
- 1 Beef Stock Pot Knorr Rich Beef
- 250 ml Boiling Water to mix with stock pot
- 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 tin Kidney beans drained
- 1 tin Sweetcorn drained
- 250 g Mushrooms sliced
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 5 cloves Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Hot chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Salt and Pepper
- Small handful fresh coriander stems for cooking - keep leaves for garnish
To serve - Optional
- Small handful Coriander leaves saved from earlier
- Sour Cream
- Cheese grated
- Jacket Potatoes
- Tortilla Chips
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, saute onion and mince until the mince has browned.500 g Beef Mince, 1 Onion, Splash of Olive Oil or Spray Oil
- Transfer browned mince to the slow cooker pot. Drain some fat away if you want a healthier meal.
- Mix the beef stock pot with boiling water and add to the slow cooker.1 Beef Stock Pot, 250 ml Boiling Water
- Add the tinned ingredients, tomato paste and garlic, and give a good stir with a slotted spoon.1 tin Chopped Tomatoes, 1 tin Kidney beans, 1 tin Sweetcorn, 250 g Mushrooms, 2 tablespoon Tomato Puree, 5 cloves Garlic
- Add the herbs and spices, and stir once more.1 tablespoon Hot chilli powder, 1 teaspoon Ground cumin, 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon Salt and Pepper, Small handful fresh coriander
- Place lid on and for the best results cook on low heat setting for 5-6 hours.Or if in a hurry you can cook on high for 4 hours.Do not open the lid during cooking, it will not need stirring!
- Once finished, remove the lid and stir; it is ready to serve.If you want to thicken it some more leave it on low for 30 minutes with the lid off.
- Serve with a sprinkle of chopped coriander leaves on top.Small handful Coriander leaves, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Cheese, Jalapeno, Jacket Potatoes, Rice, Tortilla Chips, Pasta, Chips
The slow cooker chilli con carne will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days or can be frozen for up to three months.
To reheat, defrost (if frozen), and heat in a pan over medium heat until hot.
You could also reheat in the microwave, heat for two minutes, stir and then heat in 1-minute intervals until piping hot.
If the chilli is too thick, add a splash of water or beef stock and heat through.
Chilli con carne, or "chilli with meat", is a Tex-Mex dish that has been around for centuries.
The earliest known recipe dates back to the 1800s and was likely created by Mexican immigrants looking to make their native dishes more palatable to American tastes.
Over the years, the dish has evolved and become a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine, and every country now seems to have their variety.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
If you're looking for more easy and delicious slow cooker recipes, look no further; we have some right here.
More Mince Beef Recipes
Check out some of our other recipes which contain minced beef.
Have you made this slow cooker chilli con carne recipe?
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With just a few simple ingredients, it's sure to become a family favourite.