Slow Cooker Taco Chili is easy, soul warming and delicious. Ground beef cooks with onion, garlic and homemade taco seasoning before being added in a slow cooker with beans, chiles, crushed fire-roasted tomatoes and corn. Serve this taco chili in bowl with all your favorite toppings! Yields 6 servings.
So I’m sort of writing this post mid slow cooking and I just pulled the lid off of my slow cooker to give the chili a taste test.
Oh my heavens.
It’s taco-y but still retains the credibility to call it chili. Basically this is all the things you love about tacos, in chili form! This recipe has your typical chili ingredients like; beef and beans, but also has fire-roasted tomatoes, corn, diced green chiles and is seasoned with homemade taco seasoning. And it’s served with corn chips and a plethora of toppings. Just how I like it.
And believe it or not, but the leftovers are even more delicious the next day.
To Make This Slow Cooker Taco Chili You Will Need:
- Olive oil spray – Or avocado oil spray.
- lean ground beef – I like to use the 90/10 ratio.
- yellow onion – Adds a subtle sweet onion flavor.
- garlic – Adds distinct punchy flavor.
- kosher salt – Enhances flavor to this recipe.
- taco seasoning – I like to use homemade taco seasoning so I can control the sodium.
- pinto beans – I like to use canned beans for ease.
- black beans – I like to use canned beans for ease.
- crushed fire-roasted tomatoes – Fire-roasted tomatoes adds additional flavor to this recipe, however, regular can be substituted.
- frozen sweet corn – Or use fresh.
- canned diced green chiles – Use mild for less spice.
optional toppings for serving:
- plain nonfat greek yogurt or sour cream
- shredded cheddar or cheddar jack cheese
- bell pepper pico de gallo (included in this post)
- sliced green onions
- black olives
- corn chips of your liking
In a deep skillet heated over medium-high heat, mist with olive oil and then the 2 pounds lean ground beef, 1 chopped yellow onion and 3 cloves minced garlic.
Once the ground beef is cooked and the onion is soft and translucent, add in 4 tablespoons taco seasoning. You could make this step the night before and add everything in the morning before heading out the door.
Use a slotted spoon to drain the meat from the fat and then transfer the ground beef/onion mixture to the crock pot. If a little fat get’s into the pot, it won’t hurt a thing. 🙂
Add in 1 can each (drained and rinsed) pinto and black beans, 2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles, 3/4 cup sweet corn and 1 (28 ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes.
Give that a quick stir before covering and cooking on low for 6 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
Alternatively, you could make this whole thing in a dutch oven on your stove top, simmering for 30 to 40 minutes over medium-low heat.
Before serving, give it one last stir and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if desired.
To Make The Pepper Pico de Gallo You Will Need:
- red bell pepper
- orange bell pepper
- roma tomato
- red onion
- lime juice
- kosher salt
While the taco chili is in the slow cooker, add 1 seeded and diced roma tomato, 1/2 of both a diced red and orange bell pepper, 1/2 a diced red onion, 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and the juice of half a lime.
Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Spoon the slow cooker taco chili into bowls and top with Greek yogurt (or sour cream), shredded cheese, pepper pico, black olives and green onions.
Serve with tortilla chips, Fritos (<— our favorite) or with Mexican corn cake.
Don’t Have A Slow Cooker?
This recipe doesn’t have to be made in a slow cooker. It can easily be a one-pot wonder by cooking it in a dutch oven and simmering for 30 to 40 minutes.
How To Freeze Chili And Reheat Later:
- COOL: make sure the chili is completely cool before freezing. Never place hot or very warm items in the freezer (or fridge!) as it can thaw and negatively affect the nearby food.
- PORTION: when cool, divide chili into portions. Whether it’s a single serving, two or four, portion the cooled chili into either freezer safe bags or air-tight containers. I prefer using freezer safe bags and removing as much air as possible, this helps with storing.
- FLATTEN: once portioned, lay flat on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Like in this post.
- STORE: stack the flat frozen chili portions vertically or horizontally saving so much freezer space. Store chili in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- REHEAT: I prefer to thaw frozen chili overnight in the fridge. However you can soak in a sink of lukewarm water for 20 to 30 minutes – flip every so often and change out the water at least once or twice. You can also defrost in the microwave until thawed. Lastly, add thawed chili to saucepan or dutch oven and heat until thoroughly heated throughout.
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Enjoy! And if you give this Slow Cooker Taco Chili recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!