I love this chili recipe because it has an amazing southwest flair that is out of this world delicious! With this southwest chili, you'll put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, set it, and forget it. You don't even have to brown the meat first! Talk about the ultimate convenient slow cooker recipe ever!
This is the best chili recipe and let me just say, you can't go wrong with a big bowl of southwestern chili, especially as we are entering into the cooler weather months. I love the fall season for so many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because I get to start making soups and stews. And this is the best southwestern chili recipe you'll make all season! The chili seasoning is simple, convenient, and oh so flavorful!
ℹ️ Why This Recipe Works
1. It's extremely versatile and can be eaten on top of hot dogs (hello, chili cheese dogs!), on top of rice, or noodles, or on its own.
2. The preparation for this recipe requires no effort at all because you're literally going to add all the chili ingredients into the slow cooker and let it do all the work. You don't even have to brown the ground beef first!
3. This is a southwestern chili that is hearty, filling, and super flavorful. It's the ultimate comfort food!
There are so many different variations of chili recipes you can make. Some can be made with ground beef, like this thick and hearty classic chili. And then there are white chili recipes out there, like my white chicken chili that is both healthy and full of robust flavors. There are also a lot of meat choices you can use in chili recipes. As for beef, both ground beef and steak are great choices. I've used sirloin and boneless ribeye in the place of ground beef with much success. Even using ground venison is a good option. If you want to use poultry, try using ground chicken or ground turkey. A southwest turkey chili is just as flavorful as the beef based version.
🛒 Ingredients You'll Need
This southwest chili contains the simplest ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store. And let me tell you...this recipe is the epitome of easy. Why spend time browning the meat when the slow cooker can do it for you? With this recipe, it only takes 10 minutes to prep and that's only because you need to chop the onion and green pepper and then open the cans. From there, just add the chili ingredients and chili seasoning to the slow cooker, stir, and set it to cook on low.
I use corn kernels, green chiles, and salsa which is what makes this chili recipe southwest style. The best beans for chili are typically pinto beans. But in this recipe, I use black beans and kidney beans. The chili seasoning I use contains chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper.
📋 Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions
This is the easiest slow cooker recipe you will ever make. Start by dicing the onion, green pepper, and garlic cloves and put them in the slow cooker. Then, open the cans of corn and beans and drain the liquid. Add the raw ground beef, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salsa, and green chiles to the slow cooker, ensuring to stir all the ingredients together until well combined.
Put the lid on and set the slow cooker to low and allow it to cook for 8-10 hours. This over the top chili is a huge crowd pleaser and will quickly become a favorite in your house!
👩🍳 Chili Toppings
There are endless choices when it comes to toppings for chili. I love adding freshly grated cheddar cheese. My husband loves adding mayonnaise and my daughter likes to add sour cream. My son likes to crumbled up Fritos for a topping. You can also top this recipe fresh avocado, black olives, and tortilla chips. You really can't go wrong with any chili toppings you end up using.
Absolutely! Since it's going to slow cook for 8-10 hours along with the other ingredients, why spend the time browning the meat? It's going to completely cook during the slow cooking process and the added fat will add more flavor.
Yes you can! After I make a big batch and let it cool, I put it in a 1-gallon plastic sealable bag. Make sure you flatten it out before placing it in the freezer. If should last for about 6 months. When you're ready to warm it up, take the bag out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. From there, warm it up on the stovetop.
💭 Expert Tips
- If you're looking for incredible flavor, use an 80% or 85% lean ground beef. If you want less fat, try 93% or 96% lean ground beef.
- My kids tell me this is the best chili to add on top of hot dogs. Making homemade chili for hotdogs is just the best!
- Using quinoa is also a great choice if you're trying to make a vegan or vegetarian version. Quinoa chili is hearty and delicious. Or, just skip the meat completely and stick with the beans.
- Don't skip the corn. Chili with corn is so good and really sets this recipe apart from other chili recipes you'll find out there.
🥘 What To Serve With Chili
Have you ever put rice or noodles on the bottom of your chili bowl? It’s SO fantastic! When growing up, my mom used to serve ours with cooked spaghetti noodles topped with freshly grated cheddar cheese. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat it to this day! Cornbread is always a favorite to serve alongside, but my Quick Peppery Cheese Bread pairs so well with this southwest style chili. I also love pairing it with my Firehouse Salad. The different variations of beans provide a great combination for this meal.
Slow Cooker Southwestern Chili
- Slow Cooker
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 3 10 ounce jars of pace salsa, mild or medium
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 4 ounce can green chiles
- Start by dicing the onion, green pepper, and garlic clove and put them in the slow cooker.
- Add the uncooked ground beef, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, ground black pepper, salsa, black beans, kidney beans, corn, and chiles into the slow cooker. NOTE: There is no need to ground the beef before putting it into the Crock-Pot, but you can if you want.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Serve with your favorite toppings such as crackers, cornbread, rice, and or noodles.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- You may be questioning my logic about not browning the ground beef before adding it to the crockpot. Since it's going to slow cook for 8-10 hours along with the other ingredients, why spend the time browning the meat? It's going to completely cook during the slow cooking process.
- If you're looking for incredible flavor, use an 80% or 85% fat ground beef. If you want less fat, try 93% or 96% beef.
- My kids tell me this is the best to add on top of hot dogs. Perfect for either lunch or dinner!
- Can you freeze this chili? Yes you can! I eat soups all year long so after I make a big batch and let it cool, I put it in a 1-gallon plastic sealable bag. Make sure you flatten it out before placing it in the freezer. It should keep for about 6 months in the freezer. When you're ready to warm it up, take the bag out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. From there, warm it up on the stovetop.
I originally featured this recipe on Eazy Peazy Mealz.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in October of 2016, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures and tips in September 2021.