Spicy Crock Pot Chili

Spicy Slow Cooker chili that can be made in a crockpot or in the oven low and slow. Added heat from serrano and jalapeno peppers and yes - this chili had beans in it!
30 mins
5 hrs
Chili 7

If you’re just getting into the world of making chili, consider this the gateway recipe.

This chili is loaded with flavor, comes out thick and flavorful every time, and is always a crowd pleaser.

My spicy chili recipe is great for throwing in the slow cooker early in the morning. Takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and by the time everyone is home from their day you have a wonderful batch of spicy chili on the table.

It’s SOLID chili recipe that I make regularly throughout the year, and the family absolutely loves it!

So lets get into the crux of how this chili is made, what’s in it, and what you’ll need to get started.

Spicy Crock Pot Chili with Ground beef beans and jalapenos and a spicy seasoning, This batch of spicy chili is a great weeknight dinner!

How to make spicy crock pot chili

Now when I think slow cooker, I think tossing it all in the crock pot and setting and forgetting. But sometimes you miss out on a dimension of flavor.

To make this crock pot chili, here’s what I like to do:

  1. Brown the meat: Whether you’re using ground beef or whole pieces of beef, browning the meat first is crucial for developing flavor and texture. Heat up a skillet on medium-high heat, add a little oil if necessary, and brown the meat until it’s fully cooked. Make sure to drain any excess grease to prevent your chili from becoming greasy.
  2. Season the meat: Once the meat is browned and drained, you can add some diced onions, garlic, and jalapeno to the skillet. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes until they’re fragrant and softened. Then, sprinkle some chili seasoning over the meat and vegetables, and stir to combine. This will infuse the meat with even more flavor.
  3. Add the meat to the crock pot: Once the meat is seasoned, transfer it to the crock pot. Make sure to scrape all of the flavorful bits from the bottom of the skillet and add them to the crock pot as well.
  4. Thicken the chili: Now it’s time to add your thickening agent. You can use canned beans, cornmeal, or masa harina (a type of corn flour). If you’re using beans, make sure to drain and blended them before adding them to the crock pot. If you’re using cornmeal or masa harina, mix it with a little water first to make a slurry, and then add it to the crock pot. This will help thicken the chili as it cooks.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients: Finally, it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients. This can include diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices, and if you’re feeling the burn – some freshly cut chili peppers. Make sure to stir everything together so that all of the flavors are evenly distributed.
  6. Cook low and slow: Set your crock pot to low heat and let the chili cook for 6-8 hours, or until the beef is tender and the flavors have melded together. Make sure to stir the chili occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the crock pot.

Don’t have a crock pot? Dutch oven cooked at 325 works just as well too! (see my youtube video… )

Spicy Crock Pot Chili with Ground beef beans, fresh peppers and a spicy seasoning, This slow cooker chili is a great weeknight dinner!

Do Beans belong in chili?


Here me out. Chili comes in all shapes and forms.

Yes, I am well aware of the controversy surrounding the addition of beans in chili is almost as heated as the debate over pineapple on pizza. Some people just can’t handle the thought of beans mingling with their meaty chili, while others embrace the legume-laden dish with open arms (and spoons).

While you may argue that the original chili recipe from Texas, the birthplace of chili, doesn’t include beans.

And yes I get it. Texas born chili aficionados believe that chili should be all about the meat and spices, and adding beans just muddles the flavors.

But from this SoCal native bean-in-chili loving guy that puts lots of words in a post where all you want to do is just get to the darn recipe, here’s my take…

Beans add texture, flavor, and nutritional value to the dish. Plus, beans have been a staple ingredient in chili for decades, so why mess with a good thing?

In the end, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Whether you like your chili with or without beans, one thing is for sure: there’s nothing like a warm bowl of chili on a cold day to warm the soul (and the stomach).

Some like there chili beanless, some like it with beans. And I love each equally – when pouring in a bowl and devouring with the family? This is it for me!

If you want to go beanless, this recipe will still work, but I’d suggest doubling the amount of meat

This is a dish I’ll make for potlucks and is always gone at the end of the day. I would never claim this ‘AWARD WINNING SPICY CHILI’ but if you want a solid chili recipe that can please others (and hey build on it my friend. make this your own!) this is it!

The Chili Seasoning

My spice mix for chili needs the following:

  • chili powder
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • oregano

How to make your chili spicy

It’s a solid base chili seasoning, and we’re going to crank up the heat by adding chili peppers to the chili. I love the flavor of serrano, jalapeno is a good starter, and sometimes I’ll add a fresh cayenne or habanero in as well.

It’s all up to you on what you prefer and what your friend and family can tolerate on the Scoville unit scale.

And just a warning.

You’re dealing with chili peppers and the capsaicin (it’s what makes peppers hot. I googled this, I’m no doctor) will stay in your fingers for awhile. So if you were to say, oh i don’t know, put your contacts in after handling the jalapenos? You’re going to have a bad time.

I’ve never done that. Not once. Not never…

Equipment For Crock Pot Chili

A Crock pot

Obviously you need a crock pot or another means of slow cooking for this recipe. As it is written, this spicy crock pot chili yields about 16 servings which will last us the week in the fridge.

so to accommodate I recommend using use a 6 qt Crock Pot for this. If you have a 4 qt, I would suggest adjusting the serving size between 8-10. Same would apply if you’re going with a Dutch oven

A Dutch Oven

As seen in the video, I enjoy cooking chili in the Dutch oven as well. I can brown the meat, drain and still have bits of that cooked on flavor left in the bottom of the Dutch oven.

And it goes right in the oven at 325 while it cooks. That is a downside. You have the oven running all day which isn’t ideal for summer.

Or if you have a pellet smoker, like a , can set it to 325 and place your Dutch oven inside your !

You can cook on the stove top, but heat management become an issue since the heat source isn’t enveloping the Dutch oven. You’ll risk burning the bottom if you don’t baby sit it all day

Instant Pot

Love it or hate it, the instant pot pressure cooking has its place. And being able to sear your food, then bring it down to a slow cook and walk away from it all in one device is where it stands out.

You can follow the exact steps in this recipe, just set your IP to sear while browning, then set it to slow cook and let it ride for the rest of the day.

Don’t want to wait all day? Set the instant pot to the Chili/Beans setting and cook them for 20 minutes, and let the pressure release.

And if you want to combine the two, check out the new instant pot dutch oven. its the best of both worlds!

Spicy Crock Pot Chili with Ground beef beans, fresh peppers and a spicy seasoning, This slow cooker chili is a great weeknight dinner!

How to make chili thicker

I’ve seen masa used, potato flakes, and even a corn starch slurry. They’re all well and good, but I’m a fan of using beans that have been pureed.

I think for this recipe in itself it makes the most sense. Maybe a chili con carne recipe or something along those lines may work better with masa or potato flakes.

Beans are a good thickening agent for chili because they contain a high amount of starch and fiber.

When beans are cooked in the chili, the starch and fiber break down and release into the liquid, creating a thick and hearty texture.

In addition to their thickening properties, beans also add flavor, nutrients, and protein to the chili.

So.. There’s that.

If you want to use a heartier meatier chili check out my latest Chipotle Chuck Wagon Chili

Garnishes for that spicy chili!

Garnishes are up to you but there some staples that you can’t miss

  • Cheese: I like using fresh shredded cheddar, sometimes a Colby jack, or a mozzarella cheddar mix is good too. the cheesier the better.
  • Onions: Some don’t like it but you have to had them out when serving. I’ll use fresh chopped white onion, but red works too and has a bit more flavor in my opinion.
  • Sour Cream: I’m not personally a fan, but know others who will put sour cream in chili so to each their own!
  • More peppers: Some love the burn, so have some fresh chopped jalapeno on hand to serve!
  • Cornbread: If there is cornbread on hand, break some up and top it over your chili. You wont be disappointed
  • Corn chips: I LOVE Frito chili pie. Either top over the chili, or place it in the bowl before pouring on your chili. It’s the best!

And save some spicy chili for leftovers, because they’re going to make a great topping for carne asada fries

Chili 7

Spicy Crock Pot Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 385kcal
Spicy Slow Cooker chili that can be made in a crockpot or in the oven low and slow. Added heat from serrano and jalapeno peppers and yes – this chili had beans in it!
Print Recipe


Chili Seasoning

  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano

Chili Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef 15% or lower
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 30 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz pinto bean
  • 32 oz Kidney Beans


  • 4-6 oz grated cheese
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1-2 large jalapenos


  • Add all the chili seasoning spices together and mix.
  • Chop the onion, jalapeno and the garlic for the meat.
  • Take about a cup of kidney beans and a cup of pinto beans and put them in a blender. Blend for 2 minutes; set aside.
  • In a cast iron skillet, Brown the ground beef over medium heat for about 5 minutes and drain.
  • Stir in about 3 tbsp of the chili seasoning, 2 tsp of salt, and the onion, garlic and half of the jalapenos.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes, chopping up the meat into small pieces.
  • Add the meat mixture, tomatoes, and beans into crock pot and stir together. Add bean paste
  • Now add the bean paste, 2-3 more tbsp of chili seasoning and remaining chopped jalapeno
  • Cook for about 4-6 hours in the crock pot on low.
  • Set heat on crock pot to warm about 30 minutes prior to serving. add the remaining 2 tsp of salt slowly, tasting as you go until you get the flavor that you want.
  • Top with garnishes and enjoy!!!




Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 640mg | Potassium: 844mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 805IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 5.5mg
Spicy Crock Pot Chili with Ground beef beans, fresh peppers and a spicy seasoning, This slow cooker chili is a great weeknight dinner!
Derek Campanile
Derek Campanile
I'm an IT professional by day. Home cook for the family by night. Follow my blog for easy to make recipes, how-to's and ideas to gather the family at the dinner table!


  1. Kathy B says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’ve been using it for years now and finally just have to leave a comment that it is the best! I wanted a recipe that my husband & son would like and this did it! I get nothing but compliments – even from my 75 year old neighbor who is very picky about what she eats!

  2. David Buckley says:

    5 stars
    Been using this recipe as my baseline for years now. And while I tend to stray and experiment, this is what I start from every single time.

  3. Lynn M Ethier says:

    5 stars
    Love the recipe, but am curious on what brand you use for your beans? I cannot find any that are 16 ounces (for the kidney beans at least) Thanks in advance.

  4. Tiffany says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this exact recipe 3 times now and absolutely LOVE it!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. Victoria says:

    5 stars
    Have tried other chili recipes but keep coming back to this one. Sooo good! Ty for sharing

  6. Joshums says:

    The nutritional information lists 1g of trans fat. Is this accurate? From whence does the trans fat come?

    • Hi Joshums! The plugin I use for my nutritional information comes from a third party database, so I believe it is accurate. I dug a little on the back-end and it appears the trans fat is coming from the ground beef.

  7. Dean says:

    Made it today although I halved it. I left out the jalapeño to soften the spiceness . Turned out great. I prepped everything the night before & grilled the meat just before starting the Crock Pot. I’ll make this again!

  8. Becca L says:

    This recipe is AMAZING. I made it for a friend but kind of want to keep it for myself. I followed all of the same directions except simmered it on the stovetop for about 2.5 hours instead of in a crockpot. I used 1.5 jalapeños for 8 servings and that gave it a pretty good kick. I really can’t get over how good this is. The flavor is amazing and it’s a really simple recipe to follow.

  9. Rick Hunter says:

    Make something similar, using either a rump roast (cut up) or stew meat. I’ll used 6 cans of beans (two each of kidney, black and chili). I go a little further on my heat: 2 cans hot Rotel, 3 jalapenos (pureed) and 6-7 habaneros (pureed). The meat I cook overnight with half of the peppers. The rest of the peppers go in with the beans, onions and garlic.

  10. AvocadoPesto says:

    Yes please this sounds delicious and I always have the horrible habit of cutting chili peppers and then instantly feeling the need to rub my eyes. It’s like they literally only get itchy after I cut up some spicy peppers! So frustrating!

  11. Tina Jui says:

    Ouch! Putting in contacts after touching peppers!

  12. Tara Sallinger Margetson says:

    Such a great looking chili! Love the photos. So perfect for autumn.

  13. Lisa Lotts says:

    I can’t tell you how many times my eyes have had a run-in with jalapeño peppers. Even after I’ve washed my hands 5 times — they still burn like crazy when I take out the contacts. I love chili — I’ve been on a turkey chili kick for a while, but you’re winning me over with this one!

  14. Shelley says:

    I totally want this for lunch right now! I love all that cheese.

  15. Kevin Greene says:

    Has anyone tried this with cubed beef as opposed to ground? Any thoughts?

  16. lenientwhale says:

    second time making this now and it’s easily one of my fav slow cooker recipes already. thanks for sharing.

  17. T.gifford says:

    Made this today && was very pleased with how it turned out. Only thing I did differently was left it in the crockpot for closer to 8 hours (work ran late) but it just brought the flavors out more. Will definitely make again!????

  18. Donna B says:

    I made this tonight, exactly as written—it looks beautiful and, Whoa Nelly! does it have some kick! Very tasty, indeed. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. Michael Ambrosio says:

    I love making chili but I like to look for different recipes and ideas. I never heard of the blended beans for thickening – I am making this tomorrow and I will leave feedback.

  20. Christina Hughes says:

    How about freezing? Anyone know how this would do if you froze portions of it after it’s cooked? As I’m the only spicy food fan I’d have to make this for just me and freeze and bring for lunches and such

    • I’ll probably be doing another batch in a week or so, I’ll make sure to throw some in the freezer and see how it comes out and update this post!

    • Michael Ambrosio says:

      I always freeze my chili. Never an issue, always good. I use those square ziploc containers, but do NOT microwave in them (in fact, don’t microwave chili in general 😉 )

  21. Petey says:

    trying this this weekend and going to try eating it with hotdogs, burgers, and fries.

  22. Michelle (Blackberry Babe) says:

    This looks so damn good. Love the idea of using the beans to thicken it up. Thanks for sharing, Derek!

    Michelle @ blackberrybabe.com

  23. KM says:

    I don’t have a blender. Would using a potatoe masher work to make bean paste? Or is there a substitute or store bought version?

    • A potato masher would work! I have heard or other ways to thicken up chili but a lot use starches or flour which i’m not really keen on.

      • KM says:

        As a update, potato masher worked and the chili came out good. However, I should have checked the size of my crock pot before starting, because mine only fits about 8 servings and I prepped for the 16 per the recipe.

  24. Bob Omb says:

    Looks pretty good, I’m gonna try this recipe this week. Are you draining your cans of beans? Where did all that liquid come from between pictures 8 & 9?

    • Yeah sorry about that. What happened was I took half the tomatoes and beans and then took the picture in step 8. Then i added the rest and stirred it up and took the shot in step 9. I thought it was going to get too messy if i tried to take a shot with step 8 with the full set of tomatoes and beans.

      The liquid you’re seeing is actually coming from the diced tomatoes. The beans have been drained.

  25. Yesssss. So much deliciousness! Love me some chili. I’ll eat it year round – not just in winter! 🙂

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