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I’ve always found it helpful to have a few crockpot (slow cooker) recipes in my stash of recipe ideas because crockpot recipes often end up being easy recipes too. That’s because crockpot recipes many times are in a “dump and cook” category that makes them feel less labor intensive and time-saving. In many ways, this chili recipe fits into that description too!
Part of what’s made this even more of an easy dump crockpot chili for me is that I almost always use a plant-based meat substitution now in my chili recipe. You don’t necessarily have to use this option – you can also use a pound of browned ground beef – but using the faux meat crumbles in this chili makes it super easy to just pour them out and dump them in the crockpot.
My Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chili
The first ingredients I dump into my crockpot for this chili are a can of chili mix beans and a can of diced tomatoes. Then I add in some of my plant-based meat crumbles. I try not to use the “fake meats” in too many of my recipes, but I do like how this ingredient mixes into this chili. My favorite brand is the Gardien brand that’s sold in the frozen section of grocery stores. I measure out one cup of the meat crumbles and dump them into the crockpot too. They can be added to the crockpot still frozen and do not need to be thawed first.
Then if I have the time, I dice up a few vegetables to add in too. (However if you’re short on time, you can skip this step and move right on to the spices.) I like to dice up about 1/4 cup each of green pepper, onion, and matchstick carrots. Yes, I sneak carrots into my chili for a bit more vegetable power. Once the chili is cooked, you don’t even notice those carrots are hiding in there!
Finally, I get out some of my pantry spices and stir them into the mix. I use chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes. Once the spices are stirred in, the work is done, and it really wasn’t even that much work!
Now you can put the lid on your crockpot and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 4 hours, and when dinner time rolls around you’ll have a nice batch of healthy and comforting chili waiting for you.
If you are using the plant-based option with the meat crumbles, you can top it with a few slices of avocado for a bit of contrasting softness and coolness. If you opted for a meat version using a pound of browned ground beef, you can use the traditional toppings of sour cream or shredded cheese.
I’ll admit that there’s nothing fancy about this chili, but that’s just the way I like it. It’s quick to put together, has a few vegetables in it, and it’s easy to add flavor with your own pantry spices. I’ve found it to be a convenient and tasty way to enjoy a bowl of homemade chili!
Easy Crockpot Chili
- 1 can Chili Mix Beans (15 oz – undrained)
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
- 1 cup Frozen plant-based meat crumbles (see notes)
- 1/4 cup Diced green pepper
- 1/4 cup Diced onion
- 1/4 cup Diced matchstick carrots
- 2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp Garlic salt
- Sprinkling of red pepper flakes
- Empty the can of beans and diced tomatoes into the crockpot.
- Add the cup of frozen plant-based meat crumbles to the crockpot and stir.
- Add in the diced green pepper, onion, and carrots.
- Finally, add the spices and stir everything together.
- Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 4 hours.