Slow cooker chilli: the laziest, tastiest dinner ever

This slow cooker chilli recipe makes the perfect heartwarming meal for a cold night

slow cooker chilli
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

This slow cooker chilli is a thing of beauty: a simple, hearty meal that can be happily consumed in front of Netflix, or served with nachos as party food. It also was pretty much made for the slow cooker (although you can cook it on a hob, too). The longer you stew it, the tastier it gets. Use a large-sized slow cooker here if you are feeding a large party, or a smaller size if you are making this recipe just for two. 

One thing needs to be said about the chilli, though: less is more here. This is a humble dish that does not require the addition of too many fancy ingredients. In fact, it doesn't even need any vegetables added to it, apart from onions: forget carrots, sweetcorn, and peas (obviously, feel free to add them if you like them!). 

Tip: You can make a very tasty vegetarian version of this chili with Quorn mince, too. Even in a crock pot (oh, we've tried) as it's literally one of the most delicious slow cooker recipes you'll taste, especially in the cooler months.

Not got a great slow cooker yet, or need a new one? Below are today's best deals. If you want more recipe ideas, head to our food page.

Slow cooker chilli 

To make two portions of this simple and delicious chilli, you will need: 

  • Lean beef mince, 400 grams;
  • Rapeseed oil, two tablespoons;
  • A tin of tomatoes;
  • Tomato paste, 20-30 grams;
  • A tin of kidney beans;
  • White onion, one, chopped;
  • Garlic, two cloves;
  • Salt, to taste
  • Medium-hot red chillies, two;
  • Stock, chicken, vegetable, or beef, 750ml;
  • Very dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa), finely chopped or grated;
  • Coriander, 50 grams, to granish


1. In a deep frying pan, warm the onions in the oil; they should soften but not change colour.

2. Add the garlic cloves and the beef mince, season with salt and fry on high heat until the mince is slightly browned on the outside. Don't like your chilli hot? Go down to just one chili instead. Want it hotter than everyone else? Add some Tabasco sauce at the serving stage.

3. Add the tinned tomato and paste and the chillies and distribute evenly throughout the mince. Fry for about five minutes.

4. If you're using a slow cooker, scoop the mixture into it now; otherwise it can stay in the frying pan or go into a deep based pan. Add the chocolate and cover with stock. Cook on medium heat for four to five hours, adding the kidney beans in the last 40 minutes/half hour of cooking. 

5. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with plain boiled rice as a healthy meal, or as party food with tortilla chips and Tex-mex dips.