Lori’s 3 Bean Slow Cooker Chili with Ground Beef

by Lori Hart on March 3, 2013

Chili is one of those foods that can be made in many ways….. it is so versatile. You can replace beef with turkey, white beans with pintos and add other veggies such as green peppers and corn. Or go completely vegetarian and exclude the ground beef.  It’s one recipe that can be tailored to your own families food preferences. And, you can make a big batch and freeze half for a later time. How nice is that when you can have homemade chili in a snap?

This chili recipe is not the quick kind, in fact it’s more like a two day event! I like to use dry beans since canned contain so many ingredients I cannot pronounce and there can be too much sodium. Plus, using dry allows me to season them as they soak and subsequently cook. 

Lori’s Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

1 cup dry kidney beans
1 cup dry black beans
1 cup dry pinto beans
1.5 pounds lean ground beef
2 whole jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and diced (less if you don’t like it too hot)
1 medium yellow onion, diced 
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large roma tomatoes, diced
1 15oz can tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoons salt
1Tablespoon Chalula sauce
For nutrition information and Weight Watchers Points, click the magic button below

First, rinse the beans thoroughly and place in the slow cooker. Cover with water 2 inches above the beans and let soak overnight. 

The next morning, thoroughly rinse the beans, put them back in the slow cooker and cover again with water two to three inches above the beans. Set on low for 5-6 hours until just tender.  I say 5 to 6 hours since some slow cookers are, well, slower then others. I had mine simmering while I was at church.
When the beans are done, remove most of the water from the crock pot. I leave about a cup of the liquid in there for flavor. If you leave it all in there, you will have pretty runny chili. Everyone is different. I like mine so thick you can stand a fork it in, but leave enough to suit your taste. Add in all the remaining ingredients except the beef. 

Brown the ground beef in a large sauce pan, drain and put in the slow cooker. I used 97% lean ground beef. It is more expensive, but I think the flavor is worth it. Stir in the beef and simmer for another 2 hours before serving. Every 30 minutes or so, take a bite to see if it’s to your liking.  Some of the flavors, especially jalapenos, get hotter as they cook so taste test it initially and then as you go along. You may need to add a bit more Chalula, water if it’s too thick, salt or pepper. It’s up to you.

Serve with your favorite corn bread, french bread or even in a bread bowl. I topped it off with some shredded cheddar cheese. 
I make mine very thick as you can see. Hubby loved it. He had a cold and flu for a week and found this to be an ultimate comfort food for him. He said the flavors and the little bit of heat helped clear his head. Call me Dr. Lori.
Featured on Anyonita Nibbles Best Ever Slow Cooker Recipe round-up September 24, 2013
Featured on Worthing Court Blog 10 Chili recipes round-up October 1, 2013

For complete nutrition information, click the Magic button


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

ms.composure March 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm

stopping by from the blog hop at:

chili is my FAVORITE!! i usually make mine with ground turkey



Lori Hart March 8, 2013 at 1:24 am

Chili is a favorite. So easy to freeze and use later on those busy nights.


Chandra Sirois March 5, 2013 at 12:38 am

i love beans in my chilli! Thanks so much for linking up to Show Me Your Plaid Monday’s! You have been pinned and I hope that you come back each week!


Lori Hart March 8, 2013 at 1:24 am

Thanks Chandra. I will be back. There is so much to look at on your link list.


Javelin Warrior March 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I love that you cook the beans yourself rather than buying canned – it’s something I do every time and there really is a flavor and textural difference, I think. And I’ve never used chalula sauce before, so I’ll have to check that out… Thanks so much for sharing, Lori!


Lori Hart March 8, 2013 at 1:25 am

You are so welcome. Soaking the beans makes a huge difference both in flavor and in it’s health benefits. Thanks for stopping by


Diane March 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Great mixture of beans in your chili Lori. Thanks so much for sharing it with us on foodie friday.


Lori Hart March 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

You are very welcome! Thanks for stopping by


Ruthie Armstrong March 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I love chili… even though sometimes it doesn’t love me back! Thanks for coming to (link) party with me at Super Saturday Show & Tell :) xoxo~ Ruthie


Lori Hart March 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Thanks Ruthie.


Shauna Smart March 28, 2013 at 4:00 am

I love Chili! So glad you shared this recipe :)

Thanks for linking up this post to The Best Blog Recipe’s Weekend re-Treat #7!

I know I’m running a little bit behind in pinning but I wanted to stop by and pin your image to My Link Parties Craft/DIY & Recipe Boards while I was here.

Hope to see you link up again at the party this weekend!



Lori Hart March 31, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Thanks!! And thanks for pinning. Happy Easter!!


Cindy Jamieson June 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I love a lot of beans in my chili! Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.


Cindy Jamieson June 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I love chili, but never make it, because the kiddos aren’t fans of it. This one looks super delicious! Thanks for sharing with Simple Supper Tuesday.


Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! September 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I love a good chili in the fall! Thanks for sharing at Sweet & Savory Saturdays.
Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! recently posted…Candy Corn “Corn”My Profile


Sherryl Wilson September 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I love beans in my chili. I use butter beans, field peas and black beans.

Stopping by from Good Tastes Tuesday! Thanks for coming by and linking up this week. http://www.sherrylwilson.com/good-tastes-tuesday/
Sherryl Wilson recently posted…Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation CookiesMy Profile


Jill September 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I love making things in my slow cooker! Thanks for linking up at Good Tastes Tuesday. See you next week.
Jill recently posted…Ham Lentil SoupMy Profile


Adelina Priddis September 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

I don’t have a go to chili recipe, because it is so versatile. I just always make it up as I go. There have been some good ones, and some not so good ones, lol.
Thanks for sharing this on Foodie Friday
Adelina Priddis recently posted…Fall Festivals around the CountryMy Profile


Miz Helen September 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm

We are Chili lovers here and this looks like a great recipe. We are getting ready for the Chili Cook Off in October. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
Miz Helen
Miz Helen recently posted…Whats For Dinner Next Week 9-22-13My Profile


April @ Angel's Homestead September 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this post at last weeks Saturday Spotlight on Angels Homestead!

Hope to see you again this week!



Jann Olson November 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I am always looking for great slow cooker recipes. This sounds yummy and I will give it a try! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.
Jann Olson recently posted…A Wintry ThanksgivingMy Profile


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