how to make chilli con carne in a slow cooker

Do you want to know how to make the perfect chilli con carne in a slow cooker? It’s easier than you think. All it takes is some time, patience and of course, the right ingredients. In this blog post, we will explain how to make chilli con carne in a slow cooker that tastes so delicious even your pickiest eaters won’t be able to resist. We’ll also provide serving suggestions as well as variations on the classic recipe if you’re feeling adventurous. So let’s get cooking – read on for all our tips and tricks for making an amazing dish every single time.

Table of Contents:



For a classic chilli con carne, you’ll need 500g of minced beef. If you want to add some extra texture and flavour, why not try using a combination of minced and diced steak? You can also use turkey or chicken mince if you prefer.


Chilli con carne wouldn’t be complete without onions and garlic. Start by frying off 1 chopped onion in a little oil until softened before adding 2 cloves of crushed garlic. You can also add other vegetables such as peppers, celery or mushrooms for an extra boost of flavour and nutrition.

Spices and Herbs 

To give your chilli that authentic taste, you’ll need to use the right spices. Add 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, smoked paprika, oregano and coriander along with ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon powder and chilli flakes (or more depending on how spicy you like it.). For added depth of flavour don’t forget to include 2 tablespoons of tomato puree too. Finally, finish off with some fresh herbs such as parsley or coriander leaves for garnish.


You will need 400ml tinned tomatoes plus 200ml water (or stock) to make sure everything is cooked through properly in the slow cooker. A splash of Worcestershire sauce will really bring out all those flavours too.

Once you have all the ingredients, it’s time to get started on making your chilli con carne in a slow cooker – let’s take a look at the instructions.


1. Start by browning the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to your slow cooker and add the diced onion, garlic, chilli powder, cumin, oregano and bay leaves. Stir everything together to combine.

2. Add the tomato sauce or passata and stir again until everything is evenly mixed together. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours (or according to your slow cooker’s instructions).

3. When you’re ready to serve, stir in 1/2 cup of kidney beans (if using) and season with salt & pepper as desired before serving hot with rice or tortillas if desired.

Once you have followed the instructions for making chilli con carne in a slow cooker, it’s time to consider how best to serve your delicious creation.

Serving Suggestions

a tomato based dinner

Chilli con carne is a classic dish that can be served in many different ways. For a traditional meal, serve the chilli over steamed white or brown rice. This will help to soak up all of the delicious flavours and make for an easy dinner. If you’re looking for something more creative, try serving it with tortilla chips or nachos. The crunchy texture of the chips pairs perfectly with the spicy chilli and makes for a great snack.

For those who prefer lighter meals, why not try using lettuce wraps instead? Simply fill some crisp lettuce leaves with your favourite toppings such as cheese, tomatoes and onions then spoon on some chilli con carne – it’s sure to be a hit.

If you want to add something extra special to your meal, why not whip up some homemade guacamole? It adds a creamy element that complements the flavour of the chilli perfectly. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, how about adding some jalapenos or other hot peppers into your mix?

No matter which way you choose to serve it, one thing is certain – chilli con carne always tastes best when shared with friends and family. So gather around the table and enjoy this classic dish together; there is nothing quite like it.

From serving suggestions such as a dollop of sour cream or guacamole to adding extra spice for those who like it hot, there are plenty of ways to make your chilli con carne even more delicious. Now let’s look at some variations you can try with this classic dish.


It’s a great way to feed the family and it’s also incredibly versatile. With just a few simple tweaks, you can create an entirely new flavour profile or texture – perfect for those days when you want something different but don’t have much time to prepare.

Spice Up Your Chilli Con Carne

spicy dinner on a plate

If you’re looking to add some extra heat and spice to your chilli con carne, why not try adding jalapenos or chipotle peppers? These two ingredients will give your chilli an extra kick of heat without overpowering the other flavours. You could also try adding smoked paprika or cayenne pepper for even more intense spiciness.

Vegetarian Variations

Vegetarians needn’t miss out on this delicious dish either. To make a vegetarian version of chilli con carne, simply swap out the beef mince with black beans, kidney beans or chickpeas. Then you can bulk up the recipe by adding mushrooms, courgettes or aubergines – all of which are packed full of flavour and nutrition. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not experiment with quinoa instead? Quinoa makes an excellent alternative protein source in vegetarian dishes as it contains all nine essential amino acids needed for human health and development.

Different Types Of Meat

For meat-eaters who fancy something different from their usual beef mince-based chilli con carne recipes, there are plenty of alternatives available too. Why not try using turkey mince instead? This leaner option still packs plenty of flavours while being lower in fat than traditional beef mince, making it healthier too. Alternatively, if you’re feeling particularly daring why not give lamb mince a go? The gamey taste works wonderfully well in savoury dishes like chilli con carne, giving them an added depth of flavour that regular beef just doesn’t offer.

Key Takeaway: Chilli con carne is an incredibly versatile dish that can be spiced up with jalapenos, chipotle peppers or smoked paprika and made vegetarian by swapping out the beef mince for black beans, kidney beans or chickpeas. For meat-eaters, try using turkey mince for a leaner option or lamb mince for added depth of flavour.

FAQs in Relation to How to Make Chilli Con Carne in a Slow Cooker

Can you put raw ground beef in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can put raw ground beef in a slow cooker. However, it is important to note that the beef should be placed at the bottom of the slow cooker and covered with liquid such as broth or water. This will help ensure that your meat cooks evenly and prevents it from drying out. Additionally, make sure to cook your ground beef until its internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Doing so will kill any bacteria present in the meat and guarantee food safety.

Is chilli better in slow cooker?

It depends on the dish and personal preference. Slow cookers are great for dishes that require long cooking times, such as stews or chilli because they can be left to simmer without needing constant attention. This allows the flavours to develop more fully over time. On the other hand, some people prefer a quicker cooking method like stovetop chilli which gives it a fresher flavour and texture. Ultimately, it comes down to individual taste so experiment with both methods and decide what works best for you.

Do you need to put liquid in a slow cooker with beef?

Yes, it is important to add liquid when using a slow cooker with beef. This helps ensure that the beef cooks evenly and does not dry out. The amount of liquid will depend on the type of cut and size of the beef being cooked, but as a general rule, use at least 1 cup (240 ml) per pound (450 g) of meat. Additionally, adding seasonings such as herbs or spices can enhance flavour while cooking in a slow cooker.

Is it better to cook beef on high or low in a slow cooker?

It depends on the cut of beef and the desired outcome. Generally, tougher cuts of beef such as chuck roast should be cooked on low in a slow cooker for 8-10 hours to ensure they are tender and juicy. Leaner cuts such as sirloin or flank steak can be cooked on high for 3-4 hours but may dry out if overcooked. Experiment with different cooking times to find what works best for your recipe.


Learning how to make chilli con carne in a slow cooker is an easy and delicious way to feed your family. With just a few ingredients, you can create a flavorful meal that everyone will love. Whether you choose to serve it as-is or mix things up with some of the variations we’ve suggested, this dish is sure to be a hit. So why not give it a try and make chilli con carne in your slow cooker today?

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