Slow Cooker Spicy Chili

I love chili in the slow cooker. I love how it makes your house smell delicious all day long. I love how you can tell your spouse when they get home that you’ve “been slaving away” on dinner…because a smell that good certainly means you’ve been slaving away! 😉  I love how you can mix and match ingredients so easily with chilis and soups. And I love that it’s finally cool enough to actually want a warm cup of chili for dinner.

The mix and match ingredient in this chili. Chopped green chilies.

Enough heat to make it spicy. But not enough to set the kids’ mouths on fire.

(Please don’t put dried red kidney beans in the slow cooker. They release a toxin was they cook in the slow cooker. Cook dried red kidney beans before adding them to the slow cooker. Canned red kidney beans can go in, no problem.)

Slow Cooker Spicy Chili


  • 1.25 lb. ground beef ($1.86)
  • 1 cup homemade beef broth (free)
  • 2 cups cooked red kidney beans ($.40) Substitute 1 15 oz can
  • 1 green pepper, chopped ($.20) More on these cheap green peppers
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes ($.24)
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies ($.59)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped ($.15)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed ($.10)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder ($.10)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15 oz can green beans ($.50)
  • Homemade rolls ($.50)


  1. Brown the ground beef. (Cook the beans if you have to.  I cooked them during the afternoon, after I’d started the rest of the chili in the slow cooker.  Then added the beans for the last hour. Worked out fine.)
  2. Add the brown beef, cooked beans if they are ready, beef broth, chopped green pepper, diced tomato with juices, chopped green chilies with juices, chopped onion, crushed garlic, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Set on low and cook for 8 hours.
  3. Warm the green beans.
  4. Warm the homemade rolls. (I had some in the freezer.)  Any bread will do…you want it to soak up the juices! 🙂
  5. Serve Slow Cooker Spicy Chili with Green Beans and Homemade Rolls.

Cost $4.64


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Ok, so if the beans are cooked before you add them, you’re good? I always cook mine before and freeze them but I add them to the slowcooker the same time I add everything else.
On another note, this looks great! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

I would like to know why you can’t add dried red kidney beans to a crockpot. I made 2 crockpots of chili so far and have used the uncooked beans. Am I harming my family????

I just read online. All beans have a toxin, but the red kidney ones have more of it. Symptoms could be nausea, vomiting, etc and last for couple of hours. The way to get rid of the toxin is to cook the beans in boiling water for 10 minutes.

*** Found this on the Vegetarian Society website…. i figured they would know ;0) ***
Red kidney beans: Incidents of food poisoning have been reported associated with the consumption of raw or undercooked red kidney beans. Symptoms may develop after eating only four raw beans and include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain followed by diarrhoea. A naturally occurring haemaglutin is responsible for the illness, but can be destroyed by high temperature cooking, making the beans completely safe to eat. For this reason, kidney beans must not be sprouted. Kidney beans should be soaked for at least 8 hours in enough cold water to keep them covered. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans, discarding the soaking water. Put them into a pan with cold water to cover and bring to the boil. The beans must now boil for 10 minutes to destroy the toxin. After this the beans should be simmered until cooked (approximately 45-60 minutes) and they should have an even creamy texture throughout – if the centre is still hard and white, they require longer cooking. Kidney beans must be soaked and boiled for 10 minutes before being added to a slow cooker, as they do not reach sufficiently high temperatures to destroy the toxins.

In what universe is stuff this cheap? Ground beef is at least $4-5 for a 1 lb package. Cans of beans, chillies, or other veggies are at least $1. Onions are $1 each. Since when is stuff only $0.15 in 2010? It’s not!

I am trying this recipe for the first time and cannot wait. I had to improvise organic, from a box, chunky tomato soup for the diced tomatoes and threw in some fresh mushrooms. Cannot wait until it is done…it smells great!

P.S. to S.A. –

My bag of dried beans 16 oz, were only $.79 and it yielded 6 cups of cooked beans. I paid $1.00 for a whole bag of yellow onions and $1.00 for 3 green peppers. The price list for groundbeef was a really good price as mine was not that cheap but I did get mine on sale so it was still a good deal. The $5 Dinner Mom gets her items as such great prices because she shops sales, uses coupons and sometimes is able to use a coupon on a sale item. Her website provides some great advice on how to get the items for cheap and there are other free websites out there as well that offer instruction for couponing. If you are willing to do the work, it is within this universe that you can get this stuff for cheap 🙂

I am always looking for great cheap recipes, but my issue is always the same. You say this chili is under $5, but anywhere I can shop (and I have priced out every grocery store within an hour of my house) I cannot get 1.25lb of Ground beef for less than $5. Yet you list it at $1.25?? my stores do not do manager’s specials, they cook up anything near date to use in their “ready-to-go meal section”. Even with a coupon I have for cans of diced tomatoes, I cannot get them for under $1. I am willing to “do the work” as someone had commented earlier, but in Canada there is just not the access to coupons and discounted food that there is in the US. I am called the coupon queen around my town…..but I still cannot fathom these prices. Does anyone out there have ways to make cheap meals that are truly affordable???