My husband introduced me to this chili recipe shortly after we got married. It’s based on his mother’s recipe, but he made a few tweaks to improve it, and then I made a few tweaks. This is what we ended up with. It’s simple, but everyone always enjoys it. The addition of baked beans is what makes this recipe special. It adds a touch of sweetness.
This is a great cold-weather lunch or dinner. It freezes well if you have a lot of leftovers. I like to freeze it in single or double serving-sized containers so it’s just right for heating up for lunch for one or two people. I also like to pack it in my kids’ thermoses for school lunches.
I often have a bag of diced peppers in my freezer, ready to toss into various recipes, and I often sprinkle a few diced peppers into this chili recipe … just enough to sneak in some more veggies, but not so many that my kids notice!
Slow Cooker Chili
- 1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef, browned
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 can (16 ounces) Bush’s Baked Beans (or I sometimes use Aldi baked beans)
- 1 can chili beans
- 1 can Ro-Tel (or any brand of diced tomatoes and green chilies)
- Tomato juice* (optional; use as little or as much as you want)
- Optional toppings: chili powder, shredded cheese, Saltine crackers, diced fresh onions, cooked noodles
Brown ground turkey or ground beef in a skillet with diced onion. Add to slow cooker. Add baked beans, chili beans, Ro-Tel, and optional tomato juice. Sprinkle some chili powder in if desired. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
Serve with toppings such as crackers, chili powder, shredded cheese, and/or diced fresh onions. I like to add some cooked noodles such as elbow macaroni or spiral pasta for chili mac. Or serve it Steak ‘n Shake style on top of cooked spaghetti noodles. Serve it all with a side of corn bread or corn muffins and butter.
*If you want a thick chili, omit the tomato juice all together. If you want a soupier chili, add tomato juice to get your desired consistency. I usually use about one third to one half of a 46-ounce can of tomato juice., and I freeze any unused tomato juice and save it for my next batch of chili.