My go-to chili recipe on a busy weeknight is a vegan, bean-based number. It’s easy, because there is usually a can of beans and some version of canned tomato product in the cupboard. I spice that up with chili powder and ground cumin, toss in a mishmash of vegetables, and dinner is served in about 30 minutes.
Lately, though, I’ve been craving a hearty bowl of traditional beef chili made with succulent cubes of chuck steak. But that kind of meaty chili sounded labor-intensive, and, to be honest, I didn’t want to put in any extra effort. This simple slow-cooker beef chili recipe is everything I was hoping for. It keeps things simple, without bells and whistles or special ingredients, but in the slow cooker, the meat becomes fall-apart tender, and develops deep and satisfying flavor.
After a couple minutes of chopping, and a few minutes of browning and sautéing, you can pop all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and forget about it for several hours. If your slow cooker has a browning setting, you can brown the meat and sauté the vegetables in the same pot, making clean up even easier. Definitely consider doubling this recipe if your slow cooker has a large enough capacity. Freeze unused portions for a future weeknight win!
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ lbs. extra lean beef chuck, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- ¼ cup tomato paste, no sugar added
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- ¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
- Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over high heat.
- Add beef; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-high.
- Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
- Place beef mixture in a 3-quart slow cooker.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well; cover. Cook on high for 3 hours.
- Add beans; cover. Cook for 1 to 1½ hours, or until beef is tender.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Total Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 57 mg
Sodium: 584 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 31 g
½ Tuber/Legume Carb
Body Beast Portions
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Photographs by Kirsten Morningstar