When I was making my menu plan a couple of weeks ago, I asked my kids what they’d like me to add to the menu. My 16-year-old daughter didn’t hesitate to ask for homemade chili, and I was happy to oblige. Not only is chili delicious and GREAT for this time of year (hello, comfort food!) but I love meals that I can fix in the morning and forget until dinner time. Crockpots are the best, especially for busy moms like me who spend the entire afternoon driving kids from here to there. When is there time to cook?
This recipe was a bit of an accident. A happy accident. I often make “half-homemade” chili by adding a bunch “Extras” to a can of chili (so that it stretches farther and so it tastes a little better) but I was determined to find a better alternative. I turned to Pinterest, of course, and searched for “best chili” and came back with this pin, which led me to this recipe from Pink When. I tucked it away so that I could make it within the next week.
Before I had a chance to make the chili, I tried making some hamburgers one night. In an effort to stretch my hamburger meat, I decided to mash some black beans and add them to the ground beef. I add black beans to dishes with ground beef all the time. I did not expect what happened….
My black bean hamburgers were a complete flop. They were a crumbly mess. I gave up on my notion of black bean hamburgers, added the cooked black bean-ground beef crumble to a tupperware, and took the kids out for fast food that night (something we never do on a week night!).
The next morning, I grabbed that chili recipe I’d been saving, pulled out the crumbled hamburger, and started making my pot of chili. It could not have been easier, and the entire family RAVED about how delicious it was. Definitely a huge improvement over canned chili (or even the half-homemade chili).
Note: this recipe makes a large crock pot full of chili. If you don’t have a family as big as mine and don’t want a ton of leftovers, then I would recommend freezing half of the chili for a quick meal at a later date. Just pull the saved chili out of the freezer and stick it back in the crock pot to warm up!
The BEST Chili Recipe – In the Crock Pot!
- 3 lbs lean ground beef, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic
- 1 can black beans, drained and mashed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ of a large bell pepper, chopped
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- 1½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon white sugar
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 (15 oz) can Great Northern beans, drained
- 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
- 1 (28 oz) can marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe's Tuscano Marinara Sauce)
- 1 cup water
- Shredded cheese to top
- In a medium bowl, mix mashed black beans and ground beef. Add spices to season. Brown the ground beef mixture until cooked through. Drain grease, if necessary.
- Add cooked ground beef mixture and all of the additional ingredients to a large crock pot and stir. Cover and cook on low for at least 5 hours (since your meat is cooked, you're mainly cooking the chili for that long to blend flavors). Serve warm with shredded cheese, if desired, and crackers or corn bread.
If you like this recipe, you are going to love these recipes, too:
Note: I used a canned marinara sauce from Trader Joe’s, which I think looks more like crushed tomatoes with spices than a spaghetti sauce.
For more Pinterest remakes, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:
- Berry Sipper Mocktail by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
- Starbucks Cup Gift Card Holder by Homemaking Hacks
- Ice Lanterns by Upstate Ramblings
- Lip Scrub by Mom Always Finds Out
- The Best Homemade Vanilla Extract by How Was Your Day?
- Vintage Cheddar and Gruyere Mac and Cheese with Polish Kielbasa by A Day in Motherhood
- Flourless Brownies with Craisins and Pistachios by Day by Day in Our World
- DIY Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe by Just 2 Sisters
- Tiger Nut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies by Home and Garden Cafe
- Bang Bang Chicken by Jennifer Sikora
- Frozen Banana Yogurt Peanut Dog Treats by 2Boys+1Girl=OneCrazyMom
- Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Oatmeal by Sincerely Mindy
- Garlic Monkey Bread Recipe by Gator Mommy
- Homemade Vanilla Orange Mint Sugar Scrub by Baby Loving Mama
- Valentine’s Day Strawberries by Sizzling Eats
- All Natural 2 Ingredient Lip Gloss by The Socialite’s Closet
- Pantry Tomato Pasta by The Guavalicious Life
- How to Make Strawberry Pecan Bread by Mommy Snippets
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