This tasty Fool Proof Loaded Santa Fe Slow Cooker Chili is our most popular recipe! It’s seasoned with a homemade blend and sweetened with honey! Can’t wait 5 hours? Stove top directions included and it’s ready in 45 min!
I’ve been making this homemade Loaded Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chili recipe for years and it never disappoints. My friends LOVE it as much as I love serving it because it’s hearty, full of beef and beans with a smoky flavor and just a hint of natural flavored sweetness.
I call this recipe a fool proof Crock Pot of chili recipe because you cut up peppers and onions and dump all of the ingredients into the slow cooker! Just shop, cut, dump, and slow cook! Five hours later, you have a delicious, filling meal to serve.
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You can’t go wrong with this chili recipe to feed a group of excited football fans either which makes it the perfect game day recipe! Plus, stove top directions are included below in the recipe card that only takes 45 minutes to cook if you need it sooner!
Why buy expensive take out for your game day party when you can make this fabulous Fool Proof Loaded Santa Fe Chili the day before in your slow cooker, store it in your refrigerator and just plug it in to reheat in the same slow cooker bowl the next day? It’s just so easy to make!
You don’t have to be a chili connoisseur to make a great chili the first time ever! Just use this easy recipe!
This slow cooker chili recipe has ground beef, red, orange and yellow bell peppers (use green if you prefer), onions, red kidney beans and black beans, corn, canned tomatoes, and honey… yep a natural sweetener instead of brown or white sugar. The chili seasonings are not from a packet which, gives it more flavor.
Ground beef is something I always have in my freezer because I can make so much with it. For example, I can pull out some to make Hamburger Soup in my Instant Pot in just 20 minutes. Check out this recipe because it also has slow cooker instructions!
How to Make Fool Proof Slow Cooker Chili Recipe with Corn
By the way, this chili can be made in an Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting.
- 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 oz canned diced green chiles, with juice
- 8 oz whole kernel corn, drained
- 29 oz canned dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 14.5 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups bell peppers (green, red, orange or yellow or combo)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 29 oz canned diced tomatoes, unseasoned with juice
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup honey
How Do You Spice Up Chili?
Here’s a list of chili seasonings that are way better than any you can buy in a packet! Make a batch of 2-3 and store it in an empty spice container to use for next time! That’s what I do for both chili seasoning and taco seasoning.
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
black pepper to taste
You may be asking yourself “Why cinnamon?” Well, a little bit of cinnamon seasons the ground beef quite nicely. You’ll find it in Greek recipes so this is not something new. I think this is the best secret ingredient to making chili. The seasonings in this recipe really make it tasty!
The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.
- First, add the following ingredients into a 6 qt or larger slow cooker on high setting: oil, garlic, onions, peppers, raw meat, seasonings, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, corn and chiles.
- Next, let it cook, covered on high for two hours and then stir it. Break up chunks of meat.
- Then, cover and let it cook for three more hours.
- Stir in honey.
- Serve in bowls topped with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, scallions and a piece of corn bread!
How Do I Make Chili in a Slow Cooker?
Here are many of the popular questions answered. If you still have one, ask in the comments below and I will answer you asap!
Do You Have to Brown Beef Before Slow Cooking?
No! Isn’t that a relief? That’s an extra step you don’t need to take and an extra pot you don’t need to clean! When the raw ground beef starts to cook in the slow cooker, it won’t only cook nicely, it’ll meld it’s flavor with the onions, tomatoes and spices. It’s like magic! Trust me. I’ve made the recipe many times.
Can You Put Raw Ground Beef in the Slow Cooker?
Yes, pay attention. LOL Put the raw ground beef directly in the slow cooker. There’s no need to brown it first.
How Do You Make Chili Thicker?
The simple answer here is to not add to much liquid. Unneeded water will just dilute the flavor. Chili also thickens over time. If you need to remedy this problem, first let it sit in slow cooker uncovered for about an hour so the water can evaporate.
Another option is to add a “slurry.” What is a slurry? In a small bowl, stir together two tablespoons of cornstarch and two tablespoons of juice from the chili. Then, add the slurry back into the slow cooker and stir it. If you don’t have corn starch, use flour instead in the same method.
However, if you follow the slow cooker instructions in this recipe, You’ll have a thick chili especially, after it is refrigerated and reheated.
Is Chili Supposed to Be Thick?
I supposed this is a subjective question but, I’m going to say “Yes.” If chili is not thick than that would make it more of a soup. But, I would say chili falls under the big umbrella of soup but, it shouldn’t be too soupy. So yes, chili should be thick!
When I have a crowd to feed, this is one of my go-to recipes. But, I also like to make Slow Cooker Italian Pork because it’s easy-to-prep, make ahead and serve in a slow cooker. Also, I use slow cooker liners for easy clean up!
This recipe cooks in five hours so you can prep it on game day and serve it right out of your Crock Pot! Having a programmable Crock Pot is great for so many reasons. It will lessen the your chances of overcooking recipes that only need a few hours if you’ll be gone all day. Also, I like that I can take it out of the shell and put it right into the refrigerator (after the food has cooled.)
Mine has clamps on the sides to keep the lid in place which is perfect to take along to a party and it stays warm in my insulated slow cooker carrier.
Chili tastes better when it sits a day, so all the flavors can marry which makes it a great make ahead meal for parties. Plus, it freezes well.
Chili is great for:
- game day parties
- snow days
- families with a newborn baby
- meal planning
- birthday parties
I made this Crock Pot of chili as part of our “after birth” meal prep plan for our first son. It was convenient to pull small batches out of the freezer for dinner to reheat. Who has time to cook dinner with a newborn? It is such an exciting time! I’ll never forget how proud my husband was bringing him through the threshold. It still brings a smile to my face.
Topping the chili with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream makes it even more tempting. Add a piece of corn spoon bread too. It’s a tasty and comforting meal, especially to combat the winter blahs!
- Make it vegetarian: Omit the ground beef and add 3 more cans of beans-pinto, navy or white beans or add more black or red kidney beans and another can of diced tomatoes.
- Use ground turkey instead of beef to lighten it up.
- Use a mixture of ground pork and beef.
Bring this Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chili recipe to game day, Super Bowl party or any party for that matter. It’s so easy to make ahead and take along to a party. Any host would be happy to receive this hearty, meaty and flavorful chili.
Stove Top Directions for Loaded Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chili:
Want to eat this tasty chili sooner than five hours? Just do it on the stove top!
- In a large stock pot on medium heat, begin to saute the oil, onions, minced garlic and bell peppers.
- Next, add the meat and let it brown.
- Then, add the remaining ingredients except for the honey which, you’ll add when it is finished. Let it simmer on med/low for 45 more min, covered.
- Last, stir in honey.
When you need to feed a group of hungry people, especially guys with growling stomachs, serve up Fool Proof Loaded Slow Cooker Chili. File this recipe away in your Crock Pot soup recipes. Loaded with ground beef, beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, corn and spices, it’ll fill up the hungriest of fans. It’s easy-to-make, store and transport. Score, score and score!
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Loaded Slow Cooker Chili
- 2.5 lbs ground beef turkey or meatloaf mix
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 oz can of diced green chiles with juice
- 8 oz can of whole kernel corn drained
- 29 oz cans of red kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 14.5 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cups bell peppers, diced red, green, orange, yellow
- 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
- 29 oz. or 1-28 oz. canned diced tomatoes unseasoned with juice
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 2 tbs chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional or add more if desired
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- freshly cracked pepper to taste
- First, in a 6 quart slow cooker on high setting, add extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onions, peppers, raw meat, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and chilies. Cover. If you will not be home, it is fine to stir but, it is harder to stir when it is still raw because it fills the chamber to the top so, you may want to mix it in a larger bowl first. Still put in the oil on the bottom to avoid sticking.
- Then, after two hours, stir well.
- Next, cover and let sit for 3 more hours.
- Then, add honey at the end of the cooking and stir well.
- Optional: Top chili with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese in individual bowls before serving. Enjoy!
Loaded Santa Fe Chili Stove Top Directions:Want to eat this tasty chili sooner than five hours? Just do it on the stove top.
- In a large stock pot on medium heat, cook add the oil, onions, minced garlic and bell peppers.
- Add the meat and let it brown.
- Then, add the remaining ingredients except for the honey which, you'll add when it is finished. Let it simmer on med/low for 45 more min, covered.
- Green bell peppers for red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
- Pinto, navy, white beans for red kidney beans or black beans
- Ground turkey or meatloaf mix for the ground beef
- Vegetarian by omitting the meat and adding three more cans of beans plus one can of diced tomatoes