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Two bowls of slow cooker chili with cornbread

Easy Slow Cooker Chili

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 min
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 1x


Easy Slow Cooker Chili made with all the classic ingredients like beans, tomatoes, and ground beef, plus two other surprising ingredients that will add tons of flavor with no extra work. This hearty chili recipe is best served with some fresh cornbread!


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1-2 cups green salsa
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, juice included (15 ounce)
  • 4 cups cooked beans such as pinto or cranberry beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • Raw onion, shredded cheese, hot sauce, and/or sour cream for serving, optional


  1. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add the ground beef and onion. Cook until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain the excess grease.
  2. Add the cooked meat mixture to the base of your slow cooker.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, green salsa, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine well.
  4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6.
  5. Before serving, adjust the seasoning to taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve hot with optional onion, shredded cheese, hot sauce, and/or sour cream.


  • You can use other ground meats such as chicken and turkey or even ground elk or venison for this recipe if you like.
  • I love using green salsa in this recipe because it adds a great depth of flavor without extra work. If you like it hot, find a hot salsa. If you like it more mild, be sure the salsa reflects that. If you aren’t sure how much to add, try the lesser amount and after the cooking time, you can always stir more into the pot.
  • Pumpkin is my favorite secret ingredient for chili. It adds a subtle sweetness and thickens the chili nicely without adding a pumpkin flavor. You are going to love this trick!
  • I love to cook dry beans in my instant pot. If you can find cranberry beans, they are great in this recipe.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy slow cooker chili recipe, homemade chili recipe, slow cooker chili recipe, hearty winter recipes, hearty stew recipes