Learn how to make easy, delicious Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne for a comfort food dinner. Including bacon, beef chuck roast, tomatoes, and beans, this stew recipe is overflowing with savory flavor (and practically prepares itself!).
To make the homemade chili seasoning, in a small bowl, whisk together chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, chipotle chili powder (if using), coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, fry bacon until crisp. Transfer to a plate and crumble when cool. Reserve bacon fat for cooking beef and keep hot.
Season each side of the beef steaks generously with salt and pepper. Working with one steak at a time, fry in reserved bacon fat until well-browned on each side.
Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with remaining steaks. Cut each browned steak into 1-inch to 2-inch cubes and transfer to slow cooker.
Add onion to pot with bacon fat and beef juice. Stir until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
To the slow cooker, add the crumbled bacon, tomatoes with chiles, chicken broth or water, beans, garlic, and chili seasoning.
Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. The beef should be falling apart and tender. Strain excess fat off the top if desired. Shred the beef gently with tongs or two forks.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions, cilantro, and corn chips.
Chipotle chili powder: Chipotle chili powder is spicy! If you're unsure, start with 1 teaspoon (or less) until the chili is fully cooked. Then, taste and add more at the end. You can also substitute 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.
Chuck roast: Searing the beef is optional but recommended (it adds a ton of flavor), and cutting the roast into thick slabs lets you sear more sides of the beef. If you decide to skip this step, proceed to Step 2 after seasoning the roast with salt and pepper.
Canned tomatoes: I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, but you can substitute regular canned tomatoes and add 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies. Ro*tel tomatoes are good, too.
Kidney beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 2 cans (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of kidney.
Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of Chili con Carne, with variations depending on how big your onion is and what size roast you buy (I measured the yield after cooking a 4-pound roast). It's enough for 8 hearty servings, 1 1/2 cups each.
Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.