A healthy and family-friendly Mexican Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne recipe made with beef, beans and tomato and served with rice, corn chips, sour cream and spring onions.
As soon as the weather turns chilly, out of the cupboard comes my slow cooker!
There's nothing better on a cold wintery day than the delicious smells wafting from your slow cooker...
My slow cooker chilli con carne recipe is always on high rotation during the winter months (along with my Slow Cooker Creamy Tuscan Chicken, Slow Cooker Beef Ragu Pasta and my cold and flu busting Slow Cooker Chicken and Vegetable Soup!)
Family-Friendly Chilli Con Carne
If you think that chilli con carne is a recipe that kids will turn their noses up at... think again!
The secret to making this a family-friendly meal that even the littlest members of the family will love, is changing the amount of chilli used.
If everyone in your family loves chilli then go for it - you might even add more to suit your taste!
But if someone (or everyone!) in your family doesn't like the taste of chilli (and lets face it... lots don't!) - then here's my top tips:
- only add a tiny amount of chilli for a subtle flavour (ie. 1 tsp instead of 1 tbs). This is a great option for those who don't mind a teensy bit of extra flavour.
- omit the chilli altogether (great option for young kids!) - this is what I currently do! We have a 4 year old and I omit the chilli entirely during cooking and then stir some through the chilli lovers bowls when serving. The chilli con carne without any chilli is still PACKED full of flavour and is completely kid-friendly.
What You Need
This chilli con carne recipe makes a LOT - so check out my tips below for using up the leftovers in totally delicious ways!
Here's what you need to make chilli con carne in your slow cooker (trust me... this is such a great budget-friendly meal):
- beef mince
- minced garlic
- spices - cumin, oregano, chilli powder (see above for family-friendly options) and paprika
- diced tomatoes - I use canned diced tomatoes, but you can use fresh if you prefer
- red kidney beans - rinsed and drained
- caster sugar - this takes away the acidity of the tomatoes
- tomato paste
- beef stock
How To Make Chilli In The Slow Cooker
With just 10 minutes prep time... this is a 'set and forget' recipe!
Step 1 - Sear the beef mince and chopped onions first, and place into the slow cooker
Step 2 - Add the remaining ingredients
Step 3 - Cook for 6-7 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high
Searing Meat In Slow Cooker Recipes
While your chilli con carne will still taste delicious if you don't sear the beef first, it's definitely worth the extra couple of minutes to do so. Here's why:
- searing the beef adds an incredible amount of flavour to the dish
- it begins to caramelises the surface of the beef, giving it a much yummier texture and flavour
If you have a searing slow cooker (like the one in my photos), you can simply use it directly on the stovetop to sear and then place back into the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients.
Alternatively, use a frying pan on the stovetop to cook the beef and onion before transferring to your slow cooker and adding the remaining ingredients.
Recipe Tips & FAQ
Do you need to sear the beef mince?
It's 100% worth taking the extra couple of minutes to sear your beef. Doing so is going to take your chilli from yum to AMAZING!
Is chilli con carne healthy?
This recipe is packed full of vegetables and beans... so yes! You can also add extra vegetables (such as celery and carrot etc if you like).
How can I make this recipe kid-friendly?
See my tips above for reducing the chilli or omitting it entirely. Trust me, this dish (even without any chilli) is so flavour packed! If you're omitting the chilli to make it kid-friendly, you can simply sprinkle some onto your own bowl of chilli and mix through when serving.
This slow cooker chilli con carne is delicious on it's own... but even better when served with white rice, corn chips, sour cream and spring onions. I'll often add a little grated cheese and slices of avocado too.
How can I use up the leftover chilli con carne?
This recipe is PERFECT for leftovers - serve them in tacos, make nachos, make it into Mexican lasagne, have loaded baked potatoes, pour over sweet potato fries, make quesadillas or burritos... the list is endless!
Storing chilli con carne
Chilli con carne can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Freezing chilli con carne
It can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
Making family dinners using a slow cooker is such an easy way to have a delicious dinner ready at the end of the day. Prep the ingredients and then set and forget... and let the slow cooker do it's thing!
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Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tbs chilli powder see notes
- 2 tsp paprika
- 800 g diced tomatoes
- 400 g kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup (250ml) beef stock
- rice, sour cream, corn chips, grated cheese and chopped spring onions to serve
- Saute the beef and onion in a frying pan or in a searing slow cooker until browned. Add to the slow cooker.
- Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, chilli powder, paprika, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, caster sugar, tomato paste and beef stock. Stir.
- Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high heat for 4-5 hours.
- Taste the chilli with approximately an hour to go and add extra chilli if you feel it needs it (see notes).
- Serve with rice, corn chips, grated cheese, sour cream and chopped spring onions.
- only add a tiny amount of chilli for a subtle flavour (ie. 1 tsp instead of 1 tbs). This is a great option for those who don’t mind a teensy bit of extra flavour.
- omit the chilli altogether (great option for young kids!) – this is what I currently do! We have a 4 year old and I omit the chilli entirely during cooking and then stir some through my husband and my bowls when serving. The chilli con carne without any chilli is still PACKED full of flavour and is completely kid-friendly.