Our classic beef chilli is already quick enough to make on a weeknight, but this slow cooker recipe is even easier. Sautéing the beef and onion will definitely lead to more flavour, but if you want to just throw everything into the slow cooker all at once, it'd be totally fine.

What kind of beef should I use?

While we prefer 80% (because more fat = more flavour), anything up to 90% lean will work.

Why do I have to brown the meat first?

Because the final chilli would be way too greasy if you avoided this step. For one, by browning the meat, you will enhance the flavour of the dish come serving time. And just as important is a chilli with some fat but not too much fat. Browning the meat will render some of the fat that would otherwise ruin the chilli. So make sure to brown and DRAIN the excess fat before adding your beef to the slow cooker. Oh, one more thing: Brown it lightly. Too much browning may make the meat tough.

Less liquid, trust us

A slow cooker cooks food in a sealed environment, so there is very little evaporation of liquids unlike with traditional methods. Benefits: You’ll save money (especially if you are using liquids that cost money, i.e., anything other than water), and you’ll find a more concentrated, less soupy chilli that would detract from deliciousness.

Can I swap in chopped tomatoes for the crushed?

Absolutely! It'll taste the same, but you'll have more texture from chopped tomatoes.

What kind of spices should I use?

Tbh, anything your heart desires. We like a combo of chilli powder, cumin, dried oregano, and paprika, but you can switch it up according to taste.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes—DO IT! This makes great leftovers throughout the week. Properly stored in an airtight container, the chilli will last 4 to 5 days.

Best toppings?

In no particular order: grated cheese, sour cream, spring onions (or chives), bacon (😈), and jalapeños, preferably pickled. Did we miss any?

Yields: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 6 hours 15 mins


  • 900 g

    beef mince

  • 2 tbsp.

    tomato paste

  • 1

    large onion, chopped

  • 2

    x 400g cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2

    x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

  • 240 mL

    beer (or water)

  • 4

    cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 tbsp.

    chilli powder

  • 1 tsp.

    ground cumin

  • 1 tsp.

    dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp.


  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Grated cheddar, for serving (optional)

  • Thinly sliced spring onions, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion and cook until meat is browned all over, about 4 minutes. (It doesn’t need to cook all the way through!) Drain fat, then stir in tomato paste.
  2. In a large slow cooker, combine beef, onion, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, beer, garlic, chilli powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on low for 6 and up to 8 hours. (The longer it's in the slow cooker, the more flavour it gets.)
  4. Taste for seasonings. Serve warm with cheese, and spring onions, if using.

2023-03-28T10:40:59Z dg43tfdfdgfd