Dad’s Simple Slow Cooker Corny Chili

I’ve been making this chili since I first saw the recipe. It’s based on something I saw in a Taste of Home Slow Cooker Recipe Magazine in 2006!  But over the years I’ve made some changes so what I make now is very different from the original. It’s much loved at my house, I’ll tell you that for free!

And, this recipe is chock full of Veteran Moves. First, using the slow cooker lets you pull everything together on the ‘morning of’ or the ‘night before’. Second, I add dark chocolate to the chili which smooths out the flavour considerably without adding to it… you won’t taste the chocolate but trust me it’s a great add! And finally, I take out and chop up a Chipotle chili soaked in Adobo sauce to add a little heat.

If you’re sceptical, leave out the chocolate and the chipotle. Enjoy this easy to make, tasty treat with cornbread and a southwest salad, some taco chips, sour cream, guacamole and/or shredded cheddar cheese. The extras are a big part of the fun of chili!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef (medium or 85% has best flavour)
  • 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (approx. 12 ounces) Baked brown beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 can (approx. 28 ounces) undrained diced tomatoes. (I use fire roasted when I can find them)
  • 1 can (approx. 12 ounces) drained kernel corn
  • ¾ c Salsa (Chunky style, Medium spicy)
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2-4 ounces 60% dark chocolate
  • 1 chipotle chili in Adobo sauce, chopped


In a skillet, add oil and heat until shimmering over medium high heat and cook onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Browning the beef first is a vital safety move as it guarantees all bacteria are eliminated. It also adds flavour to the finished dish. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper to taste and then cook until no longer pink, drain off most of the oil and transfer to a prepared slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, cover and set the slow cooker!

It’s a good idea to rinse the canned kidney beans before adding them to your slow cooker. The liquid they’re stored in typically includes a lot of corn syrup and sodium and so you’ll be improving the dish health-wise
I add my favourite canned brown beans. They add flavour and extra texture
Corn adds a sweetness and a crunch to the dish that is hard to beat
Many authentic Mexican dishes include chocolate. Adding some dark chocolate for me is a nod to my recipe’s regional roots
Adding a single chopped Chipotle chili is a very quick and easy way to add heat to the dish. The Adobo sauce adds a great smoky dimension
Set cook time to low for 8 hours. If you wish, you can set the chili on high and cook for 4 hours. But, I feel the longer cook time adds depth… plus on low you can set everything up and let it cook while you’re at work for 8 or 10 hours

Feeds 4 – 6 people and freezes very nicely for later. Once defrosted it tastes even better!

One thought on “Dad’s Simple Slow Cooker Corny Chili

  1. Pingback: Dad’s Simple Slow Cooker Corny Chili — | My Meals are on Wheels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s