I have spent most of 2015 battling a wicked head cold that is finally--finally–working its way out of my system. It’s amazing just how little I can bring myself to do in this congested state, besides watch Friends and Reign on Netflix.
Food-wise, Warren and I have pretty much become scavengers, eating old granola bars for breakfast and kitchen sink omelettes for dinner. Glamorous, right?
Which is why I am now hailing this Easy Crock Pot Chili as my ultimate hero. It is one of those meals that requires zero thinking but is so consistently dependable that it wins my heart every time.
Especially when the bowl is topped with an assortment of goodies. Fritos and chili just go hand in hand, am I right?
This chili is an easier version of my absolute favorite–Chili Con Carne (yep, the one that has won me a few cook off awards)–but still maintains all the deep, satisfying flavors we all love in a chili.
It is also infinitely riffable–you can use ground turkey instead of ground beef, your favorite beans, add vegges like bell peppers and jalapenos, whatever your heart desires. What I’m saying is that it is a no-fail base, which means you can make it shine with your personal touch.
The one thing that sets this chili apart from the Chili Con Carne is the masa stirred in at the very end. It helps thicken it up and gives it a lovely flavor that pairs uncommonly well with corn chips. I promise you’ll like it!
Easy Crock Pot Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (for heat)
- 1 (28 oz.) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/8 cup masa harnia corn flour
- 1/4 cup warm water
- shredded cheddar
- sour cream
- sliced green onions
- diced avocado
- In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and brown meat for a minute or twol. Add the onions and cook until meat is done. Add spices and cook for a minute more, until spices are fragrant (but not burned).
- Put meat mixture into a crock pot and stir in fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, and kidney beans. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. (You can also continue to cook this on the stove top if you don’t have a crock pot–just let it simmer for 45 minutes, or until the beans are done).
- 15 minutes before you want to serve the chili, mix masa with warm water in a separate bowl and stir into the chili to thicken and add flavor. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Serve chili with your favorite toppings!