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Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne with Beans

Slow cooker chilli con carne with big chunks of beef & a heady combination of different chillies that create a deep, rich & bold flavour.

This is a rare recipe from me that serves 4 but it is a dish that can be made in advance and will store well in the fridge for a few days and always tastes better on day 2 or 3!

Chunky beef chilli con carne cooked in a slow cooker served with brown rice.

Crockpot Chili Con Carne

This is my slow cooker chilli con carne recipe, there are many like it, but this one is mine. Hot and spicy, with a hint of sweetness and of course, very beefy and beany. 

I do not, however, view it as either my best friend or my life! More a warm and welcoming friend that just makes things a little bit better. Sorry, I couldn’t resist a bit of a movie reference!

I don’t play around with Mexican or “Tex Mex” influences very often, because food travels with people there has been little migration from that part of the world to Northern Europe.

However, chili con carne was a recipe that I remember my Mom making as a child. Although that version was a packet spice mix, a bit of minced beef and a tin of baked beans.

My version is not that! It is rich thick and unctuous and flavour-wise shares much in common with my butternut squash chilli and chickpea chilli recipes.

Of course, it is spicy, it is a chilli after all, but using a combination of chillies, dried, fresh and in a paste adds a wonderful fruity, smokey complexity to the dish.

It is also a rare recipe that is not made for two, but for 4. But just like most chilli recipes they always taste better on day two! It also freezes very well and will store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Overhead close-up chunky beef chilli con carne cooked in a slow cooker served with brown rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cut of beef should I use?

You can use anything labelled “stewing or braising” steak or beef. I personally prefer to buy something that is not already cubed because store-bought cubed beef is often too small.

If you are headed to the butter ask for some chuck steak, shin or neck.

The neck has the most fat and this will break down and give the dish a rich mouth feel where as the shin has more connective tissue which breaks down and makes the dish incredibly silky.

Do I have to use so many types of chilli?

No, but they do all serve a different purpose and add a different flavour to the dish.

The mild fresh chillies add a sweetness to the dish, the ancho chilli adds a spicy fruitiness to the mix and the combination of chipotle products adds a wonderful smokiness.

Can I use chipotle in adobo?

You can, I use a combination of chipotle chilli flakes and chipotle paste to emulate this because they are easy to find here in the UK.

Don’t worry about leftovers, I use chipotle paste in dishes like my spicy black bean soup, Mexican chicken stew and spicy sweetcorn soup.

Chipotle in adobo is more difficult to find and once you open the tin it has a shorter shelf life than the two products that I use, but you can add a couple of chillies if you prefer.

What does the polenta or cornmeal do?

It thickens the chill, but it does it in a very different way to cornflour or regular flour which will make your chilli a little “claggy”.

Do I have to add the beans?

No, in some circles the addition of beans in a chilli is “controversial”, I like them, in fact, I love them, but if you don’t omit them it is fine.

Close-up chunky beef chilli con carne cooked in a slow cooker served with brown rice.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve served my slow cooker chilli con carne in these pictures with some simply cooked brown rice, then garnished it with coriander, jalapeno peppers, lime wedges and some sour cream.

However, you can play around with garnish for this recipe a lot! It’s great with tortilla chips, avocado, grated cheddar, queso fresco, spring onions or red onion to name a few.

Cornbread is an incredibly popular side for chilli in its “homeland”, although I play slightly differently and love serving it with polenta!

Whether it is a cheesy polenta “porridge” or my fried polenta chips I love them with chilli.

It is also great spooned across a jacket potato with a dollop of sour cream or turned into quesadillas!

Overhead chunky beef chilli con carne cooked in a slow cooker served with brown rice.

Equipment Used

I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Slow cooker, I use a 3.5 litre Crockpot.
  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan, not nonstick if possible.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Kitchen tongs and stirring spoons.
Slow cooker chunky beef chilli con carne with brown rice garnished with lime, coriander and jalapeno.
Yield: 4 Servings

Slow Cooker Beef Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 3 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 18 minutes

We all have a beef chili recipe right? Well this is mine a wonderfully rich and deeply flavoured slow cooker chilli con carne that is super easy to cook but has big bold and complex flavours and plenty of punch in the spice department!


  • 650g (22oz) Stewing Beef
  • 400g (2⅔ Cups) Onion
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 2 Mild Red Chilli Peppers
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 50g (4 Tbsp) Polenta or Cornmeal
  • ½ Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Ancho Chilli Flakes
  • ½ Tsp Chipotle Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Chipotle Chilli Paste
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 500ml (2 Cups) Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil (You may need an extra tablespoon to sear the beef)
  • 1-1½ Tsp Salt
  • 400g (14oz) Tin of Kidney Beans


  1. If the beef is not diced cut it into a 25mm (1") dice.
  2. Cut the onions in half, peel them and then cut them into 15mm (½") dice.
  3. Remove the stalk and stem from the green pepper and cut it into a 15mm (½") dice.
  4. Cut the red chilli peppers into rounds 2-3mm thick.
  5. Peel and cut the garlic into a medium dice.
  6. Heat a 28cm or 11" frying pan or skillet (not nonstick if possible) over a high heat.
  7. Add half of the cooking oil to the pan when it is hot and then sear the beef in two batches until it is nicely coloured on all sides, then transfer it to the slow cooker.
  8. Return the pan to a medium heat, add the remaining oil, green peppers and onions and cook for 5-6 minutes stirring regularly until the onions begin to soften, scrape the pan as you go to remove the cooking residue from the beef.
  9. Add the garlic and sliced red chilli peppers, then cook for another minute.
  10. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to get the final bits of residue from the base of the pan and then add this mix to the slow cooker.
  11. Throw in the polenta, cocoa powder, cumin, oregano, brown sugar, both types of chilli flakes and chipotle chilli flakes and give everything a stir.
  12. Pour the beef stock into the slow cooker, give everything another stir, have a taste and add salt if required, then add a lid and cook on low for 5½ hours.
  13. After 5½ hours drain the kidney beans, do not bother to wash them, and add them to the slow cooker, then cook for another 30 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 699Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 2268mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 13gSugar: 16gProtein: 39g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Thursday 5th of October 2023

Hi Brian,

Please could you kindly share your original recipe for the Instant Pot Chili Con Carne that this link use to direct to?

It has been my staple recipe for thee Autumn months and I haven’t found one as good.

Imagine my surprise and dismay when I click my bookmarked link and it was gone!

I was so ready to start cooking it tonight and alas had to go down to the local chippy for dinner instead!


Thursday 5th of October 2023

@Brian Jones,

Yes please! That would be amazing!!!

Thank you very much :)

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of October 2023

Hi... Of course I can send it to you, do you mind if I send it to you on the email address you have used to post this comment?

All the best.



Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

Tried this last night and it's absolutely lovely! So earthy, rich and full of flavours. Perfect comfort food now that we're heading towards the fall. Lovely!

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of October 2018

Glad you are exploring my little world of Instant pot recipes and enjoying them Nina :D

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

Tuesday 28th of February 2017

Chilli is such a great and reliable dish. It is great to get it tweeked to your own recipe. Looks and sounds totally delicious, perfect supper dish.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 1st of March 2017

Thanks Helen... A bit of an all time favourite :)

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

Tuesday 28th of February 2017

That is a big bowl of deliciousness! I love chilli - it's such a comforting dish on a cold night.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 1st of March 2017

Most definitely an all time favourite!


Tuesday 28th of February 2017

Wow what a vibrant bowl of food. Ive heard a lot about instant pot and all v positive.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 1st of March 2017

Cheers Emma... The IP is pretty impressive, there are a couple of areas where it is not 100% but for what I use it for it is awesome!

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