Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe

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From the Money Saving Recipes Series

Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe is not your typical Texas Cowboy Chili.  I add beans to this recipe.  Actually, I add lots of beans!  I prefer to use black beans and kidney beans because the combination of the two makes for an interesting flavor and because black beans happen to be my favorite bean of all time.

I also add celery and onion as flavoring components because the taste of just chili powder isn’t all that interesting to me personally.  I hope you make my Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe, but be forewarned, once you do, you might not ever make chili the same way again!

Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe Ingredients

Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe Ingredients

2 (15-oz) cans of Pinto Beans

1 (15-oz) can of Black Beans

1 (15-oz) can of Dark Red Kidney Beans

1 (15-oz) can of chili style diced tomatoes

1 lb of lean ground beef, 93/7 mix

1 stalk of celery, finely diced, approximately 1/3 cup

1/2 medium onion, finely diced, approximately 1/4 cup

2 packets of McCormick brand chili seasoning

one bottle of green Tabasco hot sauce to taste

1/4 cup dry Masa mix

30-oz of water for the chili

1/4 cup water for the Masa mix

Corn chips, cilantro, shredded cheese & sour cream to serve

Brown the ground beef in a skillet until no longer pink and set aside to cool.  There’s no need to drain it off when you use the 93/7 mix because the only liquid in the pan is flavoring that does not contain fat.

Practical Couponing for Busy People Method Hack:  I cook ALL of my ground beef when I bring it home from the store so I don’t have to worry about freezing it or using it right away.  I also don’t have to fuss with defrosting, thawing or cooking it later in the week when I have another recipe that uses it because I’ve already done it today.

If I won’t use it right away then I will freeze it using my Food Saver Vacuum Sealer and label and toss it in my freezer until ready to use.  There’s no need to defrost or thaw because the meat is already cooked.  Just let it sit out on your counter for 5-10 minutes and it will crumble easily into your recipe.

I also use seasonings to flavor the meat since I am using a leaner mix.  I flavor the meat with garlic powder, freshly cracked black pepper and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce while it’s browning.

I can also use half the amount in a recipe because you don’t lose hardly any volume when you use 93/7 instead of the 80/20 or 73/27 mixes.  You also don’t need to rinse the ground beef under water like recipes call for because once again, there isn’t much fat in the 93/7 mix.  It is a bit pricier when you purchase it but you really do get what you pay for in volume.

Remember this handy hack the next time you spot some ground beef on clearance.  Take it home, cook it all up in one big batch and divide it up into recipe portions.  Making quick weeknight meals will be easy when you have access to pre-cooked packages of protein like these.

Now back to the Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe!  

Wash and rinse the lid tops to all of the cans.  Pour the diced tomatoes, celery, onion and chili packets into your crockpot.  Open the beans and rinse in a strainer prior to dumping into your crockpot.  This will help control the sodium levels and will keep your chili from having an overpowering starchy bean flavor.

Dump in your drained beans and add the ground beef.  Mix well and slowly add the 30-oz of water.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Crockpot chili with beans - soupy version

I prefer my Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe to be thin and watery like a chili soup (see picture above) and my husband and daughter like theirs thick like a stew.  So to make everyone in our family of five happy, I scoop out enough of the “soupy chili” into a separate pot to serve me and my oldest son a meal.  I then change the texture from soupy to stewy using Masa mix.

Picture of the Masa Brosa bag of masa corn mix

I have no clue what the bag says word for word because my Spanglish is really rusty but what I do know is that this stuff is magical!  It’s like fairy dust for chili or beans and I can’t live without it!

I use 1/4 cup of the Masa mix and 1/4 cup of water and mix it until it forms a smooth masa paste.

1/4 cup of Masa mix with 1/4 cup water, formed a smooth paste

This slurry paste will make the perfect chili gravy that gives it that super thick and stewy texture people love so much.  It goes from water to gravy instantly.  Compare the next image to see for yourself.  Be sure and stir this in quickly as the masa paste will form little masa balls if you allow it to sit in the hot chili liquid too long without stirring.

Crockpot Chili with Beans - Gravy version

So there you have it, two versions of the same chili in one recipe!  I top my bowl with chopped fresh cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, a few dashes of hot sauce and a small dollop of sour cream.  I use the corn chips to dip out my beans and meat.  My husband prefers to eat his with crackers and he likes to skip the Tex-Mex toppings altogether.

No matter whether you like it soupy or stewy, classic or dressed up in Tex-Mex form, I hope you will enjoy my Crockpot Chili with Beans Recipe and time saving hack!

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