Chuck Roast cut into cubes and simmered in this chile-infused sauce makes Slow Cooker Texas Chili a hardy winter meal. Toppings may include onion rings, avocado chunks, cheddar and fresh jalapeños.
I have a confession to make. I’ve never really liked slow cooker meals. I get the appeal of just tossing ingredients into a pot and walking away to return several hours later to the smells of a delightfully fragrant and finished dish. But most meals I’ve made in my crock pot have been pretty ho-hum. Recently, I found a copy of America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution at my local library. I am a huge fan of America’s Test Kitchen, plus I’ve never seen a more dog-eared copy of any library book before in my life. So, I had to check it out. The second sentence on the back of the book states “Too bad most slow-cooker recipes deliver mediocre results you’d rather forget than fix again.” By the time I read that “the team at America’s Test Kitchen spent a year developing recipes, and what they discovered will change the way you use your slow cooker”, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to dig in. Since trying a few of the recipes and learning some valuable slow cooker techniques, I’m officially a Slow Cooker Convert. I learned that for a recipe to REALLY work in a crock pot, a little pre-cooking prep is necessary, like “blooming” onions, garlic and spices in the microwave to intensify their flavor. Or some finish work under a broiler might be necessary for say, fall-off-the-bone barbecued ribs.
Today I’m excited to share a recipe for super flavorful Slow Cooker Texas Chili. And with my new arsenal of slow cooking techniques for brilliant dishes, it looks like “slow cooked meals” will be getting its own category on Good Dinner Mom.
Here are my ingredients, ready to go. Texas Chili is known for featuring big chunks of beef slowly simmered to fall-apart tenderness. Beef chuck is perfect in this version, but ask your butcher to cut up the chuck for you to really save on time.
The onions, garlic, tomato paste, vegetable oil, cumin and oregano get stirred together to “bloom” in the microwave before being added to the slow cooker. This step promises great flavor (and delivers!).
Then simply add your ingredients, including a bit of tapioca for thickening, which will disappear during cooking. You will vary the amount of chipotle chiles depending on how much heat you like.
The toppings for this hearty, chunky chili are endless. I love to add fresh onion and Anaheim pepper rings to chili. I also served green onions, avocado chunks, sour cream, cheese and fresh jalapeno slices since I make my chili on the mild to medium side. The jalapenos will satisfy your heat-lovers.
Post update January, 2016: Thanks to a “true Texas girl” Kaycee, I must correct myself that true Texas Chili has no beans. With or without the beans, I hope you like this recipe. 🙂
Slow Cooker Texas Chili
- 3 whole onions, minced
- ¼ cup chili powder
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, minced, OR 1 teaspoon dried
- 2- 15 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1- 28 oz. can or box of tomato puree
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup Minute tapioca
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 Tablespoons canned chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, plus extra as needed
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 5 pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed, and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
- Salt and pepper
Options for Toppings:
- scallions, avocado chunks, fresh jalapeños, sour cream, cheddar cheese, fried onion rings
- I used 1 Tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo and it wasn't even hot.
- Microwave 3 onions, ¼ cup chili powder, ¼ cup tomato paste, 3 Tablespoons oil, 8 minced garlic, 2 Tablespoons cumin and 1 Tablespoon oregano in large bowl, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.
- Stir, 30 ounces beans, 28 ounces tomato puree, 2 cups broth, ¼ cup tapioca, 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1-2 Tablespoons chipotles, 2 Tablespoons sugar, and 2 bay leaves into slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Gently stir together. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
- Let chili settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste, sprinkle with toppings and serve.
- Toppings include but aren't limited to: Sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh diced jalapenos, tomatoes, chopped avocados, fried onion rings
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution.
Fay harris says
Made this for dinner last night in the Insta Pot. Browned the meat and cooked the onions then dumped it all in the pot for 30 minutes. Family loved it! One of the best chili’s we’ve had!
This was great! I’m lazy so didn’t cut up a chuck roast but used stew meat instead that our store cuts up fairly small. Other than that i followed the recipe to the letter and served it with white rice. It has a wonderful spice without being overly hot. The meat simmered to extremely tender without falling apart.
jackie m k says
I’m from Texas and this is our favorite chili. Sometimes when my kids have friends over and I need to stretch this recipe I like to add an extra can of beans. Great recipe Sally!
Michael Castillo says
I made this for a Super Bowl get together. My family loved it, although it was a little too spicy for them. I think it’s because I used 1/4 cup cayenne pepper vs. 1/4 cup chili powder? Anyhoo, I thought it was great. A guy at the party told me it was not thickened enough. But then amazingly the next day it was nice and thick. I think it tasted even better the next couple days. Long story short (too late!), I liked it and will cut back on the cayenne next time. Thank you for the recipe!
Sally Humeniuk says
Michael, great information here and I’m glad it thickened up for you the next day even though that was after the Big game. Yes, cayenne pepper is A LOT spicier than chili powder. If you make it with chili powder next time, it should be just right. If you’d like it thicker the day you make it, you could stir 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into about 1/4 cup of cold water, then stir that mixture into the chili. I’d do that about 30 minutes before it’s finished cooking.
This sounds great, but coming from a true Texas girl, I have to say that real Texas chili has no beans. I will definitely give this recipe a try, but without the beans!
Thanks for setting things straight on this recipe, Kaycee. I’m going to add an addendum to the post and I hope you let me know what you think of the recipe, sans beans ;).
Becki's Whole Life says
This sounds amazing! Slow cooker recipes can definitely be hit or miss, but leave it to ATK to figure things out for us! I love how you added the fried onions on top – holy yum!
Thanks Becki, I have a secret desire to be part of the ATK team! 🙂