Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili

I recently shared a Red & Green Chili recipe that was also for the crock pot, but it did require a little bit of stove cooking first. I know it’s only one extra step (and worth it in the end), but some days, just one less thing to do can make all the difference!

With this Steak Slow Cooker Chili recipe, my goal was to make things as quick and EASY as possible. And trust me, it doesn’t get any easier or more delicious than this one.

So if you are looking for a way to stay warm this winter or to feed a bunch of extra house guests (or if you’re participating in a chili cook-off!), this recipe will not disappoint! (Just be sure to double it for a big crowd.)

Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili from 100 Days of #RealFood #chili

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Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili

Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili

With this Steak Chili recipe, my goal was to make things as quick and EASY as possible. Trust me, it doesn't get any easier or more delicious than this one.
4.5 from 25 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 hrs
Total Time: 5 hrs 10 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds stew beef cut in 2-inch chunks (grass-fed recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or regular pepper (double this if you like it hot!)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed (you could use black beans instead)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes with juice

Optional Toppings

Instructions
 

  • Put the stew beef chunks in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Top with onions, beans, and tomatoes.
  • Turn the slow cooker onto high heat and cook for 5 to 6 hours. Shred beef with a fork before serving, if desired. Top with garnishes of choice and serve warm.

Notes

  • You could substitute 1 pound ground beef for the stew meat, if you prefer a smoother chili, or even ground turkey if you like turkey chili!
  • We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 289 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 105mg35%
Sodium 808mg35%
Potassium 863mg25%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 851IU17%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 138mg14%
Iron 9mg50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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142 thoughts on “Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili”

  1. Has this recipe been made on the stove top? I want to bring it to a chili cook off and we have to prepare it there and can only use a burner, not a crockpot. Any suggestions?

  2. 5 stars
    Have you tried making this in the instant pot? If so how long did it take? I have one and we love this recipe but don’t have as much time today so was hoping to use the instant pot instead of my slow cooker to cook it :-)

      1. A lot of our readers have said they cooked it on low for 10-12 hours and it came out great. – Nicole

  3. 5 stars
    So simple and so delicious! We use a 15oz can of black beans in place of the stew meat (for a vegetarian option). Tonight we threw it in the instant pot and dinner was ready from start to finish in 30min! Thanks for such a terrific recipe!!

      1. Bekah, not sure about the IP settings, but if you have it in a slow cooker/crock pot it takes about 5 -6 hours on high heat. – Nicole

  4. 5 stars
    My family loves this chili! My 9yo gobbles it up. I double everything except the stew meat, and actually use 4 cans of kidney beans! We top it with green onions and avocado. So good!!!

  5. 5 stars
    I gave this 5 stars because it was easy, used few ingredients and tasted good. I’ve been spending way too much time on chili! To adjust to my preferences I added 1/2 tsp of chiptole chili, 1 can of tomato paste and black pepper.

  6. Just made this. Thought it was a little spice shy but came out great. Added GB and Chorizo and doubled the recipe. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. 1 star
    Made this yesterday and followed the recipe to a T, adding extra cayenne. Sadly the extra spice didn’t help the dish, as this is the most bland creation I have ever made . What a waste of ingredients and bummer for my family.

      1. Hi Lisa, tomatoes bother my daughter’s stomach. Can you replace with something else ? What it still be okay without adding the can of tomatoes?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. We do not provide that info but there are many online tools that can calculate those details for you.

  8. I’m meal prepping for our new baby’s arrival.. Could I put all the ingredients together (pre-cooked) and freeze so that I can just dump them in a crock pot one morning?

  9. Recipe sounds delicious. Do you think this would be as good cooked in the oven? If so, at what temp and for how long would you cook it for?

  10. I’m also curious to know if anyone has had luck cooking this on low for 10-12 hours. Everyone in our house is away for the day for at least 9 hours. This looks amazing though, so maybe it will be a weekend meal.

    1. I cooked this on low for 11 hours in the crockpot and it turned out perfect. I doubled the recipe, so I’m not sure if that would make a difference if you didn’t.

  11. This recipe looks great, but how do I make this with dry beans and not with beans from a can?? Less processed is the goal, right?!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Emily. Sure, you could add corn. Grilled corn might be even better added at the the end of your cooking cycle. ;)

  12. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe! What are some suggestions to serve this with? Crusty bread? Crackers, etc? I usually serve my ground beef chili over a small amount of white rice. Looking to change things up a bit. Thank you! :-)

  13. Made a batch of this for dinner tonight. Added a clove of garlic (because we love garlic) and also some sliced mushrooms (just because I had them). It was so easy and so delicious.
    Because of timing issues in my house – I put it on about 7 in the morning and my husband turned it off about noon. Then we turned it back on to heat through for dinner. Love to hear if anyone has success cooking it on low for 10 or 12 hours.

  14. I’m going to make this tonight so I can’t rate it yet. But I just wanted to say thank you Lisa for making recipes that don’t have a bunch I ingredients I’ve never heard of or are hard to find. So many “healthy” cookbooks and blogs have recipes that are too time consuming or with strange ingredients. Your blog and book have been a tremendous help to me and I just wanted to let you know I appreciate it! :)

  15. My family loves this recipe (I sold it as a combo of beef stew and chili, they love both), but I couldn’t find this recipe in the recipe index. Did I miss it?

  16. Oh man! This is soooo good and so easy! I have 6 kids so I doubled it. I used 28oz of diced tomatoes and 28oz of crushed tomatoes. I also used navy beans instead of kidney beans because I am doing the GAPS diet right now, and the navy beans are GAPS approved. Thank you for this recipe! Everyone loved it!

  17. Just finished my first bowl. Delish! I doubled the recipe but my chili powder was hot Mexican so I halved that and the cayenne pepper. Turned out wonderful. I was so nervous because the meat was expensive but this will feed my husband and I for a few meals. He loved it too.

  18. 4 stars
    Chili was great. Also added zucchini & yellow squash and it was delicious. Highly recomended. You can’t go wrong experimen a bit too.

  19. This was the easiest recipe ever! I used chicken instead of beef, black beans rather than kidney beans, and added some frozen corn kernels. It was so good!!

  20. I was wondering if I could use a flank steak instead? If so, would you cut it up before cooking or cook it whole and shred it after it cooks?

  21. 5 stars
    This was the best chili I have ever made! I doubled the recipe, added 1 diced red bell pepper and some cilantro. I still can’t believe how good the meat was without having to brown it first! This is one dish I will be making again and again!

  22. 3 stars
    This was ok. It had good flavor after mixing in some cheese, but only makes about 3 small bowls. Definitely not enough for my husband and I. The meat was very tender and tasty. Next time I will puree the tomatoes (I don’t like the chunks of tomatoes), add some stock and double the recipe. Good base to build on.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Hiba. Browning ground beef helps enhance its flavor. Also, if you skip the browning step, you might find the final product a bit greasy. ~Amy

  23. I’m sure it would be fine to leave the beans out, but do you have any suggestions for options to use instead of beans?
    Thank you!

  24. This recipe was AWESOME! It was a new idea to use stew meat. My family enjoyed it and I loved giving them clean food. I will be adding it to my favorites!

  25. 5 stars
    I made this today for my family of 4. It initially drew me in as a somewhat “cheap” recipe to make and I had half a roast in the freezer. Based on my experience with similar recipes, I had low expectations. Boy was I surprised! This was freaking delicious! I have always preferred chili with chunks of meat like my mom makes but never could replicate to my liking. This is definitely something I will be making over and over again.

  26. I have yet to try this, but I Think I’ll add a can of corn and a green or red bell pepper to the mix..

  27. I have had a slow cooker that was given as a gift 4 years ago but have been hesitant to use it. I am using it today because this recipes sounds delicious. A quick quesiton, do we just layer the ingredients or mix them with a spatula before or during the cooking process?
    Thanks,

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there. Just layer. The beef should be at the bottom. It will all combine during the cooking process. You can give it a good stir before serving. :) ~Amy

  28. Recipe sounds perfect, can’t wait to try it! Would like to double up and freeze leftovers for lunches. Any idea how well this would freeze and reheat?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Christine. This freezes really well. I would defrost overnight and reheat on the stove top on a medium heat. ~Amy

  29. 5 stars
    Have made this twice now, once with red kidney beans, and once with pinto beans. I prefer kidney, but pintos are fine.

    Cook time of 6 hours on high seems perfect for me. I usually shred the beef at 5 hours, and then let it cook for another hour to absorb some of the liquid. It will seem very watery at first, but once you shred the meat it will absorb most of the excess liquid (there will still be some).

    This is pretty salty for us, so I’d decrease the salt and/or use low-sodium tomatoes.

    I double the cayenne pepper to 1/4 tsp. and it has a little kick, but is not too spicy by any means.

    I like the texture of the meat, very stew-like, and a welcome alternative to most chili recipes. Thanks!

  30. 5 stars
    Honestly, I’ve been waiting for this recipe my whole life. Why? It’s easiest thing I’ve ever made. HIgh on simplicity AND high on taste. More recipes like this, please please please. Seriously, this is easier than take out. And everyone in my family loved it. I’m thrilled!!!

  31. 5 stars
    We loved it! I don’t currently have easy access to grass-fed or local meat, so I bought “Naturewell” beef chuck which is at least antibiotic/hormone free although not grass-fed. I used closer to 2 lbs. of meat and I did double both the cayenne and the chili powder in the recipe. I also used red beans instead of kidney beans – personal preference. Cooked on low for 8 hours, then it sat in the slow cooker until I got home from work. Shredded the meat right in the pot (it was falling apart) and served! Couldn’t be easier and will become a regular staple in our house as I work full-time and really enjoy using the crock pot. We topped with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and had sides of whole wheat cornbread and baby carrots. I gave my 18-month old a taste of the meat, and he ended up eating an entire serving on his own (and kept pointing at the crock pot for more!). Brought leftovers for lunch today and I am confident it will reheat well. For those who said they had too much liquid in the pot – all crock pots cook differently. Mine tends to run on the hotter/drier side so I always use all the liquid called for in a recipe (and sometimes add back a bit of water before serving). If your crock pot tends not to be as hot, then you could drain some of the juice from the tomatoes and set it aside (add back later if you need it).

  32. This tasted amazing! I topped it with homemade creme fraiche, which complemented it very well. I highly recommend this recipe! I’m making it again tomorrow, I just can’t get enough. 5 stars for sure.

  33. sounds from all the feedback that this recipe will be awesome at my 49er party on sunday. Question: can I use leftover ny strip steak? And, if yes, when do I enlist it to the rest of the ‘slow cooking’ ingredients? Thank you in advance…

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Robert. Well, I’m getting to this post-party. How did it go? Was the strip steak already cooked? Curious. ~Amy

      1. Hi, Amy: sadly my niners lost but the party was a hit and the ‘chili’ was delicious—thanks to you! However, the steak was not used by most as the veggie chili sufficed. Yes, the steak had been previously cooked via charcoal but perhaps its meatiness was a hindrance and not a help… In any event, thanks again for the recipe—it was easy and fun to serve.

        Warmly, Todd

  34. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe and super easy! I prepared my crock pot the night before and then stored in the fridge overnight. Turned it on at noon and had dinner by 6! I did not end up shredding the beef because of timing (whoops!) and it was still delicious. Thank you, Lisa!

  35. 4 stars
    While tasty, I made a few modifications….
    I added an extra can of beans at the end because it was a little on the low end for what I like. I shredded the beef, but it still stayed pretty soupy.

    I might cook it another 1/2-1 hour after shredding to give it that thicker sauce chili texture next time. Might lower to 1 lb of beef next time with the added beans too.

  36. Made this last night and my family LOVED it!!!!! I did cook it on low for 8 hours and then it stayed on the warm setting in the crock pot until we ate (about 2 hrs after cooking) and it was great! I will definitely make this again and next time I’ll double it so we have leftovers! Thanks again for another fantastic, easy and delicious meal!

  37. I have a bag of dried kidney beans. Can I soak some of them and just put them right in the crockpot with this recipe or do I need to cook them first? Thanks

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jenny. You should use fully cooked red kidney beans. Red Kidney beans that are undercooked have a toxin that can make you sick. ~Amy

  38. How would cooking time be adjusted if you don’t thaw the meat first? I seem to always forget to put the meat in the fridge to thaw the day before, so just in case I do that I’d like to be prepared.

    Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Amy. We’ve not used frozen meat so I can’t be sure. There are some food safety concerns with frozen meat in a crock pot, too. ~Amy

  39. I am starting the 10 day pledge today, but I’m on a very strict budget. So I purchased a whole chicken and that is what most of my meat for the week consists of. I am going to try an make this chili using chicken. Sounds delicious.

  40. 5 stars
    this was awesome! I fed this to my family of 5 PLUS 3 college age boys…everyone loved it(No leftovers!) I used venison tenderloin/backstrap cubed up. Its the first time I’ve made real food chili (as in NOT using a seasoning pack) and I was surprised at how easy it was. AND venison can easily become tough, but slow cooking it under all those other yummy ingredients was so easy, and it was so tender! This was a winner.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jess. We have not tried such a long cook time on this recipe. If you do, please let us know your results. ~Amy

      1. I made this last night and cooked it on low for 8 hours and then it sat on the warm setting for another couple of hours before we ate. It was delish and my family devoured it!

  41. Made this last night for dinner. This is the first recipe that I have ever made in my slow cooker that I felt came out fantastic! Usually I’m not crazy about anything that comes out of my slow cooker. It was so easy to make and it’s a great recipe to leave going before leaving to work. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  42. 5 stars
    My husband and I just started doing some of the mini whole food challenges. This was the first dinner I made from this site. I must say I will never, ever make chili again with ground beef. This was ABSOLUTELY delicious. Thank you so much. I look forward to experiencing all of your awesome, healthy recipes!

  43. Someone mentioned the canned tomato sand I just wanted to get other mom’s opinions on canned foods, especially tomatoes. I’ve read research shows bpa in all canned foods, and even more in tomatoes because of the acid. I’ve found organic tomatoes in glass jars at Giant and our local health food store so that is what I use instead of canned. The only thing I eat out of a can is beans because they are just such a hassle!! Anyways I haven’t seen anything mentioned on here regarding canned foods, any input?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Dana. We often use canned beans and some other canned ingredients for their convenience. I, personally, try to avoid highly acidic canned items unless they are in BPA free containers. That is up to you. ~Amy

  44. This was fantastic! I made it for my father for his birthday – next time I will double the recipe. Like some of the other commenters, I noticed that it seemed soupy, but once I shredded the beef it absorbed some of the liquid and became the perfect consistency.

  45. 3 stars
    Mine came out too soupy. I had a Costco sized package of meat to cook, 4.3 lbs, so I tripled the recipe for meat and doubled for the rest and filled my 6qt slow cooker. For all that volume I should have added two more hours, the meat wasn’t tender enough. We doctored it up the next day in the pressure cooker, a can of tomato paste, another can of beans (this time with a little of the starch) and another can of tomatoes, drained this time, and that was the winner. Next time I’ll freeze that last pound of stew meat for another day, making strictly a double batch, drain the tomatoes, save some starch on the beans, add a can of tomato paste, and extend cooking time another two hours. There will be a next time, will need some experimentation.

  46. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday and it was great! It was a little thicker consistency than we are used to. Next time I may add some water to it at the start.

  47. Thank you!! You posted this recipe only hours after I’d wasted my time searching for easy slow cooker recipes. I couldn’t find any! We just had this one for dinner. We loved it! My husband requested that we have this often.

  48. Planning to make this tomorrow. Going to throw in some chopped bell peppers and mushrooms then double the onion. Gotta bulk it up to make it go further on our budget! Looks delish :)

  49. 4 stars
    This was so easy and yummy! What made it so great was all the toppings. I added brown rice on the bottom and topped with cheese, cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and avocado slices. This would be great with company because they can customize their own bowl to their liking. Thanks for another awesome recipe.

  50. Hi! Making this tonight. It has about an hour left in the crock pot, but it looks a little soupy. This is my first chili I’ve ever made so I’m not sure if it’s supposed to look like this?

      1. Ohhh, it was delicious! Wasn’t soupy when it was all done. My husband loved it as well, he told me to write this recipe down! :)

  51. Question: How could I cut this recipe down to make it a smaller portion size (I don’t have a family to feed, it’s just me). Can I halve everything with the same results?

  52. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight with your cornbread recipe, and can I just say: YUM!! What a wonderful surprise. It even fit (barely) into my tiny one-woman crock pot (I think it’s 4 quarts?). This was, by far, the best slow cooker chili recipe I’ve come across. I usually make vegetarian chili, but it often comes out watery or bland. This was delish. Thank you!

  53. I would love to make this recipe during the work week.. Since most people do an 8 hour day, it won’t be possible to turn the crock pot off after 5-6 hours as the instructions state. By the time I got home it would be too late to start. How else could I cook this? Maybe a lower setting for longer?

    1. GSDlover, I refrigerate all the add-ins and freeze the meat overnight. Then I add it all to the the slow cooker before I leave for work in the morning. The timing is always perfect because it takes a few hours for the meat to thaw before it starts the actual cooking time. I hope it works for you too.

  54. 5 stars
    I don’t like to cook. But I want to eat better and after keeping a food journal for just a few days, I was mortified. I was super pleased to hear of your site and we’re doing our 100 days starting on New Years. But as it was my night to provide dinner for the fam, I decided to try an easy recipe, and this looked fantastic! As expected, I messed it up by getting the wrong size can of diced tomatoes, and got so into finding out how to make up for the lack of tomatoes that I forgot to add the beans. Still turned out AWESOME!!!!! Even without toppings, it went very nicely with a loaf of homemade bread and a salad that I ended up making with cabbage because (surprise!) we were also out of lettuce. I still don’t like cooking but disaster was easily averted and it was super easy!

  55. Francesca Hildreth

    Dr. Oz just had a great segment on salt intake on one his shows. He specifically stated that 1500 mg could be too low for many. He said low salt
    can be just as dangerous as too much salt. I don’t eat very many processed foods and have been noticing that my salt levels can be low at times. Dr. Oz recommended 2300 mg per day…..the recipe looks great. Can’t wait to try it!

  56. This looks delicious and much, much easier (and cheaper) than my usual chili recipe. I’ll be giving this a try. Thank you!

  57. The recipe looks delicious but I would use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes. Canned tomatoes have huge amounts of salt. According the Canadian statistics from what I watched on TV, some people’s salt intake is 2500mg a day. It’s suppose to be 1000 or 1500 a day. Some of the athletic people and even the real health nut’s salt intake were a skyrocket level of 5000-7500mg a day. These were hockey players, swimmers, etcetera who thought they were eating very healthy. They all handed a jug of urine from one full day. Their urine was handed in to see what their salt levels were at and they were all shocked.

    1. Not all canned tomatoes have huge amounts of salt – just read the labels. But also keep in mind that if one eats mostly unprocessed foods, one’s salt intake is apt to be lower than normal. What I do is when I use canned tomatoes, I don’t salt as I cook. I find that generally the food is salty enough and, if it’s a bit short, I can salt at the end or put the salt grinder out on the table for everyone to salt themselves. We have found that, living in a hot place where we sweat much of the year, 1000mg isn’t always enough salt.

    2. 2500mg of sodium really isn’t too much for most folks. Fewer people than once thought actually have significant elevation of BP from sodium. Some folks actually need a high sodium diet to maintain BP & not faint. It’s very individualized. Most US grocery stores carry canned tomatoes & other veggies in a no salt added option for those who are required to keep sodium intake very low.

  58. This looks fantastic! Thanks for another quick, easy, delicious dinner idea. My kids love beef chili, but I always make it with ground beef that I have to brown first. One less step sounds good to me. :)

      1. slow cooked beef problem
        sometimes when I cook beef the outside is cooked and the inside stays pink yet it is very tender.
        What am I missing? not enough liquid or not high enough temp?
        I usually always cooked on low.
        Thanks

      2. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

        Hi Mo. You may need to turn the heat up. However, it is normal for the inside to be slightly more pink. ~Amy

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