Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili

27 Reviews / 4.6 Average
With this steak chili recipe, my goal was to make things as quick and EASY as possible by using the slow cooker. Trust me, it doesn't get any easier or more delicious than this one.
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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! That’s where this steak chili recipe comes in.

Two white bowls loaded with slow cooker steak chili topped with melted cheese.

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So if you’re 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. This White Bean Chili and this Dutch Oven Chili are great too!

What Goes into This Steak Chili Recipe?

Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of chili on a chilly day? It’s even better when you make it with minimal prep. This chili recipe has it all: great taste, real food ingredients, and no precooking or extensive prep required.

Beef

The best cut of steak for this slow cooker steak chili recipe is actually stew beef. Stew beef is usually pre-cut into 2” chunks, which saves on prep time. It’s also perfectly marbled, meaning tender chunks of beef that shred after slow cooking.

If you can’t get stew beef, it can be subbed with any tender, marbled beef cuts you have available (cut into 2” chunks). Ground beef or ground turkey will also work, but I recommend pre-cooking before adding it to the slow cooker.

Beans

We used a 15oz can of kidney beans, but you can also use black beans instead. Make sure to thoroughly drain and rinse canned beans before adding them to the slow cooker.

Diced Tomatoes

You’ll need one large 28 oz can for this recipe. Choose a variety that’s unseasoned and if you don’t like tomato chunks 28 oz of crushed tomatoes will also work.

Onions and Seasoning

If you buy pre-cut stew beef the only prep is dicing half an onion. You probably have all the spices for this steak chili recipe in your pantry: chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt.

Spices, including the pepper, can be adjusted to taste.

How to Make Slow Cooker Steak Chili

This recipe is super easy! Just throw all your ingredients into the slow cooker in the order they appear on the recipe. Then cook on high for 5-6 hours, shred the beef, and serve!

Can This Recipe be Doubled?

Yes, go ahead and double the ingredients. You may need to add extra cooking time.

How Can I Freeze Leftover Chili?

Leftover chili is one of the easiest foods to freeze! If you like easy meals (or have kids with busy schedules), it’s a great idea to double this recipe and freeze the extra. To freeze chili, simply cool fully then portion it out into freezer-safe containers.

You can thaw in the fridge overnight, defrost/reheat in the microwave, or put frozen chili in a pot with a few splashes of water and heat on the stove.

Can You Cook This Steak Chili Recipe on Low Instead?

Yes, this chili can be cooked on low for about 8 hours. If you plan to be out longer, consider doubling the recipe or investing in a slow cooker with a timer that will automatically switch to warm after 8 hours (for food safety, don’t leave the slow cooker on warm for more than 2-4 hours).

How Can I Pressure Cook This Steak Chili Recipe in an Instant Pot?

I don’t use an Instant Pot myself, but most slow cooker recipes can be adapted to one with a few simple changes. Here are some tips that might work if you want to try this recipe in an Instant Pot instead of a slow cooker:

  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil on the sauté setting and fry your beef pieces on all sides. You may need to work in batches.
  2. Add the onion and cook until browned.
    • You may want to deglaze the pan with ½ cup of chicken stock to avoid burning.
  3. Turn off, then add all the other ingredients to the instant pot.
  4. Set it to the chili setting and cook for 20 minutes, or pressure cook on high for 10 minutes and natural release.
  5. Shred beef and serve.

Try this No Bean Chili too!

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Recipe Rating




  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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. ;)

  7. 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! :-)

  8. 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.

  9. 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! :)

  10. 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?

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!!

  15. 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?

  16. 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!

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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..

  22. 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

  23. 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