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    NQM Awesome Beef & Bean Chili Recipe

    Prep time: 15-20 minutes (see shortcuts section; skip shortcuts = longer prep time)
    Serves: around 6 people
    Suggested toppings: grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado, picked jalapeños, hot sauce
    Cook time: 8 hours on low — Fills 3–4 Q Slow Cooker.
    For larger capacity 6.5 Q Slow Cooker, you can double the recipe but reduce the chicken broth by 1 cup.
    Serve with: tortilla chips or cornbread


    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • 1 lb. beef chuck steak/roast cut into 3/4″ cubes
    • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more as needed (vegetable oil is okay)
    • 1.5 tbsp. Kosher salt and 1.5 tbsp.  ground pepper (+/- to taste)
    • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
    • 8-10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp. chili powder (optional 1-2 tbsp. more for extra spicy)
    • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
    • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
    • 2.5 cups chicken broth
    • 2 16-oz. cans of kidney beans, rinsed
    • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
    • 1 14-oz. can of tomato sauce
    • 28 oz. chopped fire roasted tomatoes

    Optional if you like hot to extra hot:

    • 4 dried chilis New Mexican or arbol
    • ½-1 cup pickled jalapeños
    • 5 dashes +/- hot sauce like Franks or Tabasco

    Cooking instructions:

    • Cube chuck steak, salt & pepper cubed beef (lightly–moderately depending on personal state).
    • Brown steak in 1–2 tbsp. olive oil, transfer browned meat to crock-pot.
    • Brown ground beef in same skillet, add to crock-pot, wipe skillet for next step.
    • Chop 2 onions, brown in skillet using 2 tbsp. olive oil, once translucent add chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, & garlic and stir.
    • Transfer onion mixture to crock-pot.
    • Add to crock-pot: chicken broth, rinsed beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste & tomatoes. Stir well.
    • Do not open lid to stir until there is about an hour left.
    • For hour of cooking, remove lid and allow the chili to thicken. Crock-pot brands vary some in heat levels so you may need to adjust this timing to a bit. If you prefer thinner soup like chili, skip this step.


    • Can cook on high setting but it won’t be as flavorful and steak cubes won’t be quite a tender.
    • Use cornbread mix (Krusteaz is my favorite).
    • Chop onions & grate cheese topping in food processor.
    • Use jar minced garlic (quantities vary depending on brand, most are ~ 2 teaspoons = 1 clove) 10 tbsp. = 1/5 cup so I often grab the ¼ cup scoop and fill it a bit below the top.


    • When buying the beef, look for better quality, grass fed and/or hormone free that’s lean to moderate (extra lean often ends up dry when slow cooking).
    • If you like a more rustic, chunky style whole-canned tomatoes and chunk them with your hands instead of buying pre-chopped tomatoes.
    • Non-fire roasted tomatoes work fine, the fire roasted ones are just a bit more flavorful.
    • If you prefer pinto beans, sub them for the kidney beans.
    • If you want hot spice level, mixed the crushed dried chilis with tomato paste before adding to crock-pot. For XX hot, do the tomato paste/chili step plus right before serving, add ½ cup up to 1 cup pickled jalapeños and hot sauce to taste.
    • If you have a larger 6 or 6.5 Q crock-pot, make a double batch and freeze one batch.
    • For left overs, make chili dogs or chili nachos.


    Featured Photo by Nicole Vaughn

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    NQM Awesome Beef & Bean Chili Recipe