Jim’s Big Batch Slow Cooker Chili

Recipe by jimbompls
READY IN: 8hrs 40mins


  • 3
    lbs 80% lean ground beef (or three pounds ground chuck same %)
  • 1
    lb ground sausage (Jimmy Dean or other brand HOT)
  • 1
    medium onion, finely chopped (I normally use an 8 oz white onion)
  • 1
    (1 1/2 ounce) packet chili seasoning mix (McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix for Slow Cookers)
  • 4
    garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1
    (29 ounce) can tomato sauce (Hunt's, or you may use 2 15 oz. cans as the extra ounce shouldn't make much of a difference)
  • 2
    (6 ounce) cans tomato paste (Hunt's, trick open both ends of can and shake out)
  • 2
    (16 ounce) cans light red kidney beans (Bush's Best Light Red, RINSE and DRAIN in cold water before using)
  • 1
    (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth (or measure 14.5 oz. from a box)
  • 1
    (12 ounce) bottle medium-heft beer (such as a Pale Ale)
  • 1
    tablespoon ground oregano
  • 12
    teaspoon paprika (or use McCormick ground ancho chili powder instead to add some heat)
  • 1
    teaspoon kosher salt (or substitute same amount of common iodized table salt)
  • 14
    teaspoon allspice


  • Optional Adds: 1 Green Bell Pepper chopped OR 2 Jalapeno Peppers seeded and chopped for extra added heat. Personally, I do not use either of these, but you may. You may also use 2 (14.5 oz. cans) of Hunt's Diced Tomatoes, undrained, if you like a chunkier chili. Personally, I do not use these either.
  • Optional Substitution: Although the beer is utilized to give the chili a great flavoring, it is NOT to have any alcoholic content after cooking it for over 2 1/2 hours according to the USDA. If you decide to omit the 12 oz. beer for any reason, use an ADDITIONAL 14.5 oz. of Chicken Broth to take its place.
  • Cook the meats in at least 2 separate batches in a Large Skillet over Med-High heat right before it crumbles. Add and mix in the finely chopped onions. When the meat crumbles and no longer is pink; drain.
  • Place the meat and onion mixture in the large crock pot (slow cooker). Add the rinsed/drained light red kidney beans and the remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, may stir a couple times. Since this is a Slow Cooker, it is always discouraged to use the HIGH setting… but if you must and running short on time, can be done roughly around 5 hours on HIGH.
  • Remove and Discard the Bay Leaves before serving.
  • Condiments and/or Sides to consider having on hand when serving: Sour Cream, Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Rice, Chopped Green Onions, Black Sliced Olives, Crackers, Limes (cut in quarters), Jalapeno Slices, Baguette Bread Sliced, Cornbread (or Jalapeno Cornbread), Salad.
  • Beverage Pairing: Milk, Beer, Ripe Zinfandel, or Syrah.
  • ENJOY! For whatever reason, a well-made Chili is much like Jambalaya. The leftovers, the day after, is generally better. . Maybe it takes a day for the flavors to truly fuse together.
  • Directions for freezing and/or reheating portions:
  • Let Chili cool before freezing.
  • Evenly divide chili into 2 (1-gallon) zip-top freezer bags (only 1 1-gallon bag needed if you are looking to freeze only half).
  • Seal and lay each bag flat.
  • Stack bags of chili in freezer.
  • Freeze up to 1 month.
  • Thaw 1 bag of frozen chili overnight in refrigerator (or defrost in microwave).
  • Pour thawed chili into a 9-inch square baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap, and fold back a corner to allow steam to escape.
  • Microwave at HIGH 6-7 minutes or until bubbly (stirring once after 3 1/2 min mark).