Easy Slow Cooker Chili Recipes: Move Over, Instant Pot

Chicken, beef, vegan and vegetarian versions of the classic to toss into your Crock-Pot.

When it comes to kitchen appliances that make our lives easier, the Instant Pot has gobbled up all the glory over the past few years. Sure, it’s pure magic and gets dinner on the table quickly, but there’s also something to be said for slowing down, especially these days.

Slow cookers let you dump in a bunch of ingredients in the morning, allowing you to luxuriate in the aroma of your dinner all day long as it wafts through your home. If you’re spending your days at home during the pandemic, the slow cooker (or the slow cooker function on your Instant Pot) will be your new best friend ― start up a recipe when you wake up, and then let it do the work all day while you go about your business. Every whiff will remind you that dinner is already taken care of.

Of all the types of recipes to make in a slow cooker, chili is a no-brainer. Whether you’re making it with meat or you’re going fully vegan, the ingredients benefit from several hours simmering on low heat, fully melding the flavors and tenderizing the ingredients.

The other thing that makes chili perfect for our crazy busy lives these days? It’s versatile. You can:

  • Toss it in a big old bowl and top it with Fritos, avocados, sour cream and your favorite fixings
  • Make a grain-and-greens bowl and pile the chili on top
  • Prepare a tray of nachos for the oven and dollop on the chili
  • Mix it with leftover mac ’n’ cheese (chili mac is one of the most underrated comfort foods of all time)

And best of all, chili makes the best leftovers ― it tastes better every day it sits in the fridge. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, so make a big batch of your favorite recipe below. Dinner will be waiting for you at the end of the day.

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