Friday, October 30, 2015

Simple Slow-Cooker Chili

Everyone needs an easy, go-to meal for those days when life keeps you running from sunup to sundown and you barely have enough energy left to think about dinner, let alone cook it. For me, that meal is slow-cooker chili.

My mother-in-law gave me a delicious recipe that takes about 10 minutes to prepare, and by the time I'm done loading it with tomatoes and zucchini, it's healthy, too. You're going to love it!

It takes a bit of forethought, as the chili is tastiest when cooked at least three hours, but the prep time is short enough that you can throw all the ingredients together during breakfast or lunch and then return to your busy day.

Nashville Wife's Slow-Cooker Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato sauce
2 16-oz  cans kidney beans
1 15-oz can tomato juice 
1 small shredded zucchini*
Chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
Diced jalapeno pepper (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)

  • Brown ground beef, and season with chili powder. Drain grease, and add meat to slow-cooker.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, tomato juice, and zucchini to slow-cooker, and stir. 
  • Stir in approximately 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • If you like your chili hot, add diced jalapenos and hot sauce. (Those are my husband's favorite ingredients.)
  • Cook on high for at least three hours.
  • Add additional chili powder and salt as needed.
  • Serve with your favorite chili fixins. (We like crackers and shredded cheese.)
*A friend gave us several large, homegrown zucchinis this summer. I shredded and froze them in portions that are the right size for this recipe.


  1. o this is a good recipe! good for a busy day next week. When the kids are in school and I am busy sewing the slow cooker can do the work. THanks!!!! But no zucchini here. Our daughter gets stomachache from it.
    Thanks again!!

  2. Anonymous10/31/2015

    Sounds good!

  3. Anonymous10/31/2015

    Thank you for including a picture with your recipe.

  4. Anonymous11/01/2015

    We have our own recipe that I love and have been making for years -- don't think I could ever stray from it. BUT, I never would have thought to add Ritz crackers. Yum! What a great idea!

  5. Anonymous11/01/2015

    do you have Instagram?



  6. Hi Lauren,

    I don't have an Instagram right now, but I may consider getting one in the future. Thanks for the idea!


  7. Anonymous1/26/2016