Let me start off by saying, slow cookers/crock pots are the absolute best! We all know this, but it needed to be stated again because, really, they are. Whenever I can sense the day is going to be massively crazy or we’ll be out all day and tired when we get home, the crock pot comes out and that’s that for dinner. This slow cooker healthy beef chili recipe is one of our favorites to make for an easy delicious dinner. Full of goodies and totally customizable for what’s in your fridge.
Is homemade chili healthy?
Let’s start off with this quick question. Chili gets a bad rap as being greasy and unhealthy. The stuff in can is normally not great. That does tend to be greasy and gross and kind of resembles dog food honestly. (obviously there are better brands than others) But nothing beats a good homemade chili and even a newbie cook can make this simple recipe.
A homemade chili is loaded with veggies, protein, and tons of flavor and nutrients. Basically it’s a win win. A homemade healthy beef chili recipe is one of the best comfort foods that is actually good for you.
Best veggies to use for a healthy beef chili recipe?
Chili is one of those really great recipes because you can use just about any vegetable in it and it will taste great. Our favorite veggies to use for a really awesome slow cooker chili are:
- Zucchini (so good- my favorite)
- Bell Peppers
- Jalapenos (if you like it hot)
- Corn (hubby is not a fan but the rest of us are, so you be the judge)
- Kale (chopped up nicely)
- Sweet Potatoes
Honestly, use what you have and go to town!
What is the best secret ingredient for beef chili?
The BEST secret ingredient for a spectacular slow cooker healthy beef chili recipe is a little bit of coffee flavor in my opinion. It brings out the best in the chili flavors. This recipe has smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, cumin, tumeric, and just a bit of espresso powder (instant coffee works too).
The coffee just brings this recipe over the top. There are a lot of award winning “secret ingredient” chili’s out there but this secret ingredient tops them all. LOVE IT!
Browning Ground Beef
Even though it is a slow cooker recipe, you always want to brown your meat first. This gives the chili better flavor, lets you drain the grease, and most importantly makes sure it is cooked thoroughly before touching any of the other veggies.
Browning ground beef is super simple, one of those basics everyone should know. But if you don’t, here it is.
In a large skillet or frying pan, place your ground beef (thawed). A little bit of water can sometimes help it break up easier or be a little more fine but you don’t need it. Heat the beef over medium to high heat while continuing to break it up and stir. Do this until no pink is left and the meat is cooked through (about 3- 5 minutes depending on how much meat you are cooking). Strain the grease from the pan in a strainer over the sink and then add to your chili ingredients in the crock pot. Easy and simple!
Well, let’s make some healthy beef chili!
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If you love this recipe, be sure to check out these drool worthy recipes too:
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE AND MARSHMALLOW COOKIES– Gooey chocolate cookies with chocolate chips in them topped with toasted gooey marshmallows. Double gooey, double goodness!
GLUTEN-FREE ALMOND COOKIES– These cookies are basically gluten-free and dairy-free soft chewy sugar cookies with almonds. Honestly, heaven in a cookie is a better way to describe them.
- Dairy Free White Chicken Chili
- Coconut Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins
- Cajun Chicken Meatballs
If you are looking for a great Dairy Free Sour Cream recipe to top your chili with, Erin over at The Wooden Skillet has one of our favorites!
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Zucchini
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 1/2 cup Diced Mushrooms
- 1 TBSP Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Instant Coffee OR Espresso Powder
- 1 tsp Tumeric
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Brown you ground beef in a large frying pan or skillet.
- Dice up your veggies.
- Add the browned meat and the veggies to the crock pot along with the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, spices, and bay leaves. Stir all together well.
- Set the crock pot to high for 5 hours. (low if longer than that, but don't leave longer than 8 hours)
- Remove the bay leaves and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, cilantro, avocado or even a squeeze of lime and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 569mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 24g
Nutritional information is not always 100% accurate.