Slow Cooker BBQ Chili

2015-12-03 18.16.23

RECIPE #137, DAY #158

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “BBQ Bean Chili,” from 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O’Dea*

TIMING: 8-10 hours in the crockpot


TOOLS: A slow cooker/crockpot, and nothing else special

COOK TYPE: Slow cooker/crockpot

HEALTH: Chili is a superb, healthful one-pot meal. It’s low in fat, high in protein, and packed full of fiber, veggies, spices, and aromatics. Soooo good. Serve it with some homemade cornbread or some quinoa, and you’ve got a winner winner, beef dinner.

EXPERIENCE: I love chili. My kids love barbecue sauce. So, perusing a slow cooker cookbook, I settled on a recipe for a chili made with barbecue sauce. I was skeptical, but I thought it might please everyone, even a chef who wouldn’t have to visit the kitchen all day.

It delivered. Not my favorite chili, but the kids liked it better than the usual.

NOTES: This chili really has nothing to do with barbecue. It just uses barbecue sauce to add a smoky, sweet flavor not usually found in chili.

If in season, you can use 4 chopped, fresh tomatoes instead. You could also use whole or diced tomatoes. You can also swap pinto beans for one or both of the cans of beans.

This chili is not spicy.

I recommend Dinosaur Barbecue bbq sauce.


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 diced onion and cook until translucent. Add 6 minced garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds. Dump into the insert of a 4-6 quart slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet, brown 1 pound ground beef, breaking up as you cook. Dump that into the crockpot, as well.
  3. Add 1 can black beans, 1 can kidney beans, 15 oz crushed tomatoes, 1 cup frozen sweet corn, 1 cup favorite barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, and 1 cup beef broth. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Taste for salt and pepper.


Serve with a sweet cornbread.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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