Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage

The favorite chili recipe from our family cookbook, made with simple but beautifully balanced ingredients. The technique is simple too, just brown the ground beef and spicy pork sausage, dump everything else in, then cook slowly. A cousin calls my sister's sausage chili recipe “magnificent"! I agree – it's now my own go-to recipe for hearty, man-friendly meaty chili.

Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ♥, just cook ground beef and spicy sausage, then dump it all into a slow cooker or Dutch oven for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove. Meaty and man-friendly!

Real Food, Fresh & Family-Tested. Hearty & Filling. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. How to Feed a Crowd. Potluck & Party Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein. Naturally Gluten Free.

  • "...what a great chili recipe. It's got just the right amount of spice, the right amount of meat." ~ Anonymous

Mining a Family Cookbook

In 2003, my family on my mother’s side published a family cookbook, collecting 350 recipes from more than a dozen families and three countries. What a collection of tried-and-true family recipes!

At family gatherings, we stand in the kitchen – fussing over the food, of course – and compare notes from the cookbook. "Did you try Laura s carrot soup?" "Or Lynda's lavosh? "What about Diane's bran muffins?" LOL, there were three versions of that make-ahead batter!

Finding the Hidden Gems

Still, some times a great recipe is overlooked until someone saves the day, as happened when Cousin Ingrid wrote, “Before the Super Bowl, you must tell your readers about the wonders of your sister's Crockpot Chili. It's absolutely magnificent and would make a great Game Day meal.”

So for anyone with a pot of chili in Super Bowl plans, this is my sister’s magnificent chili.

It takes just a few minutes to cook the meat and sausage, then throw the rest into the slow cooker – yes, those onions and peppers go straight in, raw, and the results are great.

Another tip from my sister: chili served with – preferably over – homemade cornbread is one of her teenage boys’ favorite things to eat. I’m willing to bet they’re not alone.

How to Make It!

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights. You can do this!

Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ♥, just cook ground beef and spicy sausage, then dump it all into a slow cooker or Dutch oven for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove. Meaty and man-friendly!

Step One: Brown the Meats This is the only hands-on time, browning the meats, both hamburger and spicy pork sausage. Break up the meat into big chunks, you don't want to break it down as far as taco meat, for example. That means, you won't be moving the meat around a lot but that's a good thing, because the meaty chunks will develop a little "burn". After browning the meats, there may be fat left in the skillet, if so, pour it off.

Step Two: Gather the Remaining Ingredients Nothing needs to be cooked, just chopped up and added to the crockpot (aka a slow cooker) or Dutch oven (for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove).

Step Three: Slow Cook! Pick which method works for you. People love their slow cookers, this chili works really well in one. In this household, we're big fans of slow cooking in the oven, putting a large Dutch oven into the oven at low temperature for several hours. It can also be slow cooked on the stove top, in my experience, this works better on an electric stove. However you cook, do stir every so often since this chili has less liquid than usual. If you're not able to stir midway, I'd suggest either adding 1-2 cups liquid or relying on the even heat of the oven.

Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ♥, just cook ground beef and spicy sausage, then dump it all into a slow cooker or Dutch oven for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove. Meaty and man-friendly!

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this meaty chili hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...
Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ♥, just cook ground beef and spicy sausage, then dump it all into a slow cooker or Dutch oven for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove. Meaty and man-friendly!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 7 – 24 hours
Makes 10 cups
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 pound spicy pork sausage (a key ingredient, don't skip!)
  • 1 large onion, chopped in big pieces (see TIPS)
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, red or green, chopped big
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped big, optional but recommended
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped big
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 ounces canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (don't skip, it really adds)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
  • Chopped onion or green onion, grated cheddar, chopped avocado, chopped tomato, chopped cilantro

BROWN THE MEATS In a large, heavy skillet such as cast iron, brown the meats, breaking up into smaller or larger clumps, depending on your preference; don't be afraid to let a little "burn" form on the meat pieces, it adds flavor and texture. When the meat is done, pour off an liquid fat.

CHILI While the meat cooks, add the remaining ingredients to a crockpot or a Dutch oven. Stir well to combine.

Decide where to finish the chili.

CROCKPOT / SLOW COOKER Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours, stirring occasionally. Better served the second day.

~ or ~ SLOW OVEN (our favorite) Bring the chili to a boil on the stove, then cover and cook at 250F/120C for 5 hours, stirring occasionally. Great on the first day, especially if cooked early in the day.

~ or ~ STOVETOP My sister says her chili can be cooked on the stovetop, just make sure your stovetop can hold a slow simmer. In my experience, this works better on an electric stove.

TO SERVE This chili needs no toppings but some people really do like them! I especially like the addition of fresh tomato, a trick learned with Fresh-Tomato Chili.

OPTIONAL "UNDERS" For a real feast, serve the chili over Mashed Potatoes & Carrots or Mac n Cheese. This is an especially good trick if you're a little short on chili and need to stretch.

ALANNA's TIPS Who's noticed? Small pieces of onion and pepper "melt" into chili and other dishes, becoming almost invisible. This might be a good option in some households, hiding the vegetables. But I prefer to cut up the vegetables into unusually large pieces, they remain intact and visible. For us, it's good to see what you're eating! The chili seems to lack liquid when starting out but turns out just fine. Keep an eye on it, however, stirring every so often. I some times use chili beans, duh, in chili. Since these include seasoning, I don't rinse the beans first. But plain kidney beans do need rinsing, removing all that tasteless salty liquid.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 284 Calories; 15g Tot Fat; 6g Sat Fat; 62mg Cholesterol; 574mg Sodium; 14g Carb; 4g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 19g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 6 & PointsPlus 8 & SmartPoints 9 & Freestyle 7 & myWW green 7 & blue 7 & purple 7 & future WW points

A Super Bowl Menu

Appetizers, Natch!

~ Cheesy Artichoke Nibblers ~
~ Buffalo Chicken Dip with Spaghetti Squash ~

The Main Course & Sides

(recipe above)
~ Savory Cornbread Muffins ~
~ Alice Waters' Coleslaw ~

The Sweets

~ Vanilla Brownies ~

Chillin: Favorite Chili, Chowder & Cornbread Recipes ♥, a collection of cold-weather, football-friendly favorites.

Chocolate Chili ♥, my oldest (and still best!) recipe for homemade chili with lots of spices and yes, cocoa powder. Weight Watchers Friendly. Whole30 Friendly. High Protein. Gluten Free.

Easy Turkey Chili ♥, zero points for Weight Watchers, extra-easy with frozen vegetables and canned beans.

White Chicken Chili ♥, spicy-but-not-too-spicy, just chicken, spices, chilies and white beans.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ beef recipes ~
~ pork recipes ~
~ bell pepper recipes ~
~ poblano recipes ~
~ canned & dried beans ~
~ tomato recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2009, 2010, 2021 (repub) & 2023

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Sounds delicious. I'm really in a chili mood lately!

  2. Diced sweet potatoes?! In chili?!! Hmmmm.... Well, that sounds better than mushrooms.

  3. Anonymous2/02/2009

    We made this for our Super Bowl party last night, what a great chili recipe. It's got just the right amount of spice, the right amount of meat. There wasn't a drop left. This one goes in the recipe box. Thank you!

  4. Made this chili tonight. Prepped all the veggies and had all the spices and all the ingredients ready this afternoon. We were going out to an early dinner before the super bowl game.
    We got home and I went to work cooking. I used San Marzano crushed tomatoes(didn’t have diced) tomato paste as listed. I used a pound of Italian sweet sausage and a pound of hot. Took the meat out of the casing. Used a pound of chopped sirloin. After sautéing the meat and adding al, the ingredients I thought it looked a little thick. Put it into a 250° oven and checked it every hour to stir and check liquid. After first hour, thought it could use some liquid. Happen to have some Pomegranate juice in fridge so added about 1/2 cup. Then back into the oven. Added a little more liquid each time, using the tomato paste can that had some residual tomatoes left and a little water.
    The smell was intoxicating.
    It is now cooling so I can put in fridge and go to bed!!
    Took a taste of course. I must say thank you for this recipe.
    Oh, also added some cumin in the beginning with the other spices. . Probably a teaspoon.
    Can’t wait until tomorrow night to eat this with my husband. Am using your suggestion of mashed potato and carrots.

    Saw a recipe for cream biscuits. May do that too.
    Doing this in the oven was the best way.
    Sunny D.☀️

    1. Sunny D ~ You sure do know your way around a kitchen! Thank for sharing your experience, so glad the recipe works for you. (Maybe it was the cumin??? Cumin makes everything!) “Slow Cooking in the Oven” works so so well, so much so that when my husband was going to make some pulled venison for the Super Bowl yesterday, he asked quizzically, ‘Do we own a slow cooker?” We do but it’s buried somewhere.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna