Budget Smart Cook

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

The first snow of the season arrived…and thankfully melted because it’s too early for that. It’s not too early for a hearty bowl of chili (this one uses sausage and not ground beef). Once again, let the slow cooker do most of the work for you. Let this cook while you’re out raking leaves and step inside to a hearty meal.


1 pound spicy bulk pork sausage, crumbled

1 pound sweet bulk pork sausage, crumbled

½ c. chicken or vegetable stock, plus additional, if needed

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces

2 15-oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 15.5-oz. cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 28-oz. cans tomato puree

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

1 28-oz. can petite-cut tomatoes, undrained

3 T. chili powder

1 T. ground cumin

2 t. oregano, dried

1 t. cayenne pepper

1 c. water, if needed

Salt, to taste

Garnish, (optional)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
¾ c. chopped red onion
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced



In a large skillet, brown pork sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain excess fat from pan. Transfer browned sausage to slow cooker crock.


Return skillet to burner over medium-high heat. Deglaze pan with chicken or vegetable stock, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a spatula.


Add olive oil, garlic, and onion to pan and cook, stirring frequently, about 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add celery and carrot and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour skillet contents into slow cooker.


Add white beans, red beans, tomato puree, tomato paste, petite-cut tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper to slow cooker. Stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly. If desired, add water or black coffee to thin mixture before cooking.


Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. When finished, stir and add salt to taste. Adjust other seasonings, as desired.


Spoon into bowls and top with shredded cheese, chopped onions and/or sliced jalapeno peppers. Serve immediately. Leftovers…if there are any, freeze well.


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