Award Winning Chili – Crockpot

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb hot sausage (like Jimmy Dean)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper , diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Brown the ground beef and sausage in the oil in large skillet, then put in crockpot.  In same skillet with meat drippings,


lightly saute all the vegetables, then add to crockpot.  Add all the spices to the ingredients in crockpot and stir.  In separate bowl, mix together the next 5 ingredients (Worcestershire, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes).  Then pour into crockpot and stir to combine.  Cover and set crockpot temperature on Low. Cook for 7 to 8 hours (or more is fine).  During the last 30 minutes, stir in kidney beans and continue on Low.

Serve in bowls along with toppings like chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives, crushed corn chips, etc.

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

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  1. Thanks for the awesome chili recipe. Entered my first chili cook-off ever today following your recipe to the letter. Won first place in two out of three categories! That was some of the best tasting, spicy chili I’ve ever tasted! I’ll be making this chili again. Easy to make and inexpensive too!

  2. Made this the other day for the family. Super-hot but majorly tasty. Will absolutely make again. Thanks!

  3. Can you tell me how many people this recipe will feed? I need to make a LOT of chili for a chili cook-off soon. I love your recipe, but I need to know how much to multiply it to feed everyone. Thanks for posting such a great recipe!

    • The Hillbilly Housewife says:

      You can use a couple ways to judge how many people this will feed. Using the ’1/4 pound meat per person’ scale, this recipe SHOULD feed 8 people. Realistically, this recipe will feed about 6 people, if it’s the main dish. Of course, you can stretch the servings and keep the chili frugal by adding more beans. And cornbread and salads will make it go further, too. I hope this helps, TessToo. Thanks for asking.

  4. Do we need to drain the grease after sauteeing the veggies?

  5. Made this for our neighborhood chilli cook off, guess who won first prize! Thanks!! Everyone loved the heat and the taste!!

  6. How much does this make? What size crockpot do you need?

  7. So yummy! I added 1pm of stew meat & it’s delish! Definitely making again…but cutting the spice level by half for survival of my taste buds ha!

  8. The Big Heavy says:

    I substituted Chipolte as I had no cayenne. Can’t wait to try this.

  9. DaniDoodles92 says:

    Do you think this recipe’ll be alright if I leave it on low for about 12 hours? I also wanted to use dried beans that I’ll soak ahead of time…should i throw them in at the beginning of the cook time, because they’re going to be raw?

  10. Crazy good chili recipe! I have to say: it packs quite a punch as it is HOT! I am wondering, to cool it down for a future batch (and make it a little more kid friendly) should I substitute the hot sausage with the regular one? Let me know your thoughts. Great recipe and fun to make-

  11. I’ve experimented with different chili recipes over the years. This is hands down the best I’ve found! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  12. Awesome chili. I added hatch and habeneros to it with a dash of liquid smoke…earned a win in my first cook off. Thanks!

  13. This chili is amazing and I won 2nd place at a chili cookoff, so thank you! I would say that 2 tbsp of cayenne pepper makes it VERY hot, so if you don’t like spicy food, I would cut back on that.

  14. Can you tell me which spices to remove to reduce the ‘heat’…as I have a stomach problem and cannot heat very hot spicy food but my husband loves chili, being from Texas! Thanks.

    • That’s easy :)
      Use regular Jimmy Dean Breakfast sausage instead of hot. Leave out the Cayenne Pepper and go very easy on the Chili powder. Make the chili and then just hand your husband a bottle of Texas pete or the likes to add some heat to his chili.

  15. This chili was good but had too much heat to serve to my kids. I will try it again and leave out the Cayenne.

  16. Craig Brewczynski says:

    How big of a crock pot do you need? I’d like to double the recipe and don’t know if I will need to or one large one. Also, has anyone tried leaving out one tablespoon of the cayenne? Was it still too spicy? Heat doesn’t bother me but I want others to be happy with it.

  17. Craig Brewczynski says:

    Followed the recipe but only put 1 tablespoon of the cayenne. CAME IN LAST in the chili cook off!!! I didn’t think it was that bad but no where near award winning. Sorry!!!

  18. Dear Hillbilly, thanks a million for the recipe! & for the clear & easy to follow instructions

  19. Can I cook it in the crock pot on high for 4 hours instead of low for 8 hours?

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