Easy Slow Cooker Chili for Game Day

Easy Slow Cooker Chili for Game Day

There are plenty of reasons to consider serving chili on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s healthy, a cinch to prepare, satisfies a crowd and feels like a party once you mound the toppings in an array of colorful bowls. Serving chili on a chilly winter day is as natural as well, watching Sunday football.

Even if you don’t, your friends do and they need to eat. And so do you.

Scroll down to find four easy chili recipes to satisfy your crew. You’ll find a range that will appeal to all eaters. These recipes are so effortless you might even consider making more than one crock of this spicy party food so everyone can be happy.

 I adapted a slow cooker chili from Jimmy Fallon’s recipe which he demo’ed on Martha Stewart in 2009. If you have a moment, take a look. Martha reveals a crazy bit about how and where she disposed of cooking grease when she was a newlywed in CT.

I’m still reeling from this image.

For those of you put off by the prospect of soaking dried beans, Fallon suggests adding canned beans to the chili during the last hour. Adding them at the end prevents the whole shebang from turning into a mushy mess. It also give you an opportunity to open the lid of your slow cooker and check the consistency of your chili.

For those of you who are game for soaking dry beans, place them in plenty of cool water and soak for 8 hours (overnight). Drain the liquid, add to your recipe and cook chili on HIGH for 8-10 hours.

If you’re worried about your dried beans cooking to the right consistency, you may want to prepare your chili with plenty of time to spare before kick-off. I’ve been known to hit the start button again (on high) and cook for another two hours (lid on) if the beans aren’t soft enough.

Too much liquid? Remove the lid, jack the temp up to high and leave the lid off while some of that liquid evaporates. The savory aromas will waft through your kitchen enticing friends to dig in.


Not up for beef chili?

Try this vegan stovetop Quinoa, Black bean and Miso chili for a load of color and non-meat protein.

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

Prefer lean ground turkey in your chili? Check out Two Peas and Their Pod’s slow cooker turkey chili.

And for those of you who are bean adverse but still want to hitch up to the chili wagon on game day, try this quick and easy stovetop “Meaty” Vegan Chili with Artisan Tofurkey Andouille Sausages from Hannah Kaminsky.

Lastly, if you’re committed to melting cheese on your mound of veg or vegan chili, consider Sincerely Brigitte‘s all natural, vegetarian and kosher Jalapeno Cilantro or smoked and spicy Chipotle Cheddar. You’ll have to shred it yourself but it’s worth it.

For kosher keepers who want shredded vegan cheese, consider Daiya dairy free cheeses. They come in four flavors and are certified (OU).


Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven


adapted from Jimmy Fallon’s recipe as presented on Martha Stewart

recipe is MEAT

serves 8-10

This recipe is ideal for those who prefer to use canned beans in their chili. Consider adding jalapeno peppers to this recipe if your crew likes it spicy. Remember that most of the heat is in the seeds of the pepper so seed them well. I chose to leave them out, altogether, and placed them on the side with other toppings.

Suggested toppings: chopped and seeded jalapeño peppers, lime wedges, crumbled tortilla chips, chopped fresh tomatoes, dairy free sour cream, dairy free shredded cheese, chopped or shredded salad greens or cabbage, hot sauce, diced raw onion, slivered black olives.



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef  (We recommend Grow and Behold)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

⅛-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 heaping tablespoon Global Gardens Dream Dust (mostly cacao, cinnamon, cardamom)

2 (28-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes, juices reserved

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving

1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer or 1 cup dry red wine

2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed



Heat oil in a large skillet and brown beef, seasoning with salt and pepper. Drain beef and place in slow cooker insert. Do not clean out the pan.

In the same pan, sauté onion until translucent and season with chili powder, cumin, cayenne and Dream Dust.

Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add mixture to slow cooker insert and stir.

Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT BEANS to insert, stir and set slow cooker to 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Do not peek.

At end of cooking time, add beans, stir, and leave lid off the crockpot. Cook for another 30 minutes on high or 1 hour on low.

Garnish with toppings.

NOTE about slow cookers: DO NOT lift the lid of the apparatus to stir or peek during cooking. When lid is opened, heat is lost. If you MUST open the lid, add another 20-25 minutes of cook time.



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