Mom’s Slow Cooker Chili (our Halloween Tradition!)

Our Mom's Slow Cooker Chili is the perfect fall soup recipe. We would have it for dinner every single Halloween and it's a tradition we've kept with our own families. You can also make this chili on the stove top.

slow cooker chili in small serving bowl with melted cheese

Slow Cooker Chili, A Halloween Tradition 

Does your family have any recipes that were staples in your house growing up? This Slow Cooker Chili has been around our family for as long as I can remember.

Every year on Halloween, my mom would whip up a pot of this chili. It would cook all day and the smell of the chili would fill the entire house.

Even today when I smell chili cooking, it takes me back to my childhood and having a warm, full belly before heading out to go trick-or-treating.

Before we get into the recipe, you’re going to need a Slow Cooker! We love the programmable slow cookers, but most of us sisters just use the three setting slow cookers. As long as you have both the “high” and “low” cooking options, your slow cooker will work great in most recipes.


If this is your first time making chili, or any soup for that matter in the slow cooker, we have a few suggestions to make sure it turns out perfect every single time.

  1. Brown and Flavor Ground Meats

Cooking the meat before throwing it in the slow cooker may not be the case for all soups, but we’d recommend browning ground beef, turkey, or sausage before tossing it in the slow cooker.

This not only helps with the flavor of your soup, but it also prevents large chunks of meat from cooking together. You’ll have perfectly ground beef in your chili if you take this step.

We love to brown our meat with onions in this recipe, giving the meat great flavor. Other soups may have you throw in some garlic, spices, or even a packet of taco seasoning.

2. Drain and Rinse Your Beans

Avoiding this step could be detrimental to your chili! We’ve listed which cans need to be drained in this recipe, but you can almost always assume that beans in any recipe will be drained and oftentimes rinsed (especially black beans!).

Without draining your beans, your chili will be turn out runny and a little too “soupy” to be considered chili. We know it’s an extra step, but it’s definitely worth it.

3. Add Enough Liquids

While draining some ingredients is important, it’s also important to make sure you have enough liquid in your slow cooker to keep your chili cooking all day.

The best part about this slow cooker chili is the delicious flavors that combine together. The liquid from the diced tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, and the water should be enough to keep those flavors infusing all day long.

Slow Cooker Chili Six Sisters


How to make Slow Cooker Chili Into a Freezer Meal

We get asked how to turn this Slow Cooker Chili into a freezer meal A LOT. Here’s how you do it!

  1. Brown your ground beef and onions according to directions in original recipe.
  2. In a large Zip-Loc or freezer safe bag, combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Place laying flat in your freezer to save the most space. We like to label our bags before hand so we know what’s in the bag. If you’re anything like us, in a months time you’ll forget what freezer meals you’ve stuck in the freezer.
  4. Place freezer bag in the refrigerator the night before cooking to allow it to partially thaw.
  5. Cook according to the directions in original recipe. It’s that easy!

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What to Serve With Slow Cooker Chili

We love to serve our chili with homemade bread and green salad. Here’s a few we’d suggest:

Serves: 8

Mom's Slow Cooker Chili (our Halloween Tradition!)

15 minPrep Time

4 hrCook Time

4 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup (or chili sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) packet chili seasoning mix
  • 3 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (for topping)
  • 1 (9.25 ounce) bag Frito's Corn Chips (topping)


  1. Brown ground beef with chopped onion until no longer pink. Drain grease well.
  2. Combine the following ingredients in the slow cooker - Diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, water, kidney beans, chili seasoning mix, chopped celery, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar. Stir together.
  3. Add the browned hamburger/onion mixture in the slow cooker. Stir everything together.
  4. Cook low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  5. Top with shredded cheese and Frito's corn chips.



534 cal


39 g


17 g


29 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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Watch how to make our Mom’s chili on our stove top (from our YouTube Channel):

slow cooker chili with grated cheese on top
how to cook chili in a crock pot
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32 Responses to “Mom’s Slow Cooker Chili (our Halloween Tradition!)”

  1. I made this last night and was disappointed. Mine was so watery that I had to add about 1/4 cup of flour to thicken. I just now saw that you are supposed to drain the kidney beans. Please put that in the actual directions! The chili was lacking some kind of flavor, but I'm unsure what that one flavor is. I am a fan of quite a few of your other recipes so was bummed when I didn't feel that way about this one.
  2. I made this last night for dinner and it was DELICIOUS! My mouth watered as soon as I opened the door coming home from work because of how good it smelled mmmm mmmm mmmmmmm! I omitted the 3 stalks of celery and added 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes to give it a kick and those were the only adjustments I had made to the recipe. I will definitely be making this again :)

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