Skip to Content

Classic Chili Recipe – Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

This classic chili recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal and is ready to start cooking in minutes.

Brace yourself, this Classic Chili recipe is BIG. We’re talking large, feed a football team sized chili.

classic chili recipe instant pot

Here’s my thought process, folks. If I’m gonna go through the work to make an awesome ground beef chili, I better go big or go home.

But fear not – If you can open a can, you can make this chili!

It’s the easiest chili I’ve ever made. I also grew up eating this classic chili in the slow cooker when my Mom made it, so of course, it has a special place in my heart!

It’s a traditional chili recipe with no funky ingredients or flavors. Just a solid recipe, passed down from generations, made with ground beef and one “secret” ingredient everyone has in their spice cabinet.

Ready for the secret ingredient? I can’t believe I’m disclosing our family secret ingredients from generations ago from the old country, but here goes. It’s…paprika. It gives it an extra boost of flavor AND color.

And I’m just kidding about the family secret from the old country. It comes from my Mom, five miles down the road. 😉

Here’s a quick overview of the process of making ground beef chili…

  1. Brown ground beef and onion, drain
  2. Add everything else
  3. The End.

Tip: If you’re opposed to cutting onions, buy the frozen diced bag and it’s so easy your three year old can do it!

Leftovers freeze wonderfully, which is perfect for small servings or large servings.

What might you do with the leftovers? Well, they’d be a perfect topping for baked potatoes, or your could add loads of cheese and top tortilla chips for some ultimate nachos.

The possibilities are endless when you have 8 quarts of chili on hand! I love these small, 16 ounce containers for 1-2 servings and large 32 ounce containers for storing bigger portions in the freezer.

I have three versions of Classic Chili Recipes for you today!

Classic chili for the Stovetop, the Instant Pot (8 quart required), and a Slow Cooker.

And of course, if you don’t want to make a Deanne sized batch, simply half the recipe.

We always have a freezer full of beef to use, so this is a frequently made go-to.

What’s that? You have a freezer full of beef, too? Oh, then check out my post with ideas to use up ground beef!

Be sure to top it with some sharp shredded cheddar, or sour cream, of whatever you like on your chili!

Other chili inspired recipes you’ll love.

Yield: 18 servings

Hearty Chili Recipe - Stovetop Version

classic beef chili closeup

This classic chili recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal and is ready to start cooking in minutes. If you can open a can, you can make this chili!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2-3 onions, chopped
  • 3 16 ounce cans Mild Chili with Beans
  • 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 2 28 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Instructions

TO MAKE ON THE STOVETOP

  1. Heat a LARGE pot over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and onions, stirring to break up the meat. When fully cooked, drain fat and return to pan
  2. Stir in ALL remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes. 

TO MAKE IN INSTANT POT (8 quart required for full recipe)

  1. Turn Instant Pot onto Saute. When heated, dd the ground beef and onions, stirring to break up the meat. When fully cooked, drain fat and return to pot.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients EXCEPT 2 cans of the mild chili. Most likely, these will not fit in your pot due to the volume. Don't exceed the fill line. 
  3. Cook on manual for 30 minutes. NPR for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add remaining cans of chili beans, stirring to incorporate. 

TO MAKE IN A SLOW COOKER (USE A LARGE ONE FOR FULL RECIPE)

  1. Heat a LARGE pot over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and onions, stirring to break up the meat. When fully cooked, drain fat and add to slow cooker.
  2. Stir in ALL remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. 

Notes

If made ahead of time and cooled, the spice will intensify slightly when reheated.

This can be made ahead of time and frozen into smaller portions.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!

Mention @ThisFarmGirlCooks or tag #thisfarmgirlcooks!

PIN THIS FOR LATER!

classic ground beef chili

Featured on Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday

instant pot spaghetti with meat sauce
← Previous
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
low carb pepperoni pizza chicken bake
Next →
Low Carb Pepperoni Pizza Chicken

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe