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Everyone loves a warm bowl of delicious chili and this Crock Pot Cowboy Chili Recipe does not disappoint. This family friendly meal is loaded with hearty beef, beans, zesty tomatoes and more.

Cowboy Chili is a crock pot.
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Crock pot cowboy chili

Spice things up a bit with this easy to make Crock Pot Cowboy Chili Recipe. This is so easy to make and tastes delicious.

If you can throw things in a crock pot, you can make this. It is SO easy that you can put this together on busy mornings and come home to dinner waiting. Also try Slow Cooker Brisket Chili.

You definitely want to give this chili a try. It is our of our favorite recipes to make on rainy or cooler days. There is just something about a warm bowl of chili that is the best comfort food.

Try it for Game day, family dinner or parties. If you want to make it even faster, try our Instant Pot Cowboy Chili Recipe .

A bowl of cowboy chili topped with cheese, sour cream and red onions.


  • ground beef
  • onion
  • red bell pepper
  • minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • beef broth
  • crushed tomatoes
  • stewed tomatoes
  • kidney beans
  • chili powder (See The Best Chili Powder Substitute)
  • cayenne (optional – If you don’t like spicy check out our Best Cayenne Pepper Substitute)
  • cumin
  • cheddar cheese for toppings
  • Red onion for topping

How to make Cowboy Chili

First, brown your ground beef before you put it in the crock pot. Or if you have an Aura cooking system like I do, just brown it right in the same pot.

Next, add everything else and let the slow cooker do all of the work.

The ingredients for this cowboy chili in a crock pot ready to cook.

Just cover and cook. It is that easy.

Keep reading for the full recipe.

A black bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese and red onions.

What to serve with cowboy chili

We like to keep things simple and serve with homemade cornbread and top with shredded cheese and onions. Yum!

Some other favorite toppings include:

  • sour cream
  • green onion
  • hot sauce
  • diced jalapeno peppers
  • saltine crackers
  • corn chips
  • tortilla chips

Cooked cowboy chili in a crock pot with shredded cheese and red onions next to it.

What’s the difference between chili and cowboy chili?

Cowboy chili is a little more hearty and calls for 2 pounds of ground beef. Traditional chili normally has just 1 pound.

You will also find beans in cowboy chili.

Cowboy chili variations:


We love to use the leftovers to turn into a casserole. The kids think they are eating something new when really it is just leftovers.

It is simple to make. Pour the leftover chili over tortilla chips and then top with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and top with all of your favorite toppings.

Ground turkey

Substitute ground turkey for ground beef. Turkey takes on the flavor of the other ingredients.


Try using pinto beans instead of kidney beans or mix them together.


Instead of red bell peppers, try using green or yellow. I bet a mix of all 3 would be yummy and look pretty too.


Add tomato sauce with the diced tomatoes. You can also add a can of cream of mushroom with the tomato sauce.

A large ladle full of crock pot chili scooping a portion of the chili out of the crock pot.

How to freeze:

Chili freezes well. Allow it to cool completely.

Then place in freezer bags or containers. I prefer to use bags because they can lay flat and stack together.

If you have plenty of freezer space, containers would be just fine.

Cowboy chili can be stored in the freezer up to 3 months. See Can You Freeze Chili to learn more.

How to reheat:

Reheat on the stove top using a dutch oven for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through. I use medium high heat stirring occasionally.

If frozen, allow to thaw in the fridge and then reheat as normal.

You may need to reheat for 30 minutes on medium heat if part of the chili is still frozen. Then reduce heat and simmer.

Close up of a bowl of cowboy chili.

Crock pot Cowboy Chili recipe tips:

The entire family will enjoy this.

This meal is perfect for busy school nights and requires very little effort. Serve it with your favorite toppings for a delicious dinner idea.

A bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream, cheese and red onions with 2 spoons next to it.

Print this crockpot cowboy chili recipe below:

Crock pot Cowboy Chili Recipe

4.90 from 48 votes
Everyone loves chili and this Crock Pot Cowboy Chili Recipe does not disappoint. Loaded with hearty beef, beans, and more, this chili recipe is a must try.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10
Cuisine American
Course Chilis, Main Course
Calories 391


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans of drained kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese for toppings
  • Red onion diced for topping
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  • Brown the beef in a skillet. Drain the fat.
  • Place in the crock pot.
  • Add remaining ingredients except for the cheddar cheese and red onion.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Serve with cornbread, top with shredded cheese and onions.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5-7 days.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 391kcal, Carbohydrates 14g, Protein 25g, Fat 27g, Saturated Fat 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 88mg, Sodium 1140mg, Potassium 789mg, Fiber 5g, Sugar 6g, Vitamin A 2646IU, Vitamin C 27mg, Calcium 255mg, Iron 5mg

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More easy chili recipes

Check out 20 of our favorite beef chili recipes.

Crock Pot Cowboy Chili is loaded with hearty beef, beans, tomatoes and more. Each bite is flavorful in this family friendly meal. Everyone will love this easy to make Slow Cooker Cowboy Chili Recipe that is packed with flavor! #eatingonadime #chilirecipes #crockpotrecipes #slowcookerrecipes

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Chris Scioux says:

    5 stars
    Hi Carrie, I made this Cowboy Chili recipe last Sunday the 19th of March 2023 and thoroughly enjoyed it. To serve I made some Corn Muffins which were absolutely delightful with it. But will try Cornbread next time. Yes it was spicy but oh boy was it excellent and I even considered making it again this weekend. Thank you so much for showing it on your video series and providing the recipe. Very highly recommended and a firm favorite from now on in my home.

  2. Jody L. says:

    Fantastic chili recipe! Added the cayenne pepper, probably will half it next time. Will definitely make it again. It is so good and hearty. Perfect for cold days.

  3. Megan Roche says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is a must try! My husband gets so excited when I tell him it’s chili night and well so do I.

  4. MSWYATT says:

    5 stars
    This chili recipe is a must try! A family favorite for us.

  5. Carrie says:

    Yes, that’s correct. I hope you enjoy it!

  6. Jill Hobbs says:

    Is a 1/4 CUP of chili powder correct? That seems like a lot so I just want to make sure before making this recipe.

  7. Carol says:

    The recipe says 1/4 cup of chili powder, is that correct?