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Southern Style Chili With Beans

Simmer this slow cooked Southern Style Chili with Beans all day and you’ll have a warm and comforting meal ready when you get home.

Slow Cooked Southern Style Chili with Beans

It doesn’t matter if you like chili, with or without beans, Texas style, Mexican or vegetarian, it’s undisputed that chili makes for  great cold weather food. It’s such a fantastic dish to cook in a slow cooker. The flavors blend so nicely and it’s a great and inexpensive way to feed a crowd. In sharing this recipe, I’m also revealing to you my secret ingredient. It’s just between us, though, so, can you keep a secret?  Here’s a clue….It’s usually thought of as a sweet treat, but in my savory chili it brings a depth of flavor that sets it apart from others. Cocoa is my secret ingredient. It adds a richness to the sauce that’s s not identifiable. Cocoa is used in mole sauces as well, and it’s a staple flavor in my chili.


Other Southern Chili Recipes to Add to the Menu

Chili with or without beans are a cold weather staple. Don’t be intimadated by the ingredient list all of the ingredients for this recipe are easy to find and you already have the seasonings on hand. Chili can also found on casual game day party menus, for tailgating and more. Other chili recipes you may like to try:

Slow Cooked Southern Style Chili With Beans

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Southern Style Chili With Beans

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: slow-cooked-chili, southern-style-chili-with-beans
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 258kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 medium poblano pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper diced
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp each salt and black pepper adjust to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 15 oz cans light red kidney beans or pinto beans (don't drain)
  • 2 14.4 oz cans chili style tomatoes
  • 1 10 3/4 oz can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste divided use
  • Seasonings:
  • 1/4 cup dark chili powder adjust to taste
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp each cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro divided use


  • In a large skillet cook together beef, peppers and onion on medium high heat with vegetable oil until no pink remains in beef. Add garlic, cook one minute longer. Drain excess fat from pan. Taste adding salt and pepper to your taste. (start with 1 tsp each)
  • Spray the crock of a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour cooked beef into slow cooker. To the slow cooker add beans, tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tomato paste and seasonings. (Reserve 1/2 tomato paste and 1/2 cilantro for the end of cooking.)
  • Stir well, place the lid firmly on top. Cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • At the end of cooking, stir in the remaining tomato paste and chopped cilantro. Mix until tomato paste is completely incorporated.
  • Simmer on high uncovered for 10 minutes or just until your desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve hot with your favorite toppings. Suggested toppings: Sour cream, black olive slices, chopped scallions, shredded cheese, tortilla chips


At the end of cooking if thickness is to your liking, no added tomato paste is necessary. Adjust thickness to your taste.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. Hi Monique, the beans in this recipe are canned and already cooked. You may use dry beans that have been soaked overnight in cold water. Be aware, the cooking time, seasonings and amount of liquid will need to be increased to accommodate cooking beans from the dry state, so, make the necessary adjustments.

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