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Veggie-Powered Slow Cooker Beef Chili

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This hearty slow cooker beef chili gets a boost of flavor, color, and nutrition from the addition of tender veggies like zucchini, carrots, and yellow bell peppers. Set it in the morning for a low-fuss weeknight meal.

ladle full of freshly made beef and bean chili scooped out of slow cooker.

Make your net chili night veggie-powered with this flavor-packed slow cooker meal! Classic chili spices like chili powder, cumin, and garlic blend with a rainbow of fresh veggies and fiber-rich kidney beans for a healthy family dinner that’s waiting for you after work.

How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Your slow cooker does all the heavy lifting in this recipe. All you need to do is brown the beef, chop the veggies, then throw everything in your slow cooker!

Some of you have asked me if it’s possible to skip the step of browning the beef in a skillet and just add raw ground beef in the slow cooker.

There are two reasons we don’t recommend this. First, cold ground beef can stay raw in a slow cooker for a long while, giving the meat time to get… funky. We don’t want that.

Second, browning the meat brings a lot of flavors to the party. It’s worth the extra step to get that caramelized goodness in your final chili!

close up of slow cooker beef and bean chili in a ladle coming from slow cooker

Can I Make Slow Cooker Beef Chili On the Stovetop?

Yes! If you’d like to make this recipe on the stove top instead of in a slow cooker, brown the beef in the bottom of a large pot. Then add the remaining ingredients, cover the pot, and let the chili simmer for a while.

The beauty of chili is that you CAN cook it all day on the stove top if you like. OR you can let it simmer for just an hour to blend the flavors and tenderize the veggies.

blue bowl of beef and veggie chili with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream on top

What Should I Serve with Chili?

Toppings time! Some of our favorite chili toppings are:

  • grated cheese
  • sour cream
  • avocado chunks
  • chopped cilantro
  • green onions
  • pico de gallo

As far as menu pairings, a fresh, bright green salad goes perfectly well with a slow cooker beef chili. Our kids love to dip tortilla chips in their chili, too. Also try our spiced cornbread which is never better than when dunked into a bowl of chili!

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2.8 from 4 votes

Veggie-Powered Beef Chili

Hearty beef chili gets a boost of flavor, color, and nutrition with extra tender veggies. Make it all in your slow cooker for a convenient make-ahead meal!
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 196kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 medium bell pepper, yellow
  • 2 medium carrot
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3 cup cooked kidney beans (equal to two cans)
  • 28 ounce diced tomatoes, canned
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper/chili flakes


  • Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
  • Dice veggies, then add to slow cooker along with remaining ingredients. Stir and set to cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Serve hot with grated cheese, sour cream, cilantro, green onions, or any other topping you love.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 539mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g
Keyword : Veggie Chili


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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