How to Make Crock-Pot Chili With Dried Pinto Beans


Crock-Pot chili allows you to put the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and have a warm, hearty dinner ready when you return home from work. Though nearly effortless, you still need to plan to prepare the beans the night before and to add the other ingredients in the morning. Adjust the spices as needed and feel free to omit the meat for a vegetarian version of this pinto bean chili.

How to Make Crock-Pot Chili With Dried Pinto Beans
(Rob Harris/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • 4 quart slow cooker (such as Crock-Pot brand)
  • 1 lb. dried pinto beans
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • Skillet
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey (see tips)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 oz package of frozen corn kernels
  • 2 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper or 2 tsp. Cajun spice seasoning
  • 2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano (optional)
  • Cornbread or prepared rice for serving (optional)
Step 1

Cover the pinto beans with the boiling water in the Crock-Pot the night before. Set the slow cooker on high for 1 hour. Turn it down to low overnight.

Rob Harris/Demand Media
Step 2

Drain the cooking water from the pinto beans, but leave the beans in the slow cooker. Unplug the Crock-Pot while preparing the meat to prevent burning the beans.

Rob Harris/Demand Media
Step 3

Heat the skillet over medium high heat, then add 2 tbsp. of oil carefully to the hot skillet. Add the meat, onion and garlic into the skillet and cook until the meat has completely browned and the onions and garlic turn soft and translucent.

Rob Harris/Demand Media
Step 4

Add the contents of the skillet to the pinto beans in the Crock-Pot. Pour the remaining ingredients—corn, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano—into the slow cooker and cover.

Rob Harris/Demand Media
Step 5

Plug the slow cooker back into an outlet and set to cook on low for at least 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.

Rob Harris/Demand Media
Step 6

Serve the chili hot with cornbread or rice if desired.

Rob Harris/Demand Media

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Tips & Warnings

  • Substitute 1 lb. of your favorite sausage or 1 lb. or ground venison (deer) for the beef for a unique twist.


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