Chili season is upon us and my recipe for Slow Cooker Beef & Italian Sausage Chili fits the bill!  It’s simple to make, is loaded with hearty ingredients, and has a bit of spice…just the way chili should be 🙂   And who doesn’t love a good “set it and forget it” recipe?

I played around with the recipe a bit…. how many beans to add, how many peppers or tomatoes to add, how much liquid to add, etc. but I eventually got the recipe just right!  I like to use half ground beef and hot Italian sausage because the combination goes together very well (and Andrew loves Italian sausage so he’s always willing to try a recipe that includes it).  I’m also not a huge fan of kidney beans so I like to use pinto beans in chili.  If you prefer kidney beans, go ahead and use them, I just prefer the taste and texture of other beans.  I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!

The recipe can be found here.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the ground beef and ground sausage.  Continue to stir and cook until the meat is no longer pink.  I used the *hot* Italian sausage for extra heat.  You can use mild sausage if you prefer.

Remove from the heat and pour the mixture onto a paper towel lined plate to help drain off any excess grease.  Then, pour the mixture into the slow cooker.

Drain and rinse the pinto beans.  Add them to the slow cooker with the meat and onions.

Chop the bell pepper and mince the garlic.  Add both to the slow cooker.

Next, add the entire can of diced tomatoes, liquid included.  You don’t want to drain the tomatoes.  Also add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and salt.  Stir to combine all ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.  Stir every so often to ensure the chili is not burning or sticking to the sides of the slow cooker.  If you don’t think there is enough liquid, add a little water…about ½ to 1 cup worth of water.  I think the tomato sauce is plenty, but it all depends if you prefer a less liquid/chunkier chili or a more soup like chili.

Once ready, serve hot.  Ladle large scoops of the chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream and shredded cheese (optional).

The recipe can be found here.

The chili holds up really well if you have leftovers for the next day or later in the week, and also freezes quite well.  Let me know what you think of the recipe or if you have a recipe to share with me!  I’m happy to be part of a chili cook-off 🙂

Happy Cooking!

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