Chili Recipe: Easy Homemade Chili to Set & Forget! (YUM)

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When you discover a homemade chili recipe easy to use that’s a belly-warming goodness thrown together in five minutes, enough to feed a crowd, or freeze well for leftovers, you better hang on to it!  I love sharing delicious easy recipes and this one is a perfectly scrumptious chili recipe that allows you to chunk a few ingredients in the slow cooker to set it and forget it!  When you serve it up, you’ll be delighted with its rich flavors.  Now I’m hungry!  Are you?

Homemade chili recipe easy to make, belly-warming goodness thrown together in five minutes, feeds a crowd, freezes well for leftovers? Yes, please!

I’m compiling crazy-easy and simple recipes together for two weeks worth of wholesome meals with a variety of proteins like ground meat, chicken, beef, and etc… that I think you’ll love (grocery list included).  Until then, let’s get on to this yummy one, shall we?!

Chili recipe easy and simple

You could technically call this recipe semi-homemade because you are going to cook up the ground meat very quickly (but that’s it!).  There is no shame of having a few meals that are ridiculously simple by the use of canned/bottled ingredients.  If you want to use the fresh alternative every. single. time., go for it.  Most of the time, we need shortcuts, right?

I’m talking about real life here.

….. Mama’s trying to get dinner on the table when Johnny has a ballgame until 7:00 and the whole family is starving to death, but just wants a home-cooked meal.

…..The Wife that’s sliding in on two wheels to her home to get food on the table for her hangry family.


Easiest chili recipe

The ingredients and instructions on a printable recipe card are below but here’s the basic idea ->

You’ll add cooked ground meat, can of pasta sauce, a jar of salsa, cans of beans, seasonings, and dash of brown sugar to a slow cooker.  Give it a big stir, set on low and let simmer until you are ready for it.

Chili Recipe Easy: How To Make Homemade Chili to Set & Forget!
  • 2 pounds cooked, ground meat
  • 1 large can pasta sauce
  • 1 medium jar of salsa
  • 2 cans of beans of your choice (more about this below in post)
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • *optional) dash of hot sauce
  • Toppings:
  • shredded cheese
  • *optional) green onions
  1. Add all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir well.
  2. Cook on low for at least three hours.
  3. Serve when ready and add shredded cheese of your choice (we like cheddar).
  4. Add optional green onions.
  5. Pair with jalapeno cornbread (search for it on blog), or crackers.

Can’t get simpler than that!

Chili variations

There are certainly many variations linked to the history of chili, but we’re keeping it easy!  Be sure to use whatever ground meat (that is drained after cooking) you prefer or have on hand.  You will receive the tomato sauce, oregano seasoning, garlic, salt, etc. in your canned pasta sauce.  The secret ingredient that takes the flavor to another level AND saves tons of time -> By using salsa, you are quickly adding in lots of flavors without any effort (onions, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and vinegar).

Traditionally, most use red kidney beans and pinto beans in chili recipes.  One day I went to a friend’s house and her Mom had made chili using red kidneys and chickpeas (garbanzo beans).  It was so good.  I realized then that you can change it up with the beans and the chili will still taste great.

My family is very fond of hot sauce.  I always put the dash of ‘Texas Pete’ into my chili recipe at the end to give it a little kick.  The fam calls it ‘spicy chili.’  Try it, you just might like it.

Ready to make this homemade chili the easy way?

image of Homemade chili recipe easy to make

Pair this with crackers or my Jalapeno cornbread.  Yum!

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Sabrina
    May 11, 2017 / 9:42 am

    Never used pasta sauce in my chili…gonna have to try this!

  2. Harmony, Momma To Go
    May 12, 2017 / 7:25 am

    That does look super easy Im all about the easy right now with all the sports games, activiites, etc!

  3. Caroline
    May 12, 2017 / 8:30 am

    Chilli is a real favourite in our house, will have to give this a go 🙂

  4. Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor
    May 12, 2017 / 8:32 am

    This looks yummy! I love that it’s a crock pot meal, especially for us busy moms. I never thought about putting pasta sauce in chili, but I can only imagine the extra flavor it adds that regular tomato sauce just can’t.

  5. Riva Treasure
    May 12, 2017 / 9:27 am

    Seriously looks so delicious! I wouldn’t have thought to put salsa in chili! I must try your recipe!

  6. Sarah Althouse
    May 12, 2017 / 9:29 am

    I use a tsp of white sugar instead of brown sugar. I wonder if there is a difference!

  7. Kaitlynn
    May 12, 2017 / 9:44 am

    I love a good chili recipe!! I very rarely make chili but I think I should start! this looks too good 🙂 the pasta sauce sounds smart and like a way to save time…nice tip!

  8. Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat.
    May 12, 2017 / 10:54 am

    Gotta love a good crockpot recipe…I see the headline ‘Set & Forget” and I’m like sign me up!

  9. Jehava
    May 12, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    This looks great! Especially for a rainy day like today.

  10. Amanda
    May 12, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    I’m not big on chili, but my dad would love this! Thank you for sharing this simple recipe! I’m always looking for great ideas! The jar of salsa is ingenuious!

  11. Susan
    May 13, 2017 / 7:18 am

    Sounds yummy and easy!

  12. Anna
    May 14, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    This looks delicious, we love chili it don’t matter if it’s summer. We love it over our rice every now and then. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

  13. lesley sullivan
    May 15, 2017 / 6:06 am

    Yum! I’ve never tried chili with brown sugar, I’ll have to add this to my list next time!

  14. Helene
    May 16, 2017 / 9:35 am

    This looks so delicious and simple to make! I love chili, so I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my repertoire!

    xo, Helene

    • Shan
      May 16, 2017 / 7:10 pm

      Yay! I hope you enjoy it, Helene!

  15. Tricia
    May 16, 2017 / 10:26 am

    This sounds really good! I like the addition of the salsa. I’ve never used salsa in my chili, but I think it would be really good. My chili always seems a little bland, so I’m going to give this a try! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Jessica Bradshaw
    May 16, 2017 / 12:48 pm

    I am obsessed with chili! This recipe sounds perfect to throw together and enjoy!!

  17. Lori
    May 17, 2017 / 7:33 am

    We love hot sauce as well! This is a great recipe, definitely using it next winter. Chili is a favorite of ours after a day at the hockey rink. Can I link back to you in my next recipe round-up post?

    • Shan
      May 17, 2017 / 7:42 am

      Thanks so much, Lori. Yes, quite a belly warmer – we eat it year round. Absolutely you can link back. Thanks. 😉

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