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Simple Slow Cooker Chili from One Lovely Life

Simple Slow Cooker Chili (+Instant Pot Directions!)

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  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 20 minutes hands on + 6-8 hours to cook
  • Yield: 10-12 cups chili 1x


This delicious slow cooker chili has the perfect blend of seasonings and just the right amount of kick. It’s perfect for a cold weather, meal prep, or game day. Don’t miss the Instant Pot directions, too! (Gluten free, dairy free)


  • 4 Slices bacon (turkey or pork), diced
  • 1 lb. chicken sausage, such as Sprouts Green Chili Chicken Sausage* (remove from casing, if needed)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (15oz) cans pinto beans, drained (Such as Sprouts Brand Organic Pinto Beans)
  • 1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained (such as Sprouts Brand Organic Kidney Beans)
  • 2 (14oz) cans or 1 (28oz) can crushed or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste, such as Sprouts brand Organic tomato paste
  • 1 (4oz) can green chiles (don’t drain), (Such as Sprouts Brand Diced Green Chiles)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder, such as Sprouts brand
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin, such as Sprouts brand
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (can sub chicken or beef broth), such as Sprouts brand

Optional, for garnish (pick 1-2): minced fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, minced chives, sliced jalapeño.



  1. In a medium saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Transfer cooked bacon to the crock of your slow cooker. Drain any remaining fat.
  2. Add chicken sausage to the same pan and cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes, or until chicken sausage is cooked through. (There may be some water/liquid in the pan. Don’t worry about draining it.) Add cooked sausage and any remaining liquid to the crock of the slow cooker.
  3. Add onion, bell peppers, pinto beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker.
  4. Pour broth over everything and stir to combine.
  5. Cover with the lid and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.
  6. Remove lid and garnish with minced cilantro, sliced green onion, or minced chives, as desired.


  1. Press the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot and add bacon. Cook until browned. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside. Tilt the Instant Pot slightly to the side and use a spoon to drain any excess fat, if desired.
  2. With the Instant Pot still on the SAUTE setting, add chicken sausage and cook until completely cooked through. (Don’t worry about draining any remaining liquid)
  3. Return cooked bacon to the Instant Pot with the sausage. Add onion, bell pepper, pinto beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour broth over all, then add 1/2 cup water and stir to combine.
  5. Cover with the lid, then press CANCEL to stop the saute setting.
  6. Make sure the vent is sealed, then set pressure to MANUAL for 15 minutes.
  7. When it’s finished cooking, allow the pressure it to naturally release steam for 5-10 minutes before carefully opening the vent to quick release any remaining steam.
  8. Carefully open the lid, stir, and garnish, if desired.


*You can substitute any ground sausage in this recipe–pork, turkey, chicken, etc. You can also use plain ground meat (chicken, turkey, pork, beef) instead.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6-8 Hours
  • Category: Main Dish, Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker, Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American