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A College Girl's Guide to Cooking Real Food

Crockpot Chili

8 Servings  |  10 minutes  |  6 hours total

This is the perfect meal for cool, fall days. It's warm and hearty, and easy to fix--even for those in college. All the equipment you need is a pan to brown the ground beef and a crockpot to cook it during the day. Start this before class and it's ready to eat when you get back. 


Add your favorite beans, meat and seasonings as desired! This recipe is simple to adapt for vegetarians, vegans, and even picky eaters. 

For all of us who crave real, homemade food but are away at college, this is for-sure a homesick crowd pleaser! 

Just a warning, this makes a ton of chili. We decided to have a big chili night (I can always come up with a reason to throw a get-together) and there were still leftovers. Half the recipe if you want less chili.


In the morning, load up your crockpot. You can use leftover cooked ground beef (or ground turkey) if you have it, or you can brown it in a skillet at this time. Add the cooked ground beef, different beans, diced tomatoes, chopped onion, bell pepper, and tomato juice. Add macaroni or spaghetti noodles if you want (and why would you not?)


You can season with chili powder, but I just bought a chili seasoning packet. I also added a jalapeño ‘cause I like it spicy. 


Let it cook on low heat until dinner time.


And voila! The winter soup that tastes like home. Season it how you like, and dress it up with cheese, crackers, sour cream, etc.

Don't be shy if you want to alter this recipe to make it spicier, more or less soupy, whatever. The great thing about chili is that you can change it so many ways, and it's still delicious.


1 lb ground beef or turkey

1 (14oz) can kidney beans

1 (14oz) can black beans

1 (14oz) can pinto beans

1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes

1 Jalapeño, seeded and chopped

46oz Tomato Juice

½ medium onion, chopped

½ medium bell pepper, chopped

Chili seasoning packet 

or use your own seasonings

½ box Macaroni noodles 

            or pasta of choice

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, with or without onions. Add meat, beans, diced tomatoes, seeded jalapeño, tomato juice, chopped onion and bell pepper, and seasoning packet to a large crockpot. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. Add pasta and cook for 2-4 more hours or until pasta is tender and ready to eat. Serve immediately, later, or freeze for another day. 

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