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Slow Cooker Three Bean Beef Chili

This is a big-style chili, full of beans, cubed beef and spicy sausage.


  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
  • 1 lb (500 g) round, blade or cross rib steak, cubed
  • 1 lb (500 g) regular or spicy beef sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cumin
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground oregano
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp (1/2 mL) red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar (or regular vinegar)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) beef broth
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked black beans or 1 can (14 oz/398 mL), drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked pinto beans or 1 can 14 oz/398 mL), drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked kidney beans or 1 can (14 oz/398 mL), drained & rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes
  • boiling water, if necessary to cover
  • salt & ground pepper to season after cooking


Set slow cooker to medium or high for a total cook time of 4 to 5 hours.

In a deep skillet over medium, heat canola oil. Add cubed beef and brown. Remove and add to slow cooker.

Add beef sausage and brown. Remove and add to slow cooker.

Drain half the fat from the pan. The add onion, celery, peppers, chili powder, cumin, oregano, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes to remaining fat and sauté until browned and fragrant. Add to slow cooker.

Reduce heat and add cider vinegar and beef broth, careful as mixture may bubble up. Stir to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour hot liquid into slow cooker.

Stir black, pinto and kidney beans into the slow cooker mixture, combining well.

Add crushed tomatoes, and enough boiling water just to cover mixture, no more.

Cover and cook for 5 hours, check that beans are fully cooked and continue cooking until beans are tender, if required.


  • This chili is not as thick as a stovetop version, as the slow cooker retains all the juices. It gets thicker as it cools or you can remove the slow cooker lid during the last 30  minutes to get a thicker chili.
  • Browning the meat and cooking the vegetables and spices before adding to the slow cooker amps up the flavour and colour of this chili!
  • The oils in the jalapeno pepper can irritate the skin.  Wearing gloves when removing the seed and chopping the pepper is recommended.  Be careful not to touch your eyes or inside of your mouth until you have thoroughly washed your hands with soup and water.
  • We have suggested black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans, however you can use whatever beans you have on hand!

Reviews [2]

I liked it

Very good. Lots of real meat & the right amount of spices.

Donna Bagdan
I liked it

Looks like the perfect recipe for our family weekend at Gull Lake. Will be making it for about 20 people. Thanks.