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Slow Cooker Three Bean Beef Chili

This is a big-style chili, full of beans, cubed beef and spicy sausage. Slow cook, and your patience will be rewarded with an excellent, cowboy soul–satisfying bowl of goodness. This chili is not as thick as a stovetop version, as the slow cooker retains all the juices.


  • 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 14oz/398g can, drained & rinsed)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked pinto beans (or 14oz/398g can, drained & rinsed)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked kidney beans (or 14oz/398g can, drained & rinsed)
  • 28 oz (796 mL) can crushed tomatoes
  • boiling water, if necessary to cover
  • salt and 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.

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