Crockpot Beef and Two Bean Chili

meat and bean chili close

Happy 2013 everyone! Hope your holiday season was everything you wanted it to be. I didn’t make a resolution. In fact, I never have, but I’m hoping to make 2013 a great year on this blog. For one, I want to conquer that “To Make” list 🙂

I know that January often brings resolutions to eat better and improve one’s health. Well, lucky for you healthy doesn’t have to equal boring baked chicken + a side of broccoli every night. Beef and bean chili. Not quite the recipe that you’d think of if you are trying to eat healthier, but think about it. Beans, lean protein, tomato products. The base ingredients for chili can be just as healthy as that chicken. In fact, this one clocks in at under 400 calories a serving (**will vary based on ingredients used).

meat and bean chili in the crockpot

meat and bean chili

The recipe for this chili comes from Jenna from Eat, Live, Run, although the recipe is posted here on As she states, this is a traditional chili recipe in every sense. Thick and loaded with meat and beans in every bite. I made a few changes to her recipe to make it a bit healthier including using lean ground sirloin, swapping some homemade black beans in for some of the chili beans, adding a green bell pepper for additional produce, and definitely leaving out the mushrooms (although that wasn’t really for health reasons). The black beans are actually also Jenna’s recipe, and I would encourage you to do this if you’re trying to eat healthier. You can use these in so many things from adding them to soups, to tacos, to just over rice with salsa and plain Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).

So how was the chili? Great! The story behind this chili is actually a little funny. We had a 12-day long food sharing session at work around the holidays. I noticed one of our pharmacy residents was signed up for the weekend, so I sent him a message to see if he wanted any help. Turns out someone else had signed him up, and he didn’t even know he was up to bring something. I decided to help him out telling him I’d make chili if he brought toppings 🙂 The chili went over really well, and I definitely brought home an empty crockpot. I actually had to make it again so my husband could have some. Not that I minded. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Crockpot Beef and Two Bean Chili
Adapted from PBS Food

1 (16 oz) can chili (pinto) beans in mild sauce
3 cups prepared black beans (or 2 cans black beans with onions and peppers)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 lb. lean ground sirloin (93/7)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1-1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper and saute for about 1 minute more. Add the ground beef and cook the mixture until the meat is cooked through.

Add the ground beef mixture to the bowl of a crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. The chili is best cooked on low for 8-10 hours, although it can be cooked on high for 4-6 hours if needed. Remove the bay leaf prior to serving. Serve topped with desired toppings (shredded cheese, crackers, plain Greek yogurt).


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