Slow Cooker Cowboy Chili

Slow Cooker Cowboy Chili

Get ready to rumble! The NFL playoffs have begun and if you are, or reside with, a football fan, the TV will not be silent for the next two weekends, then there’s a weekend off for the Pro Bowl in Hawaii before the Super Bowl XLV on February 6 in the gleaming new Dallas Cowboy’s stadium in Arlington, TX. So, if you haven’t already, its time to make a beer run and break out the chips and guacamole, hot wings, and the mother of all football food: chili!

There are few foods that are as all-American as a hearty bowl of chili. Versatile and popular, this American classic is easy to make and lends itself to artistic interpretation and endless variations. From Texas to Cincinnati, from New England (Goooo Patriots) to California there are as many styles of chili as there are cooks. Cincinnati chili is a regional style characterized by the use of unusual spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and chocolate, and the absence of chili peppers or chili powder. There are white chilis and the traditional red, tomato based chili. Then, the question is beans or no beans, this is a hotly debateed chili issue and according to the International Chili Society, beans have no place in a pot of chili. Finally, you must decide on the type of meat; chicken (white chili), ground beef, ground turkey, a combination or, no meat at all for a vegetarian version.

While you’re deciding on what kind of chili you want to make (football is not a requirement, chili can warm your tummies on the coldest of winter days), here’s my family’s favorite and a super simple crockpot variation.

* Coffee: After all these years, I’m finally giving up my secret ingredient! The idea of using coffee as part of the liquid probably came from an article on the different styles and origins of chili and what stuck with me all these years was that, back in the day of cattle drives, wranglers would spend weeks on the range; the camp cook whipped up hearty food from dried and salt-cured provisions and nothing went to waste, so coffee leftover from the wrangler’s breakfast was often thrown into the pot of beans. I swear it makes for the most full-flavored, robust chili ever.

Slow Cooker Cowboy Chili


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27 Responses to “Slow Cooker Cowboy Chili”

  1. Jean January 15 at 10:27 am #

    Wow, now I really want to make my own chili. Coffee works in cakes so it does make sense to add it to savory foods though I would never have come up with it myself. Thanks for sharing your secret with us, Priscilla. This might just be my first slow cooker dish of the season.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Hester aka The Chefdoc January 15 at 11:43 am #

    This chili sounds most excellent! I’ve never thought to add coffee. Now, would you think that espresso is too strong? I don’t make chili that much but, perhaps I shall make some come Super Bowl Sunday. Your family’s so lucky to be able to have access to this!

  3. Tiffany January 15 at 11:50 am #

    GO PATS!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  4. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } January 15 at 12:58 pm #

    I am super hungry right now and your chile looks amazing. LOVE that it has coffee in it – brilliant. I am going to make this during the weekend. Perhaps a side of beer bread or biscuits! Have a terrific weekend!!

  5. Sandra January 15 at 2:03 pm #

    Looks so tasty and tempting!:) Yum!
    Have a wonderful weekend!!

  6. Kate @ January 15 at 2:05 pm #

    My husband is standing over me reading this recipe…he is begging for me to make it right now! I agree with him…can’t wait to try this delicious chili!

    • Priscilla January 15 at 2:30 pm #

      @ Jean – This was my first slow cooker dish this year – let me know how you like it :-)

      @ Hester – Camp coffee was the cowboy’s espresso 😉 So it should be OK.

      @Tiffany – Right on!

      @Lisa – Let me know if you agree about my secret ingredient :-)

      @Kate – 😀 The beauty of it, is how simple good chili can be!

  7. Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen January 15 at 3:19 pm #

    Mm this looks absolutely magnificent! I’ve never tried making chili before, but I think I will have to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing…and I really like your blog so far :)

  8. Amanda @ BakingWithoutABox January 15 at 5:30 pm #

    Now the Saints are out, I’m just waiting to see whoever is there. So I can have party food. Like such good chili! Congrats on such a winning recipe. Total touchdown.

  9. pachecopatty January 15 at 6:50 pm #

    I like your chili recipe especially the coffee, that’s just down right fun!
    Good luck to the Patriots, get the slow cookers plugged in and ready to go for game day:-)

  10. Out of the Kitchen January 15 at 9:48 pm #

    What a great recipe!

  11. Beth January 16 at 6:39 am #

    Perfect football food! We’ll be watching lots of football over the next few weeks, so maybe I’ll give this one a try.

  12. bunkycooks January 16 at 7:00 am #

    I love that you toss this recipe in the slow cooker and it’s all done! I will definitely try this. I have a great recipe for Cincinnati Chili on my site. The hubs says it’s the best recipe I have made for that type of chili (and I have tried a few!). :)

  13. Angie's Recipes January 16 at 9:32 am #

    Love this chilli dish..looks irresistible! The leftover breakfast coffee used in the chilli bean recipes is something new to me. Gotta try it.

  14. Rosa January 16 at 9:54 am #

    So comforting and delicious! I’d love to eat a good chili now…



  15. Nancy/SpicieFoodie January 16 at 2:52 pm #

    I’m not a fan of football but I’ll take Chili any night. Thanks for sharing your secret ingredient.I would have never thought of that, will try it next time. I think my only “secret Chili ingredient” is just spices, lots of spices. I love your first photo, such a great setup. I’m not a fan of football but I’ll take Chili any night.

  16. sippitysup January 16 at 5:34 pm #

    I love chili. I don’t care for football. But then I don’t need an excuse to enjoy chili anyway! Coffee flavors re interesting. Perhaps a bot of cocoa powder too? GREG

  17. Suzanne January 16 at 9:33 pm #

    Great photo and good looking chili too!

  18. Monet January 16 at 10:19 pm #

    Coffee is a brilliant idea! I’m glad that you shared it…I’m going to make a batch of chili this week, and I know that your secret ingredient will make it special! I like my chili with beans, and I’ve been known to add a bit of cocoa powder to my mix. Thank you for sharing your recipe with me. I can’t believe the weekend is already over…I hope you have a fabulous start to your week!

  19. Quay Po Cooks January 17 at 3:28 am #

    Excellent! I will never thought o adding coffee to my chilli! INTERESTING!

  20. Faith January 17 at 1:41 pm #

    I love chili in all its forms and endless variations, and coffee is a brilliant secret ingredient! This looks like a pretty delicious chili and I love the fresh red onion on top too!

  21. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron January 17 at 2:52 pm #

    yeah i noticed that – coffee in a chilli dip! that’s intriguing, tho. I must have to try to put coffee on my dip! This looks heavenly perfect for the game!

  22. Kita January 17 at 6:00 pm #

    Nothing beats a hearty chilly. I love the pics with the onion on top (my boyfriend cringes)! Sounds delicious.

  23. Magic of Spice January 17 at 7:24 pm #

    Coffee? Wow, Adam will just die when he see this…He may move in, just warning you :) Wonderful recipe with excellent flavors…nice!

  24. blackbookkitchendiaries January 19 at 10:46 am #

    now this is my cup of tea:) i love the addition of coffee in this recipe.. this is a good pick me up for sure:) thanks for sharing this.

  25. Kim January 20 at 8:44 pm #

    I’m Asian… my secret ingredient is “soy sauce.” But it makes a mean chili, promise! I’ll have to try coffee next.


  26. Sarah S February 15 at 11:09 am #

    first visit and just wanted to stop by to say Hello there everyone

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