Easy Most Delicious Taco Chili (Slow Cooker, Stovetop, Instant Pot)
Taco Chili is not only the easiest chili recipe ever, but it’s also the most delicious. This taco chili was a HUGE hit for us, and you won’t believe how quickly it comes together in the slow cooker, instant pot, or the stovetop!
Homemade taco chili got rave reviews!
Seriously. At this point, I’ve made and shared at least 5 chili recipes here on Little Spice Jar, and the one that hubby likes the most? THIS ONE.
The one that requires just a quick sautéing of the ground beef, onions, and peppers. The one that you toss into the slow cooker, instant pot, or cook in a dutch oven without having to babysit it every minute. The one that doesn’t require you to measure out individual spices but rather is quick and easy enough for you to put together with little helpers around. And the one that is sure to be a big hit if you host Football Sunday or the Big Game!
Okay, I didn’t mean for that to sound like titles of FRIENDS episode, but you get the point!
Homemade taco chili is stick-to-your-ribs warm and delicious on chilly evenings. And when we finally get a hint of a cool breeze in Texas, I waste no time. A crockpot full of chili and lazy weekends are just some of my favorite things about fall.
That first bite in both Anees and I agreed, this taco chili recipe is the best chili I’ve ever made.
What do you need to make the best taco chili?
- Ground beef: I prefer to use lean ground beef for this recipe so that the chili isn’t greasy. If you used ground beef with more fat content, just drain the excess grease!
- chopped onions + peppers: this helps flavor our chili. You can use a chopped poblano pepper as I do for my poblano and beef stew or bell pepper for this recipe. I’ve tried it with both and both bring something delicious to the table!
- Minced garlic: a few cloves of minced garlic add the perfect flavor to this chili
- Seasonings: For the seasonings, you only need two things! You’ll need taco seasonings and ranch seasoning. I like to use homemade taco seasoning if I have some on hand but if you don’t, you can use a packet as well. You’ll need 2 tablespoons if you’re using homemade seasoning.
- Beans: For this recipe, you can use any beans that you usually prefer in your chili! I used two cans of drained and rinsed black beans along with a can of chili beans (beans in chili sauce.)
- Diced green chilies: add a delicious flavor to the chili
- Hot sauce: is optional! I like to use a good two tablespoons to help flavor the chili. This chili is very mild even with two tablespoons of hot sauce, but you can omit this if you’re worried about the spice level.
- Diced tomatoes: one can of diced tomatoes that are drained
- Tomato sauce: tomato sauce mixed with the seasonings and hot sauce is the base of this chili recipe.
How to make slow cooker taco chili:
- Saute the ground beef. Cook and crumble it. When the meat is browned, add the onions and peppers and saute until the onions are translucent. Then add the garlic and season with taco and ranch seasonings.
- Transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Serve topped with your favorite toppings!
Can I make taco chili on the stovetop or instant pot?
Yes, you can! I’ve shared instructions on how to make this recipe in 3 different vessels.
FAQs about chili recipes:
- What slow cooker, instant pot, dutch oven do you use? This is the slow cooker (newer model), instant pot, and dutch oven that I own!
- Can I use homemade ranch or taco seasoning for this recipe? Yes, you can!
- I can do this in all three methods; what’s the recommended way to make this chili? if you have the choice of all three cooking methods, I’d say make it in the slow cooker! For me, chili develops more flavor if it’s slow-simmered for a more extended period of time. In fact, I’d say make this in the slow cooker a day ahead and watch how delicious it tastes as it sits! The slow cooking/refrigeration really makes this chili delicious!
- Can I use pre-minced garlic that comes in a jar for this recipe? Yes, absolutely!
- Is this chili thick or thin? If you drain the diced tomatoes, you end up with a medium-thick chili. If you leave the diced tomatoes with the juices, you’ll get a chili that’s on the thinner side.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Texas Chili con Carne
- Pumpkin Chili
- Skillet Chili with Cornbread Crust (tamale pie)
- Texas Green Chili Queso
- Tater Tot Chili Hotdish
- Elotes Dip
- Crispy Ovenbaked Quesadillas
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef (omit oil if not lean)
- 1 ¼ cups chopped yellow onion
- 1 poblano pepper or bell pepper, seeds removed + chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (1-ounce) packet EACH: ranch seasoning AND taco seasoning
- 1 (15-ounce) can chili beans (use kidney or pinto)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (not drain)
- 1 teaspoon - 2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (whatever you can handle)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- Toppings: sliced avocados, shredded cheese, corn chips, sour cream, cilantro (or whatever you like)
- SAUTE: If you’re making this in the instant pot, you can just do this on the saute setting or make it in a dutch oven if you’re doing this on the stove. If you’re making this in the slow cooker, just saute in a large skillet or sauté pan before adding everything to a slow cooker! Heat the skillet with the oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, cook and crumble the beef for 3 minutes. Then add the onions and peppers and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, taco, and ranch seasoning and give it 1 minute to cook.
- SLOW COOKER: Then, drain any excess grease in the skillet and transfer to the slow cooker. I like to drain my diced tomatoes when I make this recipe in the slow cooker so that it doesn't have too much liquid. Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours (this will develop more flavor) or on the high setting for 3-4 hours. Taste and adjust with salt if needed, I didn’t need any. Serve warm topped with toppings!
- INSTANT POT: Drain excess grease using a tablespoon (if there is any.) Then add the remaining ingredients into the instant pot. Stir to combine. Place the lid on top, turn to the sealed setting. Cook the chili for 12 minutes on manual high pressure. When cooked, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. Then do a quick release. Taste and adjust with salt if needed, I didn’t need any. Serve warm topped with toppings!
- STOVETOP: You can directly brown the meat in a large dutch oven (and then cook the chili in the same pot.) Drain any excess grease. Add the remaining chili ingredients, and stir to combine. Allow the chili to reach a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and let cook for 30 minutes. Check the chili by stirring around the halfway mark, if it is low on liquid add ½ cup of water (or broth) and allow the chili to cook for another 30 minutes. Taste and adjust with salt if needed, I didn’t need any. Serve warm topped with toppings!
- If you use homemade taco seasoning or ranch seasoning, you'll need 2 tablespoons of each. You might need additional salt in the recipe as well. You shouldn't if you used a store-bought seasoning mix!
- Don't drain the diced tomatoes if you are making this in the instant pot or on the stovetop! You'll need the additional liquid!