Cook up a batch of easy slow cooker gluten free chili this winter! This chili is healthy, hearty, and easy to make. Make it gluten free and vegan, too!
This no-fail gluten free chili is the one recipe that I am really, truly proud of. It is my go-to whenever we entertain guests for these reasons:
- It’s absolutely delicious
- It’s easy to make
- The ingredients are cheap
- It’s healthy
- It makes a ton of food
This recipe has evolved over the years as I have become not only a better cook, but also a busier mom.
My easy gluten free slow cooker chili has won awards. (Just at my church, mind you, but awards just the same.) Whenever I serve it to friends and family I can count on being asked to share the recipe. So here it is, everyone!
Without further ado, here is my five-star recipe for easy gluten free chili. Grab a 6-quart slow cooker and a skillet and get goin’.
2 cups dry black beans
1 cup dry lentil beans
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can diced green chilies
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
In the morning (the beans need at least 6 hours to cook in the slow cooker):
- Rinse black beans and lentils in water. Throw them into a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add chicken/vegetable broth.
- Add diced tomatoes and diced green chilies.
- Turn your slow cooker on high.
Do the following steps now or in a few hours. If you need to take a break to change a diaper or run an errand, go ahead. Or just continue.
- Brown ground beef in a skillet on medium heat.
- Add chopped onions, peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. You may need to add some olive oil, depending on how fatty the meat is. Just don’t let anything burn or stick to the skillet!
- Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir well to mix the seasonings in with the vegetables and meat.
- Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker. Stir well and let cook for 4-6 hours on high.
- Serve topped with sour cream, cheese, a bit of cilantro, and some tortilla chips on the side.
In the morning I have perfected my process so that it only takes a few minutes to throw everything into the slow cooker for a hot and hearty meal in the evening. During the fall and winter months I probably cook up this chili 2-3 times per month. We never get tired of it. It always, always hits the spot. And it makes the entire house smell warm and inviting. Your neighbors may come knocking to ask for a taste 🙂
Another feature I love about this slow cooker chili is that it is easy to customize. Don’t have black beans? Substitute pinto beans instead. Don’t have a can of diced tomatoes? Use a couple of fresh tomatoes or a can of tomato paste instead. Leave out the beef and use vegetable broth to make easy vegan chili. Want a little more spice? Add some cayenne pepper or a dash of crushed red pepper, or substitute the green chilies for diced jalapenos. I have done all of these substitutions, and more, and it always turns out tasty.
You may use canned black beans (4 cans), but I really prefer using dry ones. As they cook they absorb all the flavors of the other ingredients. They almost dissolve as they stew. Plus, dry black beans cost a fraction of what canned beans do.
Delicious Gluten Free Chili
Over the weekend I made this chili for our friends and accidentally left out the salt and pepper. They still raved about it and told me that it was perfectly seasoned. Surprisingly, it was. YOU CAN’T MESS THIS ONE UP.
It’s magic chili. I really believe that.
The leftovers freeze really well. I love making a huge batch of this and either giving half of it away to a friend or freezing it for later.