Winter can be a seriously trying time. Our days are colder, shorter, darker. Our morning commutes are made more inconvenient by the addition of snow and slush. Even the occasional walk around the neighborhood is ruined — interrupted by slips and falls on covert patches of black ice. It’s only fair that winter gives us something in return for all that it’s taken from us. And it has given us something truly beautiful, truly wonderful, truly magical: slow-cooker chili — and endless excuses to eat it.
Chili is, of course, an absolute winter classic. The dish is equal parts hearty, cozy, and delicious. And even better—it’s incredibly easy to throw together. It’s the perfect lazy dish for cold winter nights, frigid winter mornings, and frosty winter afternoons. Need a little warmth? Grab a pot of chili and heat up from the inside out. (And maybe cozy up by the fireplace with a super snuggly blanket while you’re at it.)
Given chili’s myriad strengths, it’s hard to imagine how someone could make the dish even more delightful than it already is. But you can—by making it in the slow cooker. Slow-cooker chili is just as hearty, cozy, and delicious as chili made some other way. But it’s even more low-maintenance. If you thought letting your stovetop do some of the cooking was easy, try letting your slow cooker do literally all of the work for you.
With slow-cooker chili, there are almost no steps at all. Just spend a few minutes cooking your meat of choice. Then, spend a few more minutes dumping all your ingredients into your slow cooker. Then, walk away. When you return a few hours later, you’ll have a piping hot vat of chili waiting to be devoured.
Need a party dish that’ll feed a crowd without consuming a ton of your time? Slow-cooker chili. Need an efficient way to meal prep your lunches for the coming week? Slow-cooker chili. Need to throw together a family dinner that’s yummy, hearty, and not at all challenging? Slow-cooker chili. Slow-cooker chili may not be the solution to all of your problems, but it’s a damn good solution to a lot of your winter, food-based problems.
And if you’re concerned about meal monotony, don’t fret — there’s a veritable plethora of slow-cooker chili recipes out there and we have gathered them all in one place for you. So you can find a rotation that works for you and avoid the tragedy that is eating the same exact meal every day for the rest of the season.