This crockpot veggie loaded beef chili recipe is full of healthy vegetables, lean ground beef, and beans. It’s an easy weeknight dinner or great for potlucks or game day too!
I love using my crockpot to make dinner. It seriously makes my life so much easier! I think one of the best things that you can make in your crockpot is chili. The longer chili simmers the better it gets.
I also love making this chili after the holidays. It is both an easy and healthy recipe. After too many Christmas cookies, this is a great recipe to hit the reset button with.
- Why I love this recipe
- What ingredients do I need to make this recipe?
- Can you taste the veggies in this chili?
- What are some good vegetables to add to chili?
- Is this chili spicy?
- Do I have to use beef for this recipe?
- How long should this recipe cook in the crockpot for?
- Can I freeze this recipe?
- Crockpot Veggie Loaded Beef Chili
Why I love this recipe
I love this veggie loaded beef chili because it is a fun and healthy twist on a comforting classic. I love making this recipe in both the winter and summer months. Warm chili on a cold day is so comforting but in the summer months it’s also a great way to use up zucchini. Plus, if you make this recipe in the summer you don’t have to cook over a hot stove and heat up your house.
My kids loved this chili once I covered it in sour cream and shredded cheddar. It’s a great way to get some extra veggies into little bellies if you have picky eaters. I love serving this chili with freshly grated shredded cheddar (freshly grated is always so much better than the stuff in the bag), sour cream and oyster crackers. Diced onion, avocado, corn bread, or corn chips would also nicely on this chili as well.
What ingredients do I need to make this recipe?
In case you need to check your pantry or make a trip to the grocery store you will need the following ingredients to make this crockpot veggie loaded beef chili:
- Ground beef (lean): I recommend selecting the leanest ground beef possible. This recipe also goes very well with ground bison.
- Zucchini: You’ll need one medium zucchini for this recipe.
- Carrots: I used baby carrots because that’s what we like to snack on at our house but you can use regular carrots too. You’ll want to use about a pound of carrots.
- White onion: You’ll need one medium white onion, finely diced.
- Kidney beans and black beans: You will also want to rinse and drain your beans, especially your black beans.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Be sure not to drain the diced tomatoes.
- Tomato paste: The base of our chili.
- Garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and onion powder: To season our chili with.
- Salt and pepper: I always recommend salt and pepper to taste.
For this recipe, be sure that you chop up your carrot, onion, and zucchini very well. You will want them to be diced into small pieces. Large pieces and bits will not cook down well in the chili. One bag of baby carrots (about one pound) may seem like a lot but once they are chopped and then cooked down it won’t seem so.
Can you taste the veggies in this chili?
When I first made this recipe, my husband was really hesitant to try it because he thought it would taste like zucchini. Because the carrots and zucchini are diced very finely and the chili simmers for so long, the veggie taste is very mild and hardly noticeable.
What are some good vegetables to add to chili?
This recipe calls for carrots and zucchinis but I’ve also added butternut squash to this turkey and butternut squash chili and mushrooms to this copycat Tim Horton’s chili.
Corn and bell peppers are also good vegetables to add to chili. Adding a sliced avocado on top is also a good way to add extra vegetables to your chili.
Is this chili spicy?
This is a very mild chili. If you prefer a spicier chili, add one seeded and diced jalapeño to the recipe.
Do I have to use beef for this recipe?
I recommend that you use beef or bison for this recipe. I’ve found that ground turkey just doesn’t have the right flavor with this particular recipe.
How long should this recipe cook in the crockpot for?
This recipe should be set on low for 6 to 8 hours. If you need to leave this chili on longer than 8 hours, you certainly can but make sure you have it on the low setting. I think this recipe is best if you have the time to cook it on low but if you are in a pinch, it can be cooked on high for 3 to 4 hours.
Can I freeze this recipe?
If you want to freeze any leftovers or extra portions for later meals you absolutely can. Let your chili cool and then pour it into freezer safe storage dishes. When you are ready to eat the chili let it defrost overnight and reheat it on your stove-top. This chili can be frozen up to three months.
Other chili recipes:
- Crockpot White Chicken Chili
- Copycat Wendy’s Chili (Crockpot)
- Copycat Tim Horton’s Chili
- Copycat Panera Turkey Chili
Crockpot Veggie Loaded Beef Chili
- 6 quart or larger crockpot (slow cooker)
- 1 lb ground beef (lean)
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 bag baby carrots about 1 lb (you can also use regular carrots, if desired)
- 1 white onion
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes about 10 ounces
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup water
For serving (optional)
- oyster crackers
- shredded cheddar
- sour cream
- corn chips
- corn bread
- sliced avocado
- diced onion
- Begin by browning your ground beef in a large skillet.
- Once the ground beef is browned, drain any excess fat from the skillet and set it aside.
- Chop your zucchini and carrots into very small pieces.
- Dice your onion.
- Add the ground beef, carrots, onion, and zucchini into your crockpot.
- Rinse and drain your beans well and then add them to the crockpot.
- Add the diced tomato with their juices in with the mixture.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients into your crockpot and then stir well.
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. This recipe can be cooked longer, if needed.