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taco spice chili in a slow cooker with a ladle

Slow Cooker Taco Spice Chili

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12 1x
  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


Packed with quinoa, lean ground turkey (or use ground beef), black beans, tender vegetables, and a little jalapeño heat, this slow cooker taco spice chili is satisfying and full of nourishment. Prepare it in your slow cooker in the morning, so all those savory ingredients come together and stand out by dinnertime.


  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds 92-97% lean ground turkey (or beef)
  • 4 Tablespoons taco seasoning, divided (2 standard packets or make your own!)
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (7 or 8 ounce) can tomato sauce*
  • 2 cups chicken broth (we use reduced sodium)*
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can corn (drained and rinsed) or 1 package of frozen corn
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (remove seeds and ribs)*
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 hour before finishing: 1/2 cup uncooked & rinsed quinoa


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground meat. Cook and stir for 4 minutes, then add 2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning. Stir and break up the meat as it cooks for another 4-5 more minutes, or until completely cooked through.
  2. Transfer the cooked meat to a 5 quart or larger slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients– including the remaining taco seasoning and except for the quinoa. Stir everything together until combined. Cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  3. Stir in the quinoa. Cook for 1 more hour on low or 30 more minutes on high.
  4. Serve chili warm topped with chopped green onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or avocado slices. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Let chili cool before freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then heat on the stove on medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Tomato Sauce: You can use homemade tomato sauce instead of canned.
  3. Broth: You can use vegetable or beef broth instead of chicken broth.
  4. Spiciness: If spicy isn’t your thing, leave out the jalapeño. Or add more based on how spicy you like chili.
  5. No Slow Cooker? No Problem. Follow recipe through step 1. You can cook the meat directly in a very large pot or dutch oven and just use that to cook the chili too. Once meat is cooked, add the remaining ingredients except for the quinoa. Stir everything around until combined and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the quinoa and cook for 15 more minutes. Serve warm.

Keywords: slow cooker chili, taco chili, crockpot chili