Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili

I'm on a roll over here with crock-pot based soups. This chili was the result of tweaking a Penzeys recipe to fit what I had in the pantry when I didn't want to go to the store on a chilly Sunday afternoon. Refried beans make a great addition to chili--they thicken and add richness. Use whatever beans you have for the other two cans--while they may be the "magic fruit", there's no magic in deciding which ones you use. Make yo-self some chili.

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili
-adapted from Penzeys Spices

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 t. chili powder
2 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup salsa
1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted, but regular is just fine)
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans (I used refried black beans)
1 bottle light beer or 1 can beef broth (I used the beer--love the flavor it imparts!)
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice (this makes the chili. You cannot skip it, OK?)

Brown beef and onion in large skillet. Stir in garlic and continue to saute another minute or so. Stir in spices and salsa. Pour meat mixture into crock pot. In the same skillet, whisk refried beans and beer (or broth) together, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan as you go. When smooth, add to crock pot, along with the two cans of beans and tomatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4. Stir in lime juice and serve, topped with whatever chili toppings float your boat.  

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili

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