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Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili. The perfect bowl of winter chili to make on these coldest days of the year. Spicy chili seasoned meat, slow-cooked with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and hot sauce for a spicy buffalo kick. Finish this chili off with a cheesy mix of cream cheese and cheddar, just like queso! It’s so delicious. Top each bowl of chili with a dollop of yogurt, fresh cilantro, green onions, and avocado too. Great on its own, but even better with a side of tortilla chips, homemade beer bread, or both! Yum!

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili | halfbakedharvest.com

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I looked outside to see a wintery wonderland of snow. It felt very festive, but it was also very cold. The perfect day to enjoy slow-cooked chili along with freshly baked beer bread.

Chili has to be one of the easiest family-style dinners to make. It’s always been such a comfort food in my mind. As a kid, my mom often made her Cincinnati-style chili on Sundays. We’d pile it high over a plate of angel hair pasta, then top with plenty of cheddar cheese.

No beans, no onions, which is odd since those are two of the more important toppings for Cincinnati chili. But my mom doesn’t like beans or onions!

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili | halfbakedharvest.com

When I was younger, I just thought this was how everyone ate their chili. But as I grew up and started to cook for the family, I quickly learned that most chili was served in a bowl, much more similar to soup than a plate of pasta.

Now, I love chili either way. I might photograph it in a bowl, but then later serve it over pasta, just because that’s what mom used to do. And well, who can deny that chili over pasta with cheese isn’t delicious?

Either way, I love to make chili this time of year, especially on snowy days! This is my spicy queso-style chili. It’s a mix between great chili and spicy, cheesy, buffalo-style queso. It’s delicious.

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili | halfbakedharvest.com

On to the details

Step 1: brown the beef

The only annoying step to this recipe is the very first one. You need to cook the meat. Whether you use beef, pork, chicken, or a mix, cook it up on the stove first. This doesn’t take long or much effort, but it is an extra step. However, it’s worth it!

So, brown the meat. I love to use ground beef, but as mentioned in the recipe, you can use ground chicken or even ground pork. Use whatever you and your family enjoy the most!

When the meat is broken up and browned, add it all to the bowl of your crockpot.

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 2: throw in the remaining ingredients

Now that the meat is cooked, pretty much everything else can go into the crockpot. The onions, poblano peppers, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Then add tomatoes, tomato paste, a can of diced-up green chilies, and my two secret ingredients – hot sauce and butter. These will give the chili a nice spicy buffalo flavor. So YUM.

Then mix in the broth.

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 3: slow cook

Now slow cook low and slow all day long. What’s so wonderful about chili is that the longer it has to cook, the more flavor it will develop.

If you can plan ahead, cook the chili a day before you plan to serve. Then just warm the chili the following day. Or simmer away all day on the stovetop. It’s really the very same thing.

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 4: finish the chili

Just before serving, mix in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. This is our “queso”. It makes for a more savory dip-like chili, which is the yummiest.

Now, the toppings. Most chili is delicious as is. But what makes a chili recipe over-the-top good are all the really yummy toppings.

I layer as follows: a thick layer of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, and sliced avocados. Then sprinkle on lots of fresh cilantro and some green onions too. You can enjoy this with tortilla chips (I make homemade baked chips in the oven) or beer bread. Both are great! But I think beer bread (5 ingredients, so easy) with chili is a must. It’s delish.

Simple as can be, but every spoonful is so delicious. Think a little spicy, a touch creamy, filled with chicken, peppers, cheese, and all those toppings. I love a simple fall dinner when the days are busy and the nights are turning cold!

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other fall dinners with a little kick? Here are a few ideas: 

Creamy White Chicken Chili

Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey and White Bean Chili

Healthy Slow Cooker Chipotle Bean Chili

One Skillet Saucy Chicken Tortilla Enchilada Rice Bake

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup with Salty Lime Chips

Crockpot Chipotle Queso Chicken Chili

Lastly, if you make this Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Crockpot Spicy Queso Beef Chili

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 472 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Ingredients

Instructions

Crockpot

  • 1. In a large dutch oven set over medium high heat, brown the meat all over, breaking up the meat as you go, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to the bowl of your crockpot.
    2. Add the onions, poblanos, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Mix in the tomatoes, tomato paste, hot sauce, butter, and diced chilies. Pour over 2 cups broth. Add the bay leaves, season with salt. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or hight for 4-5 hours.
    3. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and beans. Cook until the cheese melts, 5 minutes.
    4. Ladle the chili into bowls. Top, as desired. I like Greek yogurt/sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and green onions. Eat and enjoy!

Stove

  • 1. In a large dutch oven set over medium high heat, brown the meat all over, breaking up the meat as you go, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add the onions, poblanos, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Cook 5 minutes, until fragrant. Mix in the tomatoes, tomato paste, hot sauce, butter, and diced chilies. Pour over 2 cups broth. Add the bay leaves, season with salt. Stir to combine. Partially cover and cook on low for 2 hours or up to all day, stirring every hour.
    3. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and beans. Cook until the cheese melts, 5 minutes.
    4. Ladle the chili into bowls. Top, as desired. I like Greek yogurt/sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and green onions. Eat and enjoy!
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the best chili I’ve ever made!! No, Have ever Eaten!! Its just me, so I cut things in half and froze some…
    that I got out a week later!!
    It was SO good!! Other than cutting it in half, I made it mild. Otherwise, followed exactly. I had it with a tub of great guacamole and green onions. YUMMM!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made this for Super Bowl (and for leftovers for the week). Will freeze some as well. Thank you!

    1. Hi Raychel,
      Awesome!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it! Have a great week:) xT

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this chili, but wondering about the star anise that is shown in the pictures with the spices but isn’t in the recipe?

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious! Perfect winter meal and makes a ton of tasty leftovers. Didn’t change a thing. Will make again 🙂