Mexican Chili (Slow Cooker)

Mexican chili in bowl

Mexican Chili might seem like a repetitive title.  After all, isn’t chili a Mexican dish?  Apparently not.  I did a quick search on chili and was surprised to learn that it is not traditional Mexican food. According to this history of chili website, “The only thing certain about the origins of chili is that it did not originate in Mexico.”

My family enjoyed this variation on our usual chili.  The Mexican twist comes from the use of refried beans, salsa, and a little lime juice.  If you like chili and Mexican flavors, you’re sure to like this too.

Chili is a stew that is enjoyed year round.  Most soups and stews we like to reserve for cold weather, but chili seems to be just as popular and tasty in summer as it is in winter.  I think we will enjoy this variation year round also.

Mexican chili close up

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mexican Chili (Slow Cooker)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 2 pounds ground meat (I used half beef and half turkey)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 16 ounces thick and chunky salsa
  • 1 can small red beans
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 cup beef broth (I used Herb Ox bouillon labeled gluten free and no added MSG)
  • 2 teaspoons dried ground cumin
  • 1½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Chop the onion.
  2. Saute the onion and ground meat and drain.
  3. Drain and rinse the small red beans.
  4. Combine all ingredients except the lime juice in a large slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low about 4 – 6 hours.
  6. Stir in the lime juice.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips or corn bread.

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. says

    I like the convenience of using salsa, too. I use it in chili and soups, like tortilla soup. I love cumin in chili and am really learning to appreciate lime juice added to such recipes. :-)

    Thanks, Linda!

  2. says

    Linda, I think I might just have to put this on the menu for the next time our kids are over. Looks super-easy and super tasty. I could imagine it being a lovely meal by itself, topped with cheese (Daiya for me), avocado, onion, or used a nacho topping…mmm, I’m hungry!

  3. andrea dutton says

    we like to use rotel tomatoes to spice up our recipes in place of the salsa. it’s great. thanks for the recipe.

  4. chris says

    i substituted ‘gimme lean’ for the actual meat..still turned out good! also, i added 4 tsp. of sugar..brightened it up a bit…the onioins should be sauteed beforehand..unless you like them a little crunchy, as we do….forgot to add the lime juice..still good…served it over a square of sweet cornbread…very easy…

    • says

      You’re right about the onions. I can’t remember if I sauteed them first or not, but I added that to the recipe. Thanks!

  5. Andy says

    Very good, I served it over rice with cilantro and lime juice mixed in. It was a big hit with the family (I also used 1 pound gorund sirloin and 1 pound jimmy deans sausage)

  6. valerie says

    we never cook our onions or meat before putting it in the crockpot. onions in bottom, then meat then everything else and it cooks fine. although there’s more fat since i’m not draining meat. but throwing everything in raw is part of the fun of a crockpot for me.

    thanks for the recipes

  7. says

    I’m glad I came across this recipe of yours….it looks really good! I bought the ingredients and they are cooking in my crock pot right now! :) Can’t wait to have it for dinner tonight!~

  8. Denise says

    I made this last night, adding fresh cilantro and chopped tomatoes and served over rice with a bit of cheddar on top. It was great! Thanks for sharing!

  9. terry moore says

    This chili recipe Sounds good :) javent jad anu chili in almost uear aonce found out i have celiac thanks hope to find good recipes thankvypu for sharing

  10. Julie Birgenheier says

    I wish you had a pin it link or a Pinterest account. I would love to add your recipes

    • says

      There is a pin it button in the right corner when you hover over images and a pinterest button at the bottom of the post. I also have a Pinterest account that you can find in the header of any page with the other social icons Can you tell me what exactly you’re looking for?

      • Rebecca says

        If you want to stretch this meal further you could serve as a baked potato filling, topped with corn chips and cheese/sour cream :)

    • Donna Sorrell says

      You can make your own refried beans just open a can of beans and mash them add some broth salt& pepper & and a little milk if you like them creamy. That easy! I am gluten free

If you have a question about a recipe (especially substitutions and nutritional information), please read my FAQ page before asking the question in a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: