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Chili for a crowd {beef & chorizo}

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This beef and chorizo chili makes enough chili for a crowd! Perfect for those cooler fall days to warm you up.

Two bowls of chili with toppings.Pin

We love chili in this house! I mean seriously, who doesn’t? In the freezing Northeast section of the United States, especially this winter, it’s wonderful. Warming oneself from the inside out!

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My husband hunts in the fall. Early in our marriage, I learned to use venison in lots of recipes that formerly, I would have used beef.

There are many advantages to substituting venison for the beef in recipes. Venison has 160 less calories and cholesterol per pound than beef. Also, venison has 4 grams of saturated fat as opposed to 12 grams in Beef. As a result, venison is much healthier than beef!

So I always add venison to this chili too.

This chili for a crowd is loaded with both meats and beans, so it has a ton of protein per serving too.

What you need

  • beef – use ground beef, stew meat or we use filet tips that we cut off of beef loins
  • venison – again, ground venison, or stew meat can be used
  • chorizo – remove the sausage meat from the links for faster browning
  • jalapeño – you can use fresh, minced jalapeño or chopped pickled peppers or candied jalapeñosIngredients for chili for a crowd. See details in recipe below.Pin
  • onion – diced
  • garlic – use minced garlic or substitute roasted garlic for a more mellow flavor
  • chipotle in adobo sauce – use about ½ of a 7 ounce can. This makes a medium hot chili. If you like spicier chili, just add more to your liking
  • 3 15.5 ounce cans beans – use kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, black eyed peas whatever you have in the pantry will work
  • tomatoes – use chopped fresh tomatoes, crushed or whole tomatoes, Italian plum tomatoes or San Marzano work well.
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • oregano
  • salt
  • black pepper – freshly ground is always better
  • corn meal – use this at the end to finish off the chili. It gives the chili a great flavor and thickens it nicely
Ingredients for chili for a crowd. See details in recipe below.Pin

How to make chili for a crowd

  1. Brown all of the meats first in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom frying pan. If you start with ground beef or chorizo, you shouldn’t need to add any oil to the pan first.
  2. Add each browned meat to your slow cooker.
  3. Sauté the onion until soft and fragrant. Add onion and sauté a few more minutes. Add to slow cooker.
  4. Chop the chipotle peppers and add to slow cooker.
  5. Drain and rinse beans. Add to slow cooker.
  6. Add tomatoes and spices. (Don’t add the corn meal yet)

Cook chili on low for 6-8 hours. Let cool. Then refrigerate overnight. The next day, cook chili on low for at least a few hours. A half hour before serving, add the corn meal and mix in well.

Sliced lamb roasted with fresh herbsPin

Pro tips for your success

It is important for chili that you brown the meat and soften the onions in a Dutch oven, on the stove first! The fond (brown bits) on the bottom of the pan is where all of your flavor lies. Don’t skip this step if you want awesome chili!

The other thing I always do when I make chili is to refrigerate it after it has cooked the first day. Why? You ask. It’s because the flavors get a chance to develop and mingle amongst themselves and the flavor is more enhanced. You know how chicken soup and pasta sauce are always better the second day? So it is with chili! Always better the second day.

Quantities are not crucial for this recipe. Use whatever you like in various quantities. For instance; if you only have black beans, just use them. If you want to eliminate one of the meats suggested, just increase one of the other meats.

You can also use light or dark red kidney beans or chili beans.

Add diced celery or carrot to increase the vegetable content.

Only use this recipe if you have a 6 quart slow cooker to cook it in. A 4 quart will not be large enough. (Or halve the recipe and make a smaller batch.)

This chili can be cooked on high to speed up the cooking process but the meats will become more tender if it is cooked on low.

If you’d prefer, this chili can also be made in a Dutch oven. Keep the heat at a low simmer. Stir the pot often to avoid sticking.

This recipe will easily increase or decrease. Halve the recipe, or even double it. If you make a larger batch, it may take longer to cook down.

Thicken the chili 30-60 minutes before the end of cooking with corn meal. It makes the chili nice and thick and adds a great flavor!

Two bowls of chili in gray bowls.Pin

Not only do we like chili that is meaty and has all of the great textures and flavors of the different cuts of meat, we love beans. I added 3 different kinds of beans to this recipe! Kidney beans, black beans and black eyed peas. They all add a slightly different texture.

Serve this chili for a crowd with a slice of cornbread and some veggies or a side salad.

Suggested chili toppings

Bowls of chili in gray bowls.Pin

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Bowl of chili with toppings.Pin

Chili for a Crowd

This beef and chorizo chili makes enough chili for a crowd! Perfect for those cooler fall days to warm you up.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 10 + servings
Calories: 399kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $4



  • Brown chorizo in a large heavy bottom frying pan with olive oil over medium high heat.. Break up and stir chotizo until nicely browned. Remove to Crockpot.
  • Add more olive oil, if pan seems dry.
  • Brown beef in the same pan, until nicely browned. Again, remove to slow cooker.
  • Brown venison in the same pan. Turning to brown on all sides. Remove to slow cooker when browned.
  • Turn heat down to medium low heat. Sauté onion until translucent.
  • Add garlic and sauté for a few more minutes.
  • Add jalapeños, chipotles and a few cups of tomatoes.
  • Let the tomatoes loosen the fond (the brown stuff) from the bottom of the pan. It should take 5 to 10 minutes on medium heat, Scrape all of the fond off the bottom of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, add the rest of the tomatoes, and all the spices to the slow cooker.
  • When the bottom of the Dutch oven is clean, transfer all of the ingredients to the slow cooker. Add drained and rinsed beans.
  • Heat the chili on high until the mixture comes to a low bubble, then reduce heat to low. Cook for a few hours on low, then cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. This is an important step. If you have to have it for dinner the same night, it won’t be as good!
  • The next morning scrape off the excess accumulated fat off the top and discard. Return to slow cooker for about an hour until the chili comes to a slow boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for another 5 hours or more. 8 hours won’t hurt it.
  • About 1/2 hour before serving, remove lid and stir in corn meal.
  • Serve hot with cornbread and a side salad, if desired.
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Cooling the chili overnight makes the it so much better! There is no comparison to chili that has been cooked one day.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Reheat in microwave or, covered, in a large pot, until hot.
For longer storage, freeze up to 6 months.
Thaw in refrigerator. Reheat per above instructions.
Perfect garnishes for chili:
  • green onion
  • cheese
  • creme fraiche or sour cream
  • queso fresco or cotija
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • pickled jalapeno
Serve with cornbread. (Mandatory in my opinion!)


Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 1360mg | Potassium: 1464mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1495IU | Vitamin C: 35.2mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 8.5mg
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Originally Published 2/27/2015 Updated 10/1/2021.

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  1. 5 stars
    Love the flavor combination in this chili. I will be making this soon for my family. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night and it was a hit all around the table! Easily, a new favorite dish; hands down delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I love all soup, stews and chilis the day after. The flavor melds so nicely! Great tips Beth! Your chili looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

  4. 5 stars
    This sounds awesome! We always love including as many different kinds of meats as we can into our chili – especially venison! Love the different beans, too!

  5. 5 stars
    Yum! You’re right, chili is the perfect meal for cold weather, and this looks delicious. I had no idea that venison was so much lower in fat than beef – that is really interesting!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m in south Georgia right now and it’s cold even here. This chili looks like it would be just perfect in this weather!

    1. I heard it was going into the teens where you are! We’re used to up here (not that we like it) Stay safe! I know the drivers down there aren’t the best in inclement weather! Make some chili! Thanks, Pam!

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