What’s For Dinner? Secret Ingredient Slow Cooker Chili

I’ve often wondered how much more effective my dinner prep would be if I could complete it early each morning when my sons wake me up before the sun. While I may not always be peppy in the morning, my mind is fresh and the kids are more self-motivated. This is why I love to incorporate a slow cooker meal into my menu (when I plan one) at least once a week.

Each time 4:30 rolls around and I realize that meal prep is complete and only required opening a pot and wrangling the kids to set the table, I give myself a pat on the back. When the recipe requires very little prep and is mostly and dump, turn on, and wait, I am even more pleased. The only problem I had with this recipe this week? Smelling it cooking throughout the day and thinking, I want to eat that now.

Secret Ingredient Slow Cooker Chili

Prep: 10 Minutes                      Cooking Time: 6 Hours in a Slow Cooker


1 lb ground pork, cooked

1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped

1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes

1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes with green chiles and garlic

1 can pinto beans (drained)

1 can great northern beans (drained)

1 can black beans (drained)

1 can chili beans in sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 package dry ranch seasoning mix (the secret ingredient)

1 cup of water



Open cans, drain if necessary, and dump in beans and tomatoes. Add pork, seasonings, and water. Stir. Set to cook for 6 hours. Eat when hot. We like to add cheese, sour cream, and crackers or chips.

Need more dinner inspiration? Check out these other recipe ideas!

Mindy is a mom of three, writer, optimist, striving to be eco-conscious, and hoping to defy stereotypes. She’s a Pacific Northwest Native who discovered a love of the Midwest six years ago after moving to Illinois. Her family of five came to Iowa City in the summer of 2012 for her husband, Tim, to attend the University of Iowa School of Law and they quickly fell in love with the city. Mindy works from home, while caring for her three terrific kids; Ella 7, Ezra 5, and Kai 2. She is always searching for that elusive balance between family and work and can often be found behind a keyboard writing a newspaper article or blog post or managing social media for a small company. Mindy writes about life as a mom – sometimes crazy, often surprising, occasionally exhausting, frequently challenging, always rewarding, and continually a learning experience – at her blog The Inquisitive Mom (www.theinquisitivemom.com).


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