Introduction: Effortless Chili for Cold Days

This Instructable shows how to make chili with almost no effort whatsoever.  It's tasty, warm, and full of lycopene and other healthy stuff, and it's been tested and proven.  It's also inexpensive ($7-14 for a large pot's worth).

Step 1: Ingredients

You'll need:

  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 regular cans of red kidney beans
  • 3 tbsps of olive oil
  • 2-4 tbsps of chili powder*
  • Salt


  • Cooked ground beef/turkey
  • Rehydrated Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • Cottage cheese or sour cream
  • Chives
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Croutons
  • Bread with a nice crust
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Tabasco sauce

*Here in the States, chili powder is a mixture of spices, so if you're elsewhere in the world, you'll likely have to mix your own (example recipe).

Note: When I worked at a small nonprofit, we would have "Slow Cooker Fridays", and this was the favorite meal to make. The ingredients were divided up.

-Onions, garlic, and olive oil
-Kidney beans
-Bread, croutons, cheese, etc.

I usually brought the chili powder, and there was already salt in the kitchen. If you work in a small office, I highly recommend trying this out with your coworkers. Freshly cooked food is such a relief, and it removes a bit of tension and stress in the office.

Step 2: Microwave Garlic and Onion

Microwave the diced onion and minced garlic until the onion is semi-translucent.

  I microwaved this batch for 3.5 minutes at 70% power.

Tip for Mincing Garlic:
  • Place the garlic clove under the flat portion of the knife and hit the knife quickly with the butt of your hand.
  • Remove the skin of the clove.
  • Return clove under the flat portion of the knife and hit the knife with the butt of your hand until the clove is smashed.
  • Run the knife through the smashed clove until it's fully minced.

Step 3: Pour and Cook

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker including the liquids in the cans.

Note:  If you want meat or TVP, add it at this point.


Cook on low for 3-5 hours.

Serve and garnish.
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