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Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime

If you’re looking for an easy chili recipe for Super Bowl Sunday, this Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime is gluten-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet Phase One! Use Chili Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili!

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.com

Whether you’re attending a party or hosting one yourself, Super Bowl Sunday can be a busy day. And when I made this Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime I decided this easy slow-cooker chili was completely perfect for a Super Bowl party. Just brown the beef, saute the onions with the spices, and throw everything in the slow cooker until it’s time for the game!

Not that there is a shortage of good chili recipes on the blog, with a few of them having made an appearance at Denny family Super Bowl parties in the past!   What was fun about this recipe was the way it uses a can of refried beans to thicken the chili, and also the addition of salsa.  There’s also a healthy amount of lime juice, and I’d serve this with slices of lime so lime lovers (like me) can squeeze even more lime into their chili! And this tasty chili is gluten-free, dairy-free, and South Beach Diet phase one (with portion control.) Enjoy, and I hope your team is the winner!

And for those who would like Low-Carb Chili Recipes, I have a great round-up with Ten Amazing Low-Carb Chili Recipes!

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.com

Saute the ground beef until it’s nicely browned and add to the slow cooker.  (You can rinse the ground beef before you put it in the slow cooker if you want to cut down on the fat.) While the beef browns, chop the onion and mince some garlic; then saute the onions until they’re starting to brown, the add the garlic and saute a minute or two more.

Add the chili powder, Ancho chili powder, ground cumin, and Mexican oregano and saute the spices for a couple of minutes and then add the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Rinse the beans with cold water until no more foam appears. Use black beans or kidney beans along with the pintos, your choice.

Add the beans and salsa to the slow cooker.  Then add the refried beans and beef broth to the pan you sauteed the spices in and whisk until the beans are mixed with the broth, then add it to the slow cooker.  (Blogger error; forgot to take a photo of that step!) Cook the chili for 6-8 hours on low.  After about 4 hours check to see if you want to add a tiny bit of water.

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.com

When Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Refried Bean Chili is done, stir in the lime juice and serve hot.

More Chili Recipes for Super Bowl Sunday:

Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, and Green Onion from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chili with Chocolate from David Lebovitz
Crockpot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Frito Pie with One-Hour Texas Chili from Homesick Texan
Amy’s Amazing White Chicken Chili from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime

If you’re looking for an easy chili recipe for Super Bowl Sunday, this Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime is the perfect choice!


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (use beef with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 T minced garlic (or less)
  • 2 tsp. chile powder
  • 2 tsp. ground Ancho chile pepper (or use more regular chile powder if you don’t have Ancho)
  • 1 T ground cumin (or less if you’re not a big fan of cumin)
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/4 cups salsa (I used Pace Mild Picante Sauce)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
  • 1 can (14 oz.) beef broth
  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • lime slices for serving (optional)


  1. Heat two tsp. olive oil in a large heavy frying pan; add the ground beef and saute about 10 minutes or until beef is well-browned, breaking it apart with the turner as it cooks.
  2. Remove beef and place in slow cooker.  (You can rinse the browned meat in a fine strainer with hot water before you put it in the slow cooker if you want to remove some of the fat.)
  3. Add the other tsp. of oil to the pan, add onions, and saute until they’re starting to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute or two more; then add the chili powder, ground Ancho chili pepper, ground cumin, and Mexican oregano and saute about 2 more minutes.
  5. Scrape the onions and spices into the slow cooker, along with the salsa.
  6. Dump both cans of beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears.
  7. Let beans drain a minute while you add the beef broth and refried beans to the pan where you sauteed the onions and spices.
  8. Mix with a whisk or fork until the refried beans are well mixed into the broth; then add that to the slow cooker.
  9. Add the drained beans to the slow cooker.
  10. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  (I would check after about 4 hours to see if you want to add a tiny bit of water; this is a fairly thick chili but some people might prefer it slightly thinner.)  When chili is done, stir in the lime juice and serve hot.


I used a 2.5 quart slow cooker for this recipe. If you only have a big slow cooker, I’d  just double the recipe. You can definitely freeze the leftovers if you have any!

This freezes well and can be reheated in a microwave or in a small pan on the stove.

Recipe adapted from Penzeys catalog recipe by Kathleen Bergeron.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients which are approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet. However, dried beans are limited for Phase One to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving.  Of course the chili has other ingredients besides beans, but I would limit myself to a small serving of this for Phase One. Chili with beans won’t work for a low-carb diet, but if you’d like a chili like this with less carbs, I’d double the amount of ground beef and just use one can of beans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here for more Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.com


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35 comments on “Slow Cooker Beef and Refried Bean Chili with Salsa and Lime”

  1. Pingback: The BEST Slow Cooker Recipes with Ground Beef - Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

  2. I have never really cared for chili (even though I’ve lived my entire life in Texas), but I still make a pot a couple of times each winter. It just seems like the right thing to do. My family doesn’t really love chili, either, and they usually aren’t too thrilled when I declare that it’s “chili weather”. But this recipe has changed ALL of that! This is some seriously good stuff! I guess maybe it’s the refried beans that took this to the next level, or perhaps it’s the lime juice added just before serving. I will never try any other chili recipe, and I’ve deemed it “chili weather” just 10 days after making this recipe the first time. I don’t think anyone is going to complain!

  3. This Chili recipe is amazing. I’ll be making a double batch next time. I have a lot of Chili recipes but this is my new favourite.  The refried beans make this so tasty and just the right consistency.  

  4. How long would you need to cook this if you choose not to use a slow cooker?

  5. So glad you have enjoyed it! And I like the idea of less beans.

  6. I love this recipe! I make it often. I find the thickness and flavor just perfect! I add an orange or yellow bell pepper chopped and omit one can of whole beans. So good!

  7. Thanks — you can never have too many slow cooker chili recipes in your repertoire!

  8. how many quarts is your slow cooker?

    I have a 3 qt pressure cooker which can also be used as a slow cooker, so I thought to cut the recipe in half and I believe it should fit okay and cook well.

    I hope so and also hope you will reply to my question, and many thanks for everything!

  9. Best chili I've ever made. Yummm

  10. This smelled great just getting assembled in the slow cooker! I have cilantro on hand to sprinkle on our bowls; can just imagine how good it tastes the next day, too. Thank you for the recipe.

  11. Thanks Tia; glad you liked it!

  12. I'm a Texan, and I take great pride in my chili making abilities. However, this chili blows mine out of the water! The refried beans are a great addition and really make the soup feel rich. We had this last night during the Super Bowl, and it was a perfect choice. Highly recommended!

  13. THANK YOU for this recipe. I made it this weekend and absolutely loved it. Made a couple of changes (black eans vs. pinto, cooked on the stove vs. a crock pot), but am in love with how it turned out!

  14. The original recipe called for a 12 oz. bottle of beer, which I replaced with a can of beef broth.

  15. Kalyn, while reading the comments, I saw the reply where you mention "skipped the beer". I assume you replaced it with the beef broth. Was the beer in the original recipe the same amount, or did you change that, too? I really want to make this recipe, but I'd like to try it using beer. I know it's not SBD, but in this case, I'm not worried about that. Thanks so much.

  16. I imagine the refried beans add plenty of creamy richness and I love the burst of lime flavor! I have my favorite chili recipe but I might have to squeeze this one in 🙂

  17. Enticing, enticing slow cooker recipes. What's a more classic use than CHILI? (Obviously one of my all time faves.) I love the flavor combos you use here – in all this time, I don't think I've ever added lime and I have no idea why it never occurred. Can't wait to give it a shot!

    – Anne (Apron Strings Blog)

  18. I love that this is slightly chili…I love a little spice but not the overly chili recipes. I love beans too. This is a treat for the whole family. Thanks Kalyn!

  19. Love chili! And with beans. I get involved in too many chili cook offs where beans are frowned upon. This is what I like!

    and as always, thanks for making this a part of eRecipeCards.com

  20. Thanks Dara. Still trying to decide what to make for Superbowl Sunday but this may be it!

  21. What a great idea to use refried beans to thicken the chili. I'll bet this will be a big hit at the next Denny family party.

  22. Barb, we would get along well on the lime. I skipped the beer, and changed the proportions a bit for the slow cooker, but I thought it was definitely a winner.

  23. Kalyn I also saw this in the Penzey catalog and made it. I thought it was very good as did the folks I served it to. I'm a lime lover too so gave a few extra squeezes of it to inhance the flavor.

  24. Joanne, I thought the refried beans thickened it just enough!

    Thanks Kay, glad you liked it!

  25. thanks kalyn! i love this recipe! my hubby doesn't like kidney beans so i substitute black beans. this is going on my regular rotation for sure!!


  26. I love that there are both regular AND refried beans in this! So much texture and flavor in one bowl.

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