One of my favorite soups is chicken posole. The broth is tasty but the real fun part is garnishing the soup with your favorite toppings. I stole that idea and applied it to this crockpot Mexican chili to bring the best of two worlds. This soup is incredibly easy to make (hello slow cooker!) and it delivers on flavor and texture. This is the best way to end the day, especially on a cold night. Let’s get cooking!

crockpot Mexican chili

crockpot Mexican chili

crockpot Mexican chili


Serves 4


Crockpot Mexican Chili

8 hrTotal Time

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  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, minced
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 14 ounce canned pinto beans
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • Toppings: tortilla strips, avocado, cheddar, cilantro, scallions


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup red onion and 4 cups butternut squash and saute until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 diced poblano, 1 diced red bell pepper, 1 tbsp jalapeno, and 2 minced garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Transfer the vegetables into a crockpot along with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and slow cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  2. Portion soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips, sliced avocado, shredded cheddar, chopped cilantro, and scallions.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

What’s great about this crockpot Mexican chili is that it’s versatile. The original recipe is vegetarian but you can add ground beef, turkey, even soy chorizo and it’ll all work. I really wanted the soup to reflect the weather so butternut squash is a big player but if it’s not in season, swap it with sweet potatoes or even just potatoes.

I used my instant pot for this recipe but if you have an actual crockpot, you will need to saute the vegetables on the stovetop before adding it to the crockpot. If you’re using an instant pot, choose the “saute” setting and saute the vegetables right in the pot.

If you are adding meat, saute the meat before the vegetables. Once the red onion, butternut squash, poblano, red bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic have softened, add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and turn on the crockpot to cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for about 5 hours.

throw everything in the slow cooker

It’s literally just as easy as that. Once the soup is ready, taste for final seasoning adjustments. Prepare the toppings including tortilla strips, avocado, cheddar, cilantro, and scallions. If you’re feeling extra wild today, add a few more options like sliced radish, fresh chopped tomatoes, sour cream, or even chopped onion tossed in lime juice.

I made a huge batch of this crockpot Mexican chili and enjoyed it every night for a week. Did I get sick of it? Absolutely not. It was delicious every time, even better the next day!

crockpot Mexican chili



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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