Slow Cooker Wendy’s Chili is an easy way to have your favorite hearty chili at home! Skip the drive-thru and let your crock pot do the work!
Wendy’s chili is one of those childhood memories I can truly smell. This Slow Cooker Wendy’s Chili recipe brings me back with just a few simple steps! I’ve saved so much money on things like my beloved Starbucks pink drink and Wendy’s chili with these copycat recipes.
SLOW COOKER WENDY’S CHILI
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I don’t frequent many fast-food restaurants these days, but Wendy’s chili was always a staple. It’s hearty, full of protein and fiber, and it tasted great! It has probably been years since I’ve had anything from Wendy’s, but when I stumbled across a recipe for a copycat version, I knew I had to try it. It’s truly one of the best crock pot recipes ever.
Adapting this recipe to a slow cooker recipe turned out to be pure genius! Chili recipes beg for low and slow cooking, and nothing does a better job than my trusty Crockpot.
What is Wendy’s Chili Made of?
GROUND BEEF: The secret to a recipe just like Wendy’s chili is in the ground beef! When you’re browning the meat, you want to get a good char on every piece. I’m talking crispy brown and caramelized. The well-cooked beef is what gives this chili the BEST flavor!
BEANS: I use both pinto beans and red kidney beans in my chili recipe. The combination makes for a great hearty main dish or side. You can double one kind or use none at all if you’re looking for a low carb chili recipe.
TOMATO SAUCE: I use three tomatoes three ways in this savory chili! The combination of stewed tomatoes, tomato soup, and tomato sauce make a naturally thick chili without any added thickeners!
This recipe makes a slow cooker full of a delicious chili that everyone will love! Keep it mild with a garnish of white cheddar cheese, or spice it up a couple of sliced jalapenos. However you serve this chili, you will have a crowd-pleasing dish on your hands for dinner or game day!
How to Make Slow Cooker Wendy’s Chili
- First, brown the ground beef in some oil like it’s a huge burger patty. This is the best way to get that crunchy caramelization on the beef. Then break up the meat once it’s seared on one side and cook until no longer pink.
- Then, add the beef to a crock pot with celery, onion, bell pepper, stewed tomatoes, tomato soup, water, and tomato sauce. Break up the stewed tomatoes as you stir everything together.
- Now, add the beans and chili seasonings and give it a stir.
- Then all you need to do is pop the lid on your slow cooker, and let your Wendy’s copycat chili simmer on LOW for at least 6 hours. (or on HIGH for at least 4 hours) The chili will be thin when hot but will thicken after the heat is turned off.
If you like a thicker chili, take off the lid for the last hour of cooking and turn the slow cooker to HIGH so the liquid can evaporate. Just be sure to stir the chili occasionally.
I like to top my chili with shredded cheese and jalapenos. You can also add lime juice, sour cream, or tortilla chips for extra acid and crunch!
Is Wendy’s Chili Keto?
Keto dieters are always looking for mainstream options they can grab on-the-go, and a meaty chili is a great option! However, the tomatoes and beans in chili usually make the carb count higher.
A small cup of Wendy’s chili recipe has about 21g carbs per 6-ounce serving. For this recipe, we have a slightly lower carb count at 19g for an 8-ounce serving. Since many keto dieters try to keep their daily carbs under 20g a day, this is a great option to help satisfy the drive-thru craving!
The nutritional info for this chili is based on about a cup per serving, which is perfect for a hearty side dish.
The easiest way to make any chili recipe low carb is to ditch the beans! They’re high in carbs, but I love them too much to leave them out of my chili recipe. Leaving the beans out will knock the carbs in this recipe down to 12g per serving.
How Many Calories are in Wendy’s Chili?
Fast food is some of the easiest and cheapest food out there, but it’s not always the healthiest.
Wendy’s chili recipe is great for a high protein, low carb option. It also has about 240 calories small cup of chili.
However, my homemade chili recipe has 177 calories per serving and is a larger portion.
These numbers are based on a small order of chili, which is 6 ounces. This recipe serving suggestion is 1 cup (8 ounces).
This recipe is also lower in fat and higher in potassium than the fast-food favorite.
More Easy Soup Recipes
- Crockpot Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- Skinny Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Instant Pot Chili
- More SIDE DISH recipes…
Tools used to make this Slow Cooker Wendy’s Chili recipe
Crockpot: A slow cooker is your best friend when it comes to slow-simmered soups! I love one with a locking lid that makes taking this chili to a tailgate even easier.
Skillet: This skillet is my go-to kitchen tool. It’s large circumference and high sides make it perfect for cooking anything from one pan meals to soups and sauces.
*This post originally posted on10/05/2015.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 large sweet onion peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 42 ounces stewed tomatoes (3 cans)
- 10 ounces condensed tomato soup (1 can)
- 1 cup water
- 14 ounces tomato sauce (1 can)
- 1.25 ounces mild chili seasoning (1 packet)
- 14 ounces canned red kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 14 ounces canned pinto beans rinsed and drained
- Salt and pepper to taste
- White cheddar cheese shredded, for garnish
- Jalapeno sliced, for garnish
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Press the beef down into the pan to make a really big patty. Cook the beef until it begins to caramelize on the bottom. Then break up the ground beef and continue cooking until no longer pink.
- Drain any grease from the skillet and transfer the cooked beef into a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add celery, onion, green pepper, stewed tomatoes, tomato soup, water, and tomato sauce to the slow cooker. Stir to combine, breaking up the stewed tomatoes with the spoon as you stir.
- Add chili seasoning, kidney beans, and pinto beans to the slow cooker and stir.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6 - 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 - 6 hours without removing the lid. This chili will be thin at first and will thicken upon standing once the heat is turned off. If you like a thicker chili, remove the lid during the last hour of cooking, turn the temp to HIGH, and stir occasionally to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Portion into bowls and garnish with shredded white cheddar cheese and a jalapeno slice or two. Serve warm.