This recipe is dead simple and so tasty! The best part is you can use any kind of Dinner sausage you want. We used Italian Sausages (made with pork), but you can use whatever you like (including veggie sausages if you are meatless).
You can use fresh or frozen peppers and onions (Yes, you can buy frozen peppers and onions at the store- They are often branded as “Fajita Mix”), it’s really up to you.
And you can load your yumminess onto a hoagie roll, top with cheese and chow down, or top a bed of pasta or Zoodles- It’s really up to you.
The best part is this recipe makes a lot, so there are always leftovers!
Sausage and Peppers Makes 6-8 servings
1 Package Dinner Sausages (Italian or your choice)
I realized the other day when searching for my chili recipe on my blog so I could share it with someone on Facebook, that I have not posted my chili recipe, ever! Which is weird, because I make it at least once a month.
What I love about making chili in the crockpot is that you can use either fresh, frozen, or canned veggies, it really depends on what you have in your house, and what your budget is.
Because I get vegetables and fruit twice a month at our local co-op, frequently I will have fresh vegetables that I have diced or prepared and put into Ziploc bags to store in the freezer. It ensures that we have nutritious vegetables with no additives at our fingertips throughout the month.
Another great thing about this chili recipe is you can make it vegetarian, you can put meat in it, or you can make a vegan! This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
1 pound of meat (optional) I usually use ground pork, but other good choices include ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, or bite-sized pieces of stew meat. If you want a meat substitute, I like these crumbles from Beyond Meat.
One can black beans, drained and rinsed
One can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3T chili powder
Salt and pepper as needed
Optional, but delicious:
1 cup corn niblets. If you use canned corn, drain and rinse it prior to adding.
If you do not care for black or kidney beans, you can swap in Northern beans, or navy beans.
Personally, I like to brown the meat on the stove prior to adding it to the slow cooker. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch Oven, heat avocado oil and brown meat until thoroughly cooked/browned.
Add onions and peppers, cook until onions are clear and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic, and cook, stirring often until garlic is fragrant about 5 to 10 minutes.
If your pan has a lot of brown food remnants on the bottom, I recommend taking 2 to 4 tablespoons of liquid (you can use water) and pour it in the pan stirring and scraping all the yummy brown stuff off the bottom. This is where all the flavor lives.
Pour all of the ingredients from the pot into your slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients, place lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
I love serving chili with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.
This recipe is incredibly versatile.
If you don’t have fresh onions and peppers, you can grab a bag of fajita mix out of the freezer (which is pre-chopped onions and bell peppers).
If you don’t have fresh tomatoes (which let’s face it a lot of us don’t) you can use canned tomatoes. You can use whole canned tomatoes you can use diced, you can use chopped, whatever kind of tomatoes you have in your cupboard.
Use whatever kind of canned beans you have on hand. One time I made chili and I used chickpeas! And it turned out delicious!
If you don’t have cumin and chili powder in your cupboard but you have chili seasoning, use that instead.
I find the chili is a great go-to meal for when you are at the end of the month, and you are low on funds but you have lots of canned goods and frozen veggies.
If you were strapped for time, you don’t have to brown your meat, you can just put it in the crockpot and pour all the other ingredients over top, cook it, and let it cook. Just make sure to break up the meat (if you’re using ground meat) with a spoon prior to serving.
I get a lot of people who ask about my spice rack- what do I keep in my kitchen, since we cook at home so much. I made a list of what I use, then I polled my Facebook friends. Below is a reflection of what we use most at home, plus what most of my foodie friends use too all combined into a handy dandy top ten list!
I prefer spices and herbs from Penzey’s– They have the best quality and a wide variety. They tend to be a little more expensive, but they are very high-quality herbs and spices, and you will use much less than their cheaper counterparts. If you have a Penzey’s store near you, it’s worth checking out. Join their mailing list- they frequently have coupons for freebies and really good deals (and free shipping sometimes too if you don’t live close to a store). Penzey’s also sells their spices on Amazon!