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This Slow Cooker Aloha Chili recipe is a delicious combination of sweet heat and meaty bites of beef, beans and tomatoes. Blended together with surprising bursts of juicy, sweet pineapple, this Hawaiian-style crockpot chili is an easy one-pot meal, perfect for weeknights and potlucks!
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An Easy Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
I always joke that I have a love/hate relationship with my slow cooker. On the one hand, I love how easy it is for one-pot meals. On the other hand, it’s so hard to resist the amazing smells that fill the house!
This recipe for Aloha Chili definitely makes the whole family anxious for dinnertime. I keep it kid-friendly and not too spicy, but this crock pot chili recipe smells and tastes incredible! It also makes a wonderful dish to bring to potlucks. Everyone loves the combination of sweet heat with meaty bites of beef, beans and tomatoes, and the surprising bursts of juicy, sweet pineapple.
What is Aloha Chili?
Known also as Hawaiian-style chili, Aloha Chili is a delicious and meaty beef chili recipe with chunks of pineapple added in. People are often pleasantly surprised by the tropical taste!
This does require a little advance prep work, simply in the form of browning the beef and chopping some ingredients. The rest is left to your slow cooker! Though if you don’t want to dirty an extra pan, you can do it all in an Instant Pot too!
Here’s everything you’ll need for homemade pineapple chili:
- Lean Ground Beef: Or regular ground beef if you prefer, just make sure it’s high quality! You can also use ground turkey meat if you’d rather make turkey chili.
- Crushed Tomatoes: I use canned tomatoes.
- Kidney Beans: A couple cans, drained and rinsed.
- Pineapple: Chopped fresh pineapple is best, but you can also use canned pineapple that’s been drained.
- Carrots, Red Bell Pepper, and Onion: Chopped.
- Chili Powder: You can use more or less depending on what level of spice you’re after.
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make Hawaiian Chili
I love how this Aloha chili recipe more or less cooks itself into a weeknight meal that’s bursting with flavor. Not to mention, I freeze any leftovers for easy chili, anytime! Here are the minimal steps involved in making this easy slow cooker chili.
Slow Cooker Method
Brown the Meat: Break up the beef in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the beef is nice and browned, and drain off any excess grease.
Assemble the Ingredients in the Slow Cooker: Combine the browned ground beef and other ingredients in the bowl of your slow cooker. Stir and then cover with the lid.
Cook: Leave the chili to cook on Low for 6-8 hours, or High for 4-6 hours. Fair warning: either way, your house will smell amazing! Serve in bowls with your favorite chili toppings.
You can also make this easy chili recipe in the pressure cooker or on the stovetop. Included below are the directions for these methods!
Instant Pot Method
Saute the Beef: In the bowl of the Instant Pot, brown the ground beef.
Add in the Ingredients: Add in the rest of the ingredients including the tomatoes, beans and pineapple. Top with water and stir.
Cook: Cook the chili on Manual, allowing the pressure to release naturally before manually venting the remaining pressure. Adjust the consistency as needed and then serve.
Brown the Meat: Brown the ground beef in a large Dutch oven.
Saute the Veggies: Add the carrots, pepper, and onion to cook until tender.
Cook: Stir in the other ingredients, bring the chili to a simmer, and cook for as long as possible, at least until the veggies are soft.
Tips for Success
- Use Good Quality Beef: Lean Angus beef or similar for the best possible chili.
- Adjusting the Thickness: If the chili is too thick, add water. If you find the chili is too thin, remove the lid and let it cook uncovered until it thickens a bit.
- If You’re Worried the Beans Might Get Mushy: If you’re concerned that your canned beans will overcook, you can wait and add them towards the end instead.
My Favorite Chili Toppings
Low maintenance is the name of the game when it comes to chili toppings. I love to keep the garnishes simple and let the bold chili flavors do the talking!
While the chili has been cooking away in the crock pot, I’ll often wrangle some cheese and sour cream out of the fridge, and maybe some tortilla chips out of the pantry. Here are some of my favorite chili topping ideas:
- Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Chopped or Mashed Avocado (or try Avocado Crema!)
- Minced Onion
- Freshly Diced Red Bell Peppers
- Jalapeno Slices
To give your Aloha Chili an extra “Hawaiian” kick, top your chili bowl with crispy bacon pieces along with shredded cheese!
Make it a Meal
When it comes to serving this Aloha Chili recipe as a meal, there are some great and easy options.
- Serve this slow cooker chili with homemade Cornbread.
- Make up some Zucchini Tater Tots, which is my family’s side of choice.
- Serve this chili alongside roasted or baked potatoes, or piled on top of a Fully Loaded Potato.
- Forget the bread bowls? Try spooning it into baked sweet potatoes or make chili stuffed acorn squash.
- Use Aloha Chili as a dressing for chili cheese fries (don’t forget the Easy Cheese Sauce!) or homemade chili dogs (the sweet pineapple flavors pair super nicely with pork!).
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
To store leftover chili, let it cool completely and transfer it to an airtight container. Chili will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat the chili on the stovetop or in the microwave for a few minutes, until heated through.
Can I Freeze Chili?
Chili is one of the best recipes for freezing! This slow cooker version is especially awesome for make-ahead meals. Freeze your chili in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and store frozen for up to 3 months.
Thaw the chili overnight in the fridge, and reheat in the microwave when you’re ready to serve it.
What Crockpot or Instant Pot do I need?
More Crockpot Recipes to Try
- Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with Apple Cider
- Easy Chicken Black Bean Tacos
- Sriracha Lime Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Tenderloin
- Crockpot Mexican Chicken and Black Beans
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chili
- 1 1/2-2 lbs lean ground beef
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes 1 can
- 31 oz kidney beans 2 cans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple chopped
- 1 1/2 cups carrots chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoons chili powder or more, if desired
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- Shredded cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt/sour cream, chopped avocado, minced onion, tortilla chips, etc. for serving
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Drain the excess grease.
- Add the ground beef to the slow cooker, along with the crushed tomatoes, beans, pineapple, carrots, pepper, onion, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Pour the water over everything and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours, or High for 4-6 hours. If it is too thick, add additional water, or too thin, let cook uncovered for a while.
- Serve in bowls with desired toppings.
- Turn on the Instant Pot to the Saute function. Add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Press Cancel and drain the excess grease.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, pineapple, carrots, pepper, onion, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Pour the water over everything and stir to combine.
- Cover and close the vent. Set to the Manual setting for 15 minutes. Let it come to pressure and cook, and once the cooking time is completely, allow the pressure to release naturally before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
- If it is too thick, add additional water. If it is too thin, set to the Saute setting and let it simmer until it achieves your desired consistency.
- Serve in bowls with desired toppings.