If you haven't used your crock pot recently, its time to pull it out of the cupboard. Crock pots are perfect for those busy weeknights. Here are 3 different chili recipes for a chilly evening.

Mom's Favorite Chili

1 pound ground beef ; browned, drained

1 can pork and beans

1 can chili beans

1 regular can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

Red pepper ; to taste

Salt ; to taste

Mix all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

Navajo Beef And Chile Stew

3 pound lean beef stew meat ; cut 3/4 " cubes

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can ready-cut tomatoes with juice - (14 1/2 oz)

1 can diced green chiles - (7 oz) drained

1 can whole-kernel corn - (8 1/2 oz) undrained

1 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 tablespoon yellow cornmeal

Combine all ingredients, except cornmeal, in a slow cooker, mixing well. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until meat is tender.

20 Minutes before serving:

Turn control to HIGH. Stir in cornmeal. Cover and cook on HIGH 20 to 25 minutes.

No-Bean Chili

2 pounds ground beef

(or cubed lean stew beef)

1 can tomato sauce - (8 oz)

1 can tomato paste - (6 oz)

1 can stewed tomatoes - (16 oz) ; (optional)

2 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce ; or more

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. (Add a can of your favorite beans if you wish, but then it wouldn't be No-Bean Chilli.)

This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.

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Diane Watkins is a traditional southern style cook. She enjoys cooking, teaching, and writing about good food and family. For more information on southern cooking and recipes visit her website at Easy Southern Cooking [http://easysoutherncooking.com]