November 02, 2018

RECIPE: Slow Cooker Wendy's Chili (A Copycat Recipe)

Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe

I've had a non-stop craving for Wendy's chili ever since Michigan made a turn from miserably hot summer to a very cold and rainy fall. It's rained more this past week than it had all spring long! The weather makes me excited to cook soups, stews, and chili.

I browsed through several copycat Wendy's chili recipes, even cooking a couple of them, before tweaking this and that and making my own version that I found to be just right. Since I've been using the crock pot so much lately, I made this in the crock pot and I think that having it cook on low all day long really made it that much better. It was SO delicious! Especially after fasting all day. (Food tastes a million times better when I'm hungry.)

In true Wendy's fashion, I like to eat this with saltines instead of topping with cheese and onions (my usual chili go-to toppings).

Copycat Wendy's Chili

Click here for the printer-friendly recipe

Copycat Wendy's Chili (in the slow cooker)

2 pounds ground beef (I like 90/10)
15-oz can of tomato sauce
15-oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 15-oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
2 15-oz cans of red kidney beans (do not drain)
2 15-oz cans of pinto beans (do not drain)
1 onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. butter*

Directions for slow cooker:

Brown the ground beef in a skillet, and then drain. Add the beef to the slow cooker.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the butter. Cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in the butter and serve the chili with saltine crackers.

This makes a large batch of chili--about 16 cups. Luckily, chili makes for fantastic leftovers, and can even be frozen for another time. 

*The butter is clearly optional, but you may notice that Wendy's chili has a silky mouthfeel to it. Adding a touch of butter to the chili gives it that same texture.


  1. I can't wait to give this a try!

  2. I’m making this for the second time tonight! Thanks! I half the recipe and it all works out wonderfully

  3. What size crock pot do you use for this?

    1. I believe mine is 6 quarts... and it takes up the whole pot. You definitely need a big pot for this!

    2. I made this yesterday. I left out one can of beans because I was afraid it would overflow! But it was delicious and perfect for the cold night (16° BRRRR).

  4. Could you cook on high setting for less time?

    1. I've never tried that, so I can't say for sure... but since the beef is already cooked and you use canned beans, I imagine you could probably cook on high for 4 hours. Let me know if it works out!


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