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Apple and Sausage Chili in the Slow Cooker

This apple sausage chili is simple and flavorful, with diced apple adding a subtle sweetness to the heat of the chili.

Use spicy sausage for a great chili kick, but if you can only find sweet sausage, that will work too; then adjust the heat to your taste.

This apple and sausage chili in the slow cooker calls for chipotle powder, which has a smoky, dry heat; you can substitute regular chili powder if you wish, or even leave the chili out completely and let everyone add their own heat with the addition of hot sauce after they’ve been served.

As for the apple, I recommend using a gala or fuji apple; both apples have a sweet flavor and firm flesh that holds up well in this sturdy chili.


1 pound ground beef or turkey

1 pound spicy Italian sausage

12 ounces dark or hoppy beer (like an IPA)

1 cup yellow onion (diced (about 1 when diced))

1 bell pepper (diced)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 cup large apple (peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 when diced))

8 ounces tomato sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

15.5 oz can cooked black beans (about 1 3/4 cup)

1-2 teaspoon chipotle powder (depending on your preferred level of heat)

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika


  1. Remove the sausage from its casing, if necessary. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, brown the sausage, crumbling it as you go. Add the sausage to the slow cooker pot.
  2. In the same pan, cook the ground beef or turkey until browned, crumbling it as you go. Add it to the slow cooker pot. 
  3. Deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of the beer, scraping up as much of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you can. Add the liquid and remaining beer to the pot. 
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker pot and stir to combine. 
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours or 4 on high. Serve with your preferred garnishes. 

Ruthy Kirwan

Ruthy Kirwan is a recipe tester and developer living in NYC with her two small kids and hard-working husband. She created Percolate Kitchen in 2016 to help busy people get their act together in the kitchen. Learn more at

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