Taco Truck Chili

Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker Taco Truck Chili is the perfect fall comfort food! It has all the flavors of a taco, and the toppings are really where you make it your own! This is one cozy dinner idea you can really dig into!

Looking for even more chili recipes? I highly recommend this recipe for the best chili ever.

Easy Slow Cooker Taco Truck Chili

Fall has arrived, which means recipes in my Crock-Pot® are officially on regular rotation. I’ll admit it outright: chili is my most favorite of all slow cooker recipes. Cooking the medley of beef, onions, beans, and spices for long hours on low heat really ties the ingredients together and marries all the delicious flavors. 

Today I’m going to share an easy taco truck-style chili con carne recipe that’s right up there with my best ever recipe for chili as one of my all-time greatest. Like many slow cooker recipes, this one is fantastic to make ahead. The flavors will develop even more with time! Enjoy this hearty chili as an easy weeknight dinner, or crack it out on game day – and whatever you do, don’t forget the taco toppings.

Chuck roast seasoned with salt and pepper.

What You’ll Need

I use shredded beef for this chili to mimic the classic taco truck way of doing things. And the results are honestly irresistible! Not only does shredded chuck roast really beef up the flavor, but the slow cooker method makes the meat insanely tender and extra delicious. 

Here are the other ingredients you’ll need for this authentic taco truck chili:

  • Chuck Roast: A boneless chuck roast is the best cut of meat for this recipe, IMO, as it shreds really nicely. Pick a piece that’s marbled with a good amount of fat lines.
  • Red Pepper and Onion: One large red pepper and one large onion, diced. I prefer yellow onions for their particular flavor profile, but almost any onion will do.
  • Garlic: 5 whole cloves, minced, but you can use more or less depending on preference.
  • Chipotle Peppers: I use canned chipotles in adobo and dice them.
  • Tomatoes and Green Chilis: One can of diced tomatoes and green chilis (like Rotel), undrained.
  • Corn: Canned or frozen. If using canned, don’t forget to drain the liquid!
  • Black Beans: Drained and given a rinse.
  • Beef Stock: Alternatively, substitute stock with beer.
  • Ground Spices: Smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and ground coriander.
  • Flour
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

What is Chuck Roast?

Chuck roast, also labeled shoulder steak, is a fattier and richer cut of beef than a brisket. It’s perfect for pot roasts and it shreds really nicely, making it ideal for this meaty chili recipe.

How to Make Taco Truck Chili

Thanks to our handy Crock-Pot®, this chili recipe is only 3 steps! 

Seared chuck roast in the bowl of a slow cooker.

Season and Sear the Beef: Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper and sear the meat on all sides. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step. However, searing really does lock in the flavors in a way that can’t be duplicated!

The ingredients for taco truck chili in the bowl of a slow cooker: beans, corn, tomatoes and diced green chilies, herbs, and spices.

Combine in the Slow Cooker: Place the meat in the Slow Cooker and add in all the remaining ingredients. Give it a stir for good measure to get everything combined.

A Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker

Cook: Leave the contents to cook on high heat for 4-6 hours, or on low heat for 8-10. Before the chili is done, remove some of the liquid, mix in the flour, and then pour the liquid back in and allow the chili to thicken.

You can check that the chili is done when the meat shreds apart easily. I like to shred the meat right in the pot, but you can also remove it, shred it, and add it back in if you prefer. 

Serve the chili right away with your favorite taco toppings, or you can let it cool and store it in the fridge or freezer.

Cooked chuck roast ready to be shredded for the chili.

Tips for Success

  • If You Replace the Stock with Beer: You can use any beer you have handy, though I find that brown ales and stouts really compliment and kick up the flavor of the chili.
  • Cook It Long and Low: Time is key to a fantastic chili; be patient and really let the long hours in the crockpot do their thing! The payoff is beautiful chili that’s jam packed with flavor, and ingredients that meld together perfectly.
Taco truck chili in the bowl of a slow cooker.

Topping Ideas

Chili is one of my family’s favorite meals because it’s literally all-in-one! While you can definitely enjoy it by itself, this chili lays the perfect groundwork for all kinds of delicious dressings and toppings. In true taco truck style, you can really get creative with chili toppings. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sour cream or creme fraiche
  • Avocado
  • Corn chips
  • Shredded cheese or cream cheese
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • Salsa or salsa verde

What Goes with Chili?

Chili pairs best with a cozy winter evening! From a serving perspective, there are many easy sides to pair with chili. Try these:

You can also serve this chili spooned over baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. I’ve even been known to bake it into a hearty Chili Mac and Cheese.

If you’re feeling like something lighter, serve this chili with ​​Southwestern Cobb Salad or Creamy Homemade Coleslaw.

A bowl of slow cooker taco truck chili with fritos

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover chili will last 3-4 days when stored airtight in the fridge. To reheat, transfer the chili to a microwave safe bowl or dish and place in the microwave until heated through. You can also reheat chili on the stovetop on low.

Can I Freeze Extras?

Chili freezes really well. Store leftover chili in a freezer safe container or ziplock freezer bag and store frozen for up to 3 months. Let chili thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

More Hearty Crockpot Recipes

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A bowl of taco truck chili with fritos and pita

Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker Taco Truck Chili

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  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 1012 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican


Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker Taco Truck Chili is the perfect fall comfort food! It has all the flavors of a taco, and the toppings are really where you make it your own! This is one cozy dinner idea you can really dig into!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 34 pounds chuck roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 chipotle peppers (from can of chipotle in adobo), diced
  • 2 can Rotel, undrained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup beef stock or beer
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 12 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 cup flour


  1. Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Sear the meat on both sides and place in Crock-Pot®.
  2. Add in all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Cook on high heat for 4-6 hours or low heat for 8-10 hours.
  4. -45 minutes before the chili is done remove 1/3 cup of the liquid from the pot. Mix in the flour and stir until smooth. Pour this back into the chili and cover and cook for 30-45 more minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  5. Remove meat from the pot and shred, or alternatively shred meat right in the pan.
  6. Serve with taco toppings, like avocado, cheese, sour cream, and/or with corn chips.

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17 comments on “Taco Truck Chili”

  1. We have a local restaurant that has chili with steak and it is our favorite thing on the menu. When I saw this, it looked so similar that I knew I had to make and try it. Yes, yes, yes it is so similar and we loved it! My husband just went back for seconds! We don’t like corn in our chili, so I left that out. Thanks so much for sharing this, now we can eat our favorite restaurant chili whenever we want!

    1. Love it! I totally understand the corn thing… what’s so great about chili is you can add in or omit things so easily!

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