When the deep freeze hit last week I dove into putting the slow cooker to work to help heat our space by adding some radiant heat and giving us hot food to enjoy. One thing I made was this southwest chili. I made a big pot of chili so we could heat and enjoy it over the next few days. I started with a pot of regular chili and then added some more goodies after the first half was gone to make the simple southwest chili to help it go further. Why this southwest chili is amazing One thing that makes this chili so amazing is that the corn helps to make pot go further by sneaking in another vegetable that really goes unnoticed for the most part even by picky children. The corn does take the spice down a notch but that is fine because that makes it a lot easier for kids to enjoy. If you want this chili and want to keep the spice you can easily add in some more red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch. On a cold winter day this chili hits the spot and has some tex-mex flare that makes you think of warm sunshine when you need it most. I used some ground turkey in mine to help reduce the overall cost but you can easily do all beef. (shhh my husband doesn't know I did this to make meat go further.) My recipe in my large 7-quart slow cooker was triple this recipe. What you need for this easy southwest chili :: 1 pound ground beef :: 1 pound ground turkey :: 1 can chili beans :: 2 packets of chili mix :: 1 medium diced onion :: 1 can diced tomatoes and chili peppers :: 1/2 cup tomato sauce :: 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes :: 1 tablespoon minced garlic :: 1 half cup corn How to make southwest chili in the slow cooker Start by browning your meat. You can do this in a skillet on the stove while you load everything else into your slow cooker. Toss everything else into your crock pot and turn it on high. Mix in your meat after brewing and draining the fat. (Save the beef fat for cooking later) Stir occasionally when possible and serve after about 4 hours. If you would like to allow this to cook all day while you are at work even without string set it on low for 8-10 hours. Simple ways to change this chili up I used chili beans because that is what I had on hand. I have used a variety of beans from kidney beans to black beans depending on what is in our pantry stockpile. Black beans defiantly give a more authentic flavor to this dish. How to serve southwest chili This chili is great served in so many ways depending on what you have on hand. I like to set out a few toppings we have on hand for everyone to use. My favorite is buttery round crackers but this goes great with shredded cheese, corn chips, and fried onions. Storing and using leftover chili One thing about chili is that it is always better the next day. Store your chili in a container with a lid in the refrigerator and reheat it for use over the next 3-4 days. If you have a lot of leftovers simply move your crock to the refrigerator and move it back to the base the next day on low to warm up for sinner or grazing.