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Wendy’s Copycat Chili in the Slow Cooker

This Wendy’s chili recipe is a perfect copycat! Thick and rich chili with a variety of beans, vegetables, and spices. It’s the perfect dump and go slow cooker chili.A white bowl full of Wendy's Copycat Chili on a red checked towel.

The first job I ever had was working at Wendy’s. I was 15. And yes, this will date me, but this was in the days of Wendy’s “superbar” and fresh stuffed pitas. Anybody remember those? I want the pitas to make a comeback. 

A white bowl of Wendy's copycat chili next to a slow cooker.

(Also my old Wendy’s manager’s wife reads my blog. How fun is that? Hi Kathie! Hi Gary!)

One thing about working at a restaurant, you get to see what other people love to order and eat. By golly, people love Wendy’s chili. Especially during the cold weather months.

Whether you agree or not, Wendy’s has some spectacular chili for a fast food chain. It’s way more complex than just hamburger and beans in a chili sauce. It’s thick and spicy with beans and veggies and tastes as close to homemade chili as you can get for under 2 bucks. 

A collage of photos showing the steps to make slow cooker Wendy's Copycat Chili

This copycat chili recipe tastes just like Wendy’s. Except it’s homemade, so it’s better.

Stirring everything together before covering the slow cooker.

This chili is comfort food at it’s best. It’s made with 2 kinds of beans, fresh chopped vegetables, tomatoes and spices. And it’s ridiculously easy. Just dump and go in the slow cooker. Watch the video and see.

Please note: You will need a slow cooker that is at least 6 quarts for this chili. 

If you don’t have a large slow cooker, this recipe can also be made on the stove top. Simply follow the directions stated below, but simmer in a large stockpot for 45-60 minutes on low on the stove instead. 

We love to eat our chili with cornbread. If you do too, you need this Jiffy cornbread hack. The best cornbread ever!

A slice of Chili Dog Pizza made with leftover chilii

And if you are a true chili lover you’ve got to try this recipe that uses leftover chili. It’s my family’s favorite. Chili Dog Pizza!

More Slow Cooker Favorites to Enjoy: 

A white bowl full of Wendy's Copycat Chili on a red checked towel.

Wendy's Copycat Chili in the Slow Cooker

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
This Wendy’s chili recipe is a perfect copycat! Thick and rich chili with a variety of beans, vegetables, and spices.


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (29 ounce can) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (29 ounce can) pinto beans, drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce cans) diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups beef broth*
  • * See note below*


    1. Brown the ground beef well. Drain off the fat and add the ground beef to a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.

    2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well and cover.

    3. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 4-6 hours.


1. You may substitute 2 beef bouillon cubes and 2 cups of water for the broth.

2. To make this on the stove top, simply add the browned and drained beef to a large stock pot along with the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review or a photo! I'd love to hear your feedback!

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This Wendy’s chili recipe is a perfect copycat! Thick and rich chili with a variety of beans, vegetables, and spices. It’s the perfect dump and go slow cooker chili. #wendyscopycatchili #slowcookerchili #copycatrecipe #wendyschilirecipe

Did you make this recipe? 

Please leave a comment or review below!  I’d also love to see what you’ve been making on Instagram or Facebook.

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Thursday 11th of February 2021

This chili is amazing! I like a little more heat so I added about a half tablespoon of cayenne pepper as well as a tablespoon of jalapeño “juice” from a jar of jalapeños. I also added a can of corn in after it was cooked. This was my first time making chili and I don’t need to look anywhere else, this will be my go to recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Amy D

Friday 12th of February 2021

Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, Rose! I'm so happy that it turned out just how you wanted it to. Amy D.

Barb Feist

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Can't wait to try this! Fellow ex-Wendy's employee here also and of the same superbar/pita generation. So miss those!! I'm excited to have the recipe, I always just cheat and get a cup or two to take home from my old stomping grounds when I have the craving :)

Amy D

Friday 12th of February 2021

How fun is that Barb, I wish that the pitas would make a comeback. They were one of the best things on the menu. Hope you'll enjoy this slice, err cup, of nostalgia!

Amy D.


Tuesday 9th of February 2021

This is my new go to chili recipe. I have made several times now. Incredible recipe!! Thank you!

Amy D

Friday 12th of February 2021

Amy, That's great to hear! Glad you've found a keeper.

Amy D.

Sue Coats

Sunday 10th of January 2021

This is a delicious recipe. However, I did not put 1/4 C of chili powder in it because my husband doesn't like it spicy. It is plenty spicy for us with 1 T of chili powder. I sautéed the onions and celery and added garlic to it too.


Thursday 7th of January 2021

Hello. Do I season the meat when browning?