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Thick, rich, and flavorful, this classic chili recipe is a MUST make! This chili is filled with lean ground beef, a mix of beans, ripe tomatoes, fresh seasonings and it’s topped with all your favorites!

Need a side to go with your chili? Try this homemade cornbread (or add a little spice with this jalapeño cornbread) for a side dish that compliments this chili recipe perfectly.

Chili in a bowl topped with lime wedge, sour cream, shredded cheese and Frito chips.

The Best Chili Recipe

There is always the classic debate on whether or not chili should have beans in it. This recipe does and it’s so delicious! This recipe can feed a crowd and is made within 30 minutes. Not only that but it cooks up in one pot which masker for easy cleanup! It is so simple and has SO much flavor.

My family loves to make this recipe year round. It is perfect in the winter to warm up but also a summer time favorite during BBQ season. If you are ready to branch out and try a chili thats totally different then check out this Crack Chicken Chili recipe next!

Ingredients to Make Chili

This is an ultimate chili recipe with loads of flavor and an easy to make recipe. In 30 minutes this chili will be ready to feed a crowd!

  • Olive Oil: This is used to sauté the onion, bell pepper, cloves creating a flavor.
  • Onion: Dice up the onion into small, uniform pieces.
  • Green Bell Pepper: Cut into small chunks.
  • Garlic Cloves: I prefer fresh cloves but you can use the jarred minced garlic instead! 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic is equal to one clove.
  • Ground Beef: Lean ground beef gives flavor but also less fat and grease.
  • Beef Broth: The beef broth adds in flavor to the chili while cooking.
  • Tomato: To make things easy, get the canned tomatoes that are already in sauce.
  • Beans: Pinto beans and kidney beans give a good mixture of tender and soft beans.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne mixes together giving the chili a sweet, spicy and savory flavoring.

How to Make Good Homemade Chili

This is a dump and go recipe that uses only one pot! It is perfect for a quick meal during a busy week or let simmer on a weekend when feeding a crowd. Bring this chili to any potluck or gathering and watch it disappear in no time.

  1. Sauté and Cook Beef: In a large pot add the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until almost tender. Brown the ground beef and cook and crumble until brown.
  2. Add in Remaining Ingredients: Add in the beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne.
  3. Boil: Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until it starts to thicken and flavors combine (about 30 minutes).
3 pictures that show how to make chili by sautéing the onions and green peppers, cooking the ground beef and adding the beans, tomatoes and seasonings into the pot to simmer.

Variations and Substitutions

Sometimes, we need to change things up! Whether it’s because you want to try new flavors or you are missing some ingredients from your pantry and need to use something different, I have you covered!

  • Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms or zucchini are all great add ins for sautéing at the beginning.
  • Meat: Substitute the beef for turkey, steak, Italian sausage or chicken.
  • Seasonings: Try using taco seasoning for a tex-tex taste.
  • Smokey Taste: Try adding adobo sauce, paprika or a liquid smoke for a smoky taste.
  • Beef Broth: Don’t have beef broth? Chicken or even water will help keep it thick and will simmer well with either liquid.
  • Sugar: Sounds crazy, right! Sugar adds a bit of sweetness. Cocoa powder will also add subtle hint of sweetness with a savory taste of chocolate. It is a must try! Just a teaspoon will do the trick!
Chili in a bowl with lime wedge, sour cream, Frito chips and shredded cheese.


Add these toppings to your chili for more flavor. From a sweet avocado, creamy sour cream, or a crunchy chip is just what this chili needs. All the favorites blend together so well with this chili recipe.

  • Sour Cream: Add a dollop over top.
  • Onions: Chopped up and sprinkled on top.
  • Shredded Cheese: This will melt over top the chili
  • Jalapeños: This adds in some heat.
  • Cilantro: Looks good and adds a great flavoring!
  • Avocado: I love the fresh, creamy texture this brings to it.
  • Tortilla Strips: These are a must. Try my homemade tortilla strips recipe for the best of the best.
  • Frito Chips: I love the salty flavor of these to complement the dish.
  • Lime Wedges: Squeeze the limes over the top for a fresh flavor.
Chili in a large pot with a ladle spooning out a spoonful of chili for the camera.

Storing Chili

  • In the Refrigerator: It is best to keep the chili in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator once cooled after cooking. You can store leftover chili in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days
  • Can you freeze chili? Yes! It is another perk about this recipe. Once it is cooled completely add it to a large ziplock bag letting out of all the air. Laying flat, place the chili in the freezer for 1 month. Don’t forget to label it with the date!
  • Warming up: When you are ready to reheat the chili, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and heat it in a saucepan or microwave until it’s warmed through.

More Popular Chili Recipes

If you loved this chili then you MUST try out some more of my tried and true favorite chili recipes. There are so many delicious flavors!

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Best Ever Chili Recipe

4.88 from 72 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Thick, rich and flavorful! Filled with lean ground beef, mix of beans, ripe tomatoes, fresh seasonings and topped with all your favorites! This classic chili recipe is a MUST make!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 People



  • In a large pot add the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until almost tender. Add in the ground beef and cook and crumble until brown.
  • Add in the beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until it starts to thicken and flavors combine about 30 minutes.



Originally posted on April 26, 2020
Updated on May 6, 2022


Calories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 26gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 640mgPotassium: 534mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 981IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I just wonder why people put a time on how long food will stay in the freezer? I can’t think of anything that will not last at least a year in the freezer. Sealed properly. I’ve ate ziplock bags of frozen soup from ten years ago and it was some good soup.