Best Ever Chili Recipe

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

Ready to serve your chili in style?! 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.

Chili Recipe

Classic traditional chili is one of my very favorite recipes to make. This by far can feed a crowd and made within 30 minutes. It is a dump and go kind of chili and uses only one pot to make. It is so simple and has SO much flavor.

You can’t go wrong with this chili recipe. It is simple to make and only uses one pot. This delicious thick and hearty chili is full of flavor and a family favorite. 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. It is so versatile and has all your pantry staple ingredients that makes this even easier to make. Get ready to WOW your family with this AMAZING chili recipe!

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 the best you can without too many tears.
  • Green Bell Pepper: Cut into small chunks depending on your preference.
  • Garlic Cloves: I prefer fresh cloves but you are welcome to use the jarred minced garlic for substitute.
  • Ground Beef: Lean ground beef gives flavor but also less fat and grease.
  • Beef Broth: Adds in flavor and liquid while cooking.
  • Tomato: Sauce and diced tomatoes come in a can for a quick dump in the pot.
  • Beans: Pinto and kidney bean 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:

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.
The process of making 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

So many fun ways to make this chili thicker, spicier or even adding in cocoa powder! That is a delicious treat in your chili. Change up some of the ingredients and you may end up with a white chicken chili which is also another popular chili our family loves. Try these variations to see what you come up with!

  • 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: Adobe sauce oor 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.

Toppings

Go wild and add all the toppings you love to make this chili even better! 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.

Here are some of our families staple toppings to try:

  • Sour Cream: Add a dollop over top.
  • Onions: Chopped up and sprinkled on top.
  • Shredded Cheese: This will melt over top the chili
  • Jalapeños: Spicy deliciousness
  • Cilantro: Looks good and adds a great flavoring
  • Avocado: Sliced and add in
  • Tortilla Strips: A crunchy bite
  • Frito Chips: Pile them on!
  • Lime Wedges: Squeeze over top
Chili in a large pot with a ladle spooning out a spoonful of chili for the camera.

Storing Chili Properly

Refrigerate: It is best to keep the chili in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator once cooled after cooking. Store in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days long. Warming it up in a saucepan or microwave.
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 long.
Warming up: When ready to reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat in a saucepan or microwave until warmed through.

Best Ever Chili Recipe

4.84 from 55 votes
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
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 People

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15 ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 15 ounce can kidney beans
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

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

Nutrition

Serves: 8

Calories194kcal (10%)Carbohydrates4g (1%)Protein26g (52%)Fat8g (12%)Saturated Fat3g (15%)Cholesterol70mg (23%)Sodium640mg (27%)Potassium534mg (15%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A981IU (20%)Vitamin C13mg (16%)Calcium41mg (4%)Iron4mg (22%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

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

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    Very god chili! Tonight was the first time I’ve ever made chili and found this recipe my son loved it.

  2. 5 stars
    This chili was a HUGE hit!! It fed 4 adults and 3 teenagers perfectly. Made it last night with a few tweaks due to lack of ingredients. Used 1 lb of beef and in place of canned beans used 2 cups each of Peruano and red beans that I had slow cooked earlier in the day. I also replaced the can diced tomatoes with crushed since that was all that I had. Followed all other parts of recipe completely. Will definitely be my new go to. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!!

  3. My husband made this chili 4 nights ago. It was a success I love it!!. It is full of flavor, even better the next day. it is no too spicy (which can be a problem for my stomach) He added a little corn starch to thicken it up and some steak. He will definitely be making it again

  4. 5 stars
    This is the best tasting chili I have ever made (or perhaps even eaten). One minor quibble is that it was a bit soupy for me, but it was easily remedied by serving with a slotted spoon. I guess next time I could use less broth next time but I’m afraid it might change the taste

    1. 4 stars
      I added corn (chili con carne) a bit of zucchini, yellow and red peppers, and some corn starch slurry to thicken it, as it was a bit soupy for me as well. Was super yummy!

  5. 5 stars
    Fantastic Chili!! I didn’t have a bell pepper and only 1lb of ground beef it was still the best I’ve had!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!! I made it in my cast iron Dutch oven without the lid.

  6. 5 stars
    Very good and flavourful. I added 2tbsp of sugar and tomato paste. Aldo very easy and cheap to make. Will make again!

  7. 5 stars
    I like to cook a lot and my tendency is, when I see or hear of something I’d like to make, to go on a cooking jihad until I get it right. That said, a really good chili recipe has escaped me for 30 years. Until now. I made this for my church’s Trunk or Treat and Chili Cookoff last Friday, and it promptly disappeared, though not before I sampled it. Amazing! Perfect blend of flavors, and I really like a meaty chili. The only thing I did differently was add a half-tablespoon of sugar. It should be noted that this recipe, with but 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper, won the award for “spiciest” chili. From that, it shouldn’t be hard to guess the age and ethnicity of the judging panel. Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    Wow – this is delicious. Give it a try. I added extra diced tomatoes (1 large can), sauce (16 oz), and a wee bit more spices (the ones listed) because I wanted to make a larger pot. Fantastic. Thanks so much. My new go-to chili!

  9. 4 stars
    Easy to make but lacks flavor. Need to add more salt (I don’t use a lot of salt and never add after cooking). Chili powder and other spices need to be increased by a third more.

  10. Just made your chili…very good. The only problem is that there not a lot a broth in this recipe. What do you suggest to add to this ecipes to get more broth.

  11. 5 stars
    I did not have tinned tomatoes so I used fresh with tomato concentrate and I had no cayenne pepper, but otherwise I had all the ingredients. I cooked up first in my Dutch oven then transferred it all to my slow cooker as I needed to go out. This was the best chilli recipe I have ever used. Only use mild chilli due to husbands medical condition and he just loved this. Will be my favourite go to recipe from now on. Thank you Alyssa.

  12. 5 stars
    The name of this recipe needs to changed to “The bestest, most flippin’ delicious chili you’ll ever taste” !!! I always use recipes as a guide and make them my own, but this recipe needed
    nothing added, nor anything taken away.. I did brown the beef separately and drained the fat first. The depth of flavor made this meal taste like it simmered for hours. EVERYONE had seconds! Thanks so much for this recipe. It will definitely now be a family favorite!

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