The Best Chili Recipe

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The Best Chili Recipe is one that is loaded with beef and beans and absolutely full of flavor… just like this one! Chili is hands down one of my husband’s favorite meals (and I love it because it’s easy to make)!

This easy chili recipe cooks on the stovetop and is perfect served alongside Homemade Cornbread, buttered toast or Buttermilk Biscuits. Add in your favorite toppings like cheese and onions for the perfect meal.

A big pot of ground beef chili - the perfect game day food!

How to Make Chili

While I sometimes make crockpot chili, this easy version is great for a weeknight meal! Making chili is really easy! In this recipe I add bell pepper but you can skip it or add your own favorite veggies (peppers, mushrooms, zucchini are all great choices).


  • The seasonings in this recipe are chili powder and cumin. I always make my own homemade chili powder but of course store bought works great too.
  • What is in Chili Powder?  Sweet paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, oregano and cumin. This is the perfect blend of spices (find my favorite chili powder recipe here).
  • Mix Chili Powder into the raw ground beef before cooking to ensure every morsel is seasoned to perfection.

A serving of the best chili recipe topped with cheddar cheese


  • I use canned red kidney beans but pinto beans or black beans work as well.
  • Rinse beans (unless using chili beans) before adding to remove excess salt and starches.
  • Chili beans add great flavor! What are chili beans? Usually either pinto or kidney beans with added flavors in a chili style sauce.

How to Cook Chili

  1. Brown the beef, onions, garlic and some of the chili powder.
  2. Drain any fat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered.

Seriously, it’s that easy to make the best chili recipe!

Ingredients to make the best chili recipe including beef and beans.

How to Thicken Chili

When making chili on the stove, I simmer it uncovered which allows the chili to naturally thicken without having to add cornstarch or flour.

While thickening chili by simmering is the best option, you may not always have time to let it reduce. If you don’t have time to simmer it to thicken you can sprinkle in a little bit of cornmeal or make a cornstarch or flour slurry and add it in.

If you can spare a few extra minutes, just let it simmer uncovered.

What to Serve with Chili

My #1 favorite of course is cornbread or just plain ol’ toast with butter. Pretty much any bread to sop up whatever is left in the bottom of my bowl! 30 Minute Dinner Rolls are great with chili too!

I always put out a collection of toppings…  and while everyone has a different idea as to what goes with chili I have a few staples:

  • sour cream
  • red or green onion
  • cheddar cheese or monterey jack
  • jalapenos
  • cilantro, avocado & lime wedges
  • croutons or tortilla chips

Can You Freeze Chili?

100% yes!!! Chili freezes and reheats beautifully. We freeze it in single sized portions for lunches or in freezer bags for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Defrost in the fridge overnight and heat in a saucepan (or the microwave) to serve.

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The Best Chili Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Tex Mex
This is the best chili recipe! A big pot of ground beef chili loaded with beef and beans is the perfect game day food! 


  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder divided (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes canned
  • 19 oz kidney beans canned, drained & rinsed
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

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  1.  Combine ground beef and 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder.

  2. In a large pot, brown ground beef, onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a large pot. Drainy any fat.

  3. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes or until chili has reached desired thickness.

  4. Top with cheddar cheese, green onions, cilantro or other favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition Information
Calories: 395, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 283mg, Potassium: 1066mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 29g, Vitamin A: 17.4%, Vitamin C: 31.8%, Calcium: 8.6%, Iron: 34.4%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword chili, ground beef

Is Chili Healthy

Yes, it’s lean beef loaded with tomatoes and beans (and veggies if you’d like). Tons of fiber, protein and flavor all in one bowl! Be sure you’re using lean beef and drain any fat (or use ground chicken/turkey if you prefer).

Choose low sodium or low sugar products to reduce the salt and sugar in this recipe.

This is the best chili recipe! A big pot of ground beef chili loaded with beef and beans is the perfect game day food! #spendwithpennies #chilirecipe #easychili #groundbeefchili #groundbeef #beefrecipe #souprecipe
This is the best chili recipe! A big pot of ground beef chili loaded with beef and beans is the perfect game day food! #spendwithpennies #chilirecipe #easychili #groundbeefchili #groundbeef #beefrecipe #souprecipe

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. I love your idea to mix the seasonings in with the meat before cooking it! We do this with burgers, so why not with chili, right! I’m going to try your homemade chili powder recipe – homemade seasoning mixes, like dry onion soup, etc. is always better and certainly cheaper than store bought.
    Chili is a winter staple in our house, actually, it shows up year ’round. I dehydrate onions and peppers when they are in abundance, then rehydrate and add to my ground beef, because the flavors are just intensified so much. You can also use the frozen saute’ed onion and peppers mix to save a little prep time. Mixing some ground pork, turkey, venison and/or bulk breakfast sausage is good for variety. My favorite tip is always to make this the day before you want to serve it, because chili is always better warmed over. Always. If I have time, I will make Mexican cornbread to serve with it, but in a pinch, even good ol’ saltine crackers will do! I make a double batch because we like it over hot dogs and tamales with mac and cheese, in cheese dip for game days – you get the idea. Thanks for your recipe and tips. We’ll try it this weekend.

  2. I like beer. All different kinds. Do you have a favorite kind of beer for this recipe? IE: lager, ale, porter, etc. Thank you.

    1. Any will work just fine! A darker beer will have a bit more flavor than something light so if I have something darker, that’s what I would usually choose.