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)!

The Best Chili Recipe with side of cheese & chopped onion

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.

How to Make Chili

While I sometimes make crockpot chili, this easy version is great for a weeknight meal!

Seasonings:

  • The seasonings in this recipe are chili powder and cumin. Store bought or homemade chili powder work well in this recipe.
  • What is in Chili Powder?  Sweet paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, oregano and cumin.
  • Mix Chili Powder into the raw ground beef before cooking to ensure every morsel is seasoned to perfection.

The Best Chili Recipe ingredients in a pot

Beans:

  • 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. Simmer Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered.

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.

The Best Chili Recipe on grey & white towel

Variations

Spice Level This chili is just right for our liking but you can increase or reduce the spice level to your liking. For extra heat, leave the seeds in your jalapenos or add a few dashes of hot sauce or a sprinkle of chili flakes.

Ground Beef Any ground meat will work in this recipe from chicken to turkey. If your meat has a lot of fat, be sure to drain it before simmering.

Beer I love the depth of flavor that a bit of beer adds. Feel free to skip the beer and use extra broth.

Swap the Spices Spice up your chili any way you’d like. To make a tex-mex chili, toss in a packet of taco seasoning.

The Best Chili Recipe with wooden spoon

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.

More Chili Recipes You’ll Love

The Best Chili Recipe with side of cheese & chopped onion
4.96 from 818 votes
Review Recipe

The Best Chili Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
This is the best chili recipe! A big pot of ground beef chili loaded with beef and beans is the perfect game day food! 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder divided (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 14 ½ ounces crushed tomatoes canned
  • 19 ounces kidney beans canned, drained & rinsed
  • 14 ½ ounces diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions

  •  Combine ground beef and 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder.
  • In a large pot, brown ground beef, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Drain any fat.
  • Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes or until chili has reached desired thickness.
  • Top with cheddar cheese, green onions, cilantro or other favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
Beer can be replaced with extra broth.
Any ground meat will work in this recipe.
Optional toppings: sour cream, red or green onion, cheese, jalapenos, cilantro, avocado & lime wedges, tortilla chips

Nutrition Information

Calories: 395, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 283mg, Potassium: 1066mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 870IU, Vitamin C: 26.2mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 6.2mg

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

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Tex Mex

Toppings for 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! If you need to stretch out the meal, serve it over white rice.

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

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.

The Best Chili Recipe with title
Top image - a serving of chili. Bottom image - chili ingredients in a pot with writing
About the author

Holly

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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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Comments

  1. Interesting. I have made many, many chili recipes over the years but have arrived at one adapted to our tastes. I pulled it out & compared to yours, &, they are almost identical. We sometimes leave out the cumin & use just 1 tsp of brown sugar. Great minds think alike!5 stars

  2. A way I thicken chili is to add tomato paste not flour or cornstarch. It doesn’t take a way the tomato flavor like cornstarch or flour

  3. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’ve made this recipe several times and it tasted great each time. Quick and easy to make with excellent results. This is now our go to recipe for chili. Made as written, wouldn’t change a thing. The delicious chili was topped with sour cream, (extra old) cheddar cheese and cilantro.5 stars

  4. Love it! This is the chili recipe I’ve been looking for. Mom used to make something similar and I’ve tried several recipes before this one. The first pot was great, stuck to the recipe. Next time we will bump the chili powder up a bit. Thanks so much for sharing this.5 stars

  5. Use the beer it’s a game changer.

    I used budwiser which was a good choice. Recommend a Lager for sure5 stars

  6. It says Beer can be replaced with extra broth. Say I have a 12 ounce bottle of beer, how much broth would I be putting in? I’m making chili tonight – found a recipe – but I think I’m going to use this one instead, just without the beer as I do not see having time to wait for a reply.
    Maybe try it with the beer next time. I usually have bud light, but I also have guinness draught and shiner brock as well.

  7. This recipe worked great. I made it at my job for a senior facility and they loved it. Thanks for providing a easy homemade recipe!5 stars

  8. I’ve been using your recipes regularly. All great!! :)
    I would like to 2x the recipe to have some to freeze. Do I double everything?
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

    1. Hi Johanne, when you click print and head to the print page, you can adjust the servings there and it will adjust the amounts of the ingredients in the ingredients list. (The instructions won’t adjust so if there are amounts listed in the instructions they won’t change). I hope that helps!

    1. I most often use Budweiser as that’s what I have on hand but any beer will work. You cannot taste the beer flavor but it does change the flavor of the chili slightly (similar to how wine can enhance a sauce but it doesn’t usually taste like wine).

  9. Our fave chili recipe! The beer gives this recipe a delicious savory hint of flavor and should not be omitted! Wonderful as written.5 stars