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
4.97 from 922 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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The Best Chili 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! 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings

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

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.

Video

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
4.97 from 922 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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

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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

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About the author

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. The best chili I have ever made (according to my husband of 43 years). It was fantastic. I went a little heavy on the chili powder (for my taste) so I added a Tbs of honey, 1/4 tsp cocoa and squeezed 1/4 lime at the end to calm it down. I am removing all other chili recipes from my files!5 stars

  2. I’ve got it simmering now, the flavor’s excellent and the aroma brought the dogs from the yard to the stove.

    I used Foster’s Lager, and followed the recipe with the exception that I had to use lean ground turkey. So to give it a beefier flavor, I added a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, then added a few extra dashes of it until it tasted right to me. Obviously ground beef is the way to go, but if you use ground turkey, consider adding Worcestershire sauce to beef it up.5 stars

  3. Delicious recipe!! While cooked as listed (with salt and pepper to taste), I did add a little Crystal hot sauce and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar at the end. We topped with green onion, rainbow radish, sour cream, sharp cheddar, and slices of avocado. So tasty! Made cast iron skillet cornbread to accompany. Love your recipes – thank you!5 stars

  4. This recipe is great! I used my own stewed tomato’s instead of the canned crushed and adjusted the spices just a bit. Simple , delicious and my go to chili recipe from now on!5 stars

  5. Tasty, simple recipe. I used a mix of fresh roma tomatoes, canned crushed tomatoes, and frozen cherry tomatoes. I caramelized the onions while the beef browned and beans cooked in the instant pot. Used a blend of green, red, and yellow bell peppers, and swapped the tomato paste for gochujang. I like to make little changes when I feel like it, but the base recipe and seasoning amounts are solid!5 stars

  6. This was hands down the best chilli I have ever made. It’s bold and flavourful and yet so simple to cook. Thank you!5 stars

  7. Bravo! The BEST chili I’ve ever made. I was craving comfort food and this hit the spot. My husband liked it too. I used some canned jalapeño since I didn’t have a fresh one.5 stars

  8. I like my chili soupy, not thickened, so I used this recipe and made it in my instapot. mmmmmmmmmm so good! Thank you for posting the recipe.5 stars