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!


  • 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


  • 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


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 1269 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


  • 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


  •  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.



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
4.96 from 1269 votes

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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Recipe Rating


  1. I made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious! My mom said it’s the best chili she has had, and she usually prefers her own recipe over others I’ve tried. I only made small changes that I do not believe would really change the taste of the chili. I used only 1 lb. ground turkey because that is what I had on hand. Since I used less ground meat, I used extra beans for a total of 3 – 14.5 oz. cans (kidney, black, and white beans). Also, I only used 1 tsp. of brown sugar. We’re not really beer drinkers in this house, but my uncle happened to have left behind a few cans of Bud Light when he visited, so that is the brand that I used. Next time I will probably just use beef broth only to see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    1. So glad you love the chili Janet! That’s one of the great things about this recipe, you can change it up every time (or make it exactly the same ;)).

  2. Can I use a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes instead of 14 diced and 14 crushed? I have a bigger can of crushed :)

    1. Hi Susan, that should work well. Your chili just won’t have the chunks of tomato in it but still delicious. :)

  3. Hello Holly. Always enjoy your recipes and we use many of them.
    I was hoping this chili recipe used leftover roast beef as I have some in the freezer that needs to be used. Any chance this recipe could work with leftover roast? Or perhaps you have a different version that does.

    1. Hi Larry, we have this Texas Chili recipe that uses beef chuck roast that may work better for you. If using leftover beef you would not need to let it simmer as long to fully cook.

  4. I made this chili last week but added more seasonings to it after taste testing and it was gone in like 4 days. I will be making it again either today or tomorrow. It was so good and I added 2 habanero peppers instead of jalapeños and did a stout beer. It turned out amazing!!!!!5 stars

  5. I usually don’t use 5-star recipes – too many sites are manipulating their reviews and I end up spending $ I don’t have on absolutely inedible garbage. I’ve never had any issues with any of the recipes at ‘Spend With Pennies’ recipes, so when I was looking for a new chili recipe and saw this, I tried it. DO NOT HESITATE TO MAKE THIS CHILI!!! It is, in all honesty, the absolute BEST CHILI I HAVE EVER EAT. Including my [former] go-to recipe, which was a solid 4.5 stars but just nothing that I ever wished I’d made more… I wish I’d tripled this recipe. It’s THAT good!!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Leah! We are so happy you gave this recipe a try! It is my personal favorite too!

      1. I just wanted to echo what Leah said, you produce great recipes at “Spend With Pennies.” I decided to make chili today, so I saw your recipe and have decided to make it later. I just have to put the beer in the chili and not my belly lol.

  6. Excellent recipe. Husband who has never been a big fan of chili said it’s the best he ever had in his life! Thanks so much for a great recipe. I used zesty chili diced tomatoes and 1 14oz can pinto beans instead of kidney beans (family preference) and I omitted the sugar, used garlic powder in place of fresh (what I had on hand), other than that followed recipe. Thanks so much for a great recipe we will definitely use this recipe to make chili for now on!5 stars

  7. I tried this chili recipe tonight for dinner; it was very good! Far more different than my usual chili, I make. I will use this recipe again. I added the green onions, sour cream, and shredded cheese to top it off and served it with cornbread. Very flavorful too.

  8. Loved topped with green onion, sour cream, cilantro and cheddar cheese. Have never made chili with beer or beef broth. So happy I gave this a try. We are never too old to change thing up!5 stars

    1. Hi Andrea, You can use any beer you have on hand. The darker the beer the more flavor it will have. For a light flavor, we enjoy using a light beer like bud light.

  9. I made the Chili for dinner last night. DELICIOUS!!! I added a few more spices to add more flavor. Topped it with sour cream, raw onions and cheddar cheese. Looking forward to dinner tonight! Chili is always better the next day. Thanks for sharing5 stars

  10. I just made the chili recipe for the first time. It taste too sweet. What can I do? I added just one tablespoon of brown sugar.

    1. Hi Connie, you can add ½ teaspoon of lemon or vinegar to counteract the sweetness. But next time you can omit the brown sugar to help reduce the sweetness. Hope that helps.

  11. I’ve never made chili and decided on a recent winter evening when my kids had friends over to try this recipe. It was delicious! I added a little more salt, served with shredded cheese, sour cream and cornbread. One of my daughters asked why we’ve never had this yummy meal! Definitely will be making again!5 stars

  12. Thanks for the recipe it was good! I made a few small adjustments to suit my taste, a little extra chili powder and cumin, used turkey meat, and had to cook my own chili beans because I forgot to buy the canned, but It was delicious. Definitely a keeper for me!5 stars

  13. How many servings do you get out of this? I’m making it for Sunday football next week & want a good 30 servings (leftovers & 2nds). I need to adjust the amounts but not sure how many this recipe makes. Thanks!4 stars

    1. This recipe makes 8 very generous portions. 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. Sorry to hear that, Stacy! You can adjust the spices as you would like, we also recommend using freshly opened spices for the best results.

    2. I don’t want to be too negative because someone shared this but the recipe is incorrect, although it is fixable. Move on to another recipe if you don’t have time for guess and check. Made and brought this chili to work for a pot luck. Looked amazing, smelled amazing had absolutely zero flavor. None. Thought I was crazy but about 9 people at work confirmed. Multiplied the recipe by three so I had about $100 worth of food I was going to throw out. However, one person said it has the bones and can be fixed. I said have at it. They tripled the spices, added several teaspoons of salt, about the same amount of pepper, a can of tomato sauce a cup of salsa and let it simmer and they said it is terrific. Another note we are in MN and we think ketchup is spicy, just for a baseline.2 stars

      1. Thanks for the suggestions, Nate. While I personally love this recipe as is, those sound like delicious additions!

      2. It is always a good idea to taste, well before serving, so you can decide what you think it needs. Also, everyone knows that Chili is always better the next day, so try making it a day ahead and taste it and add other ingredients such as (canned) roasted green chiles, sauteed,chopped green pepper, a little Cinnamom (yes, really)…Use your imagination but don’t go too crazy!
        Thank you Holly for your amazing recipes!