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
4.98 from 2589 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
4.98 from 2589 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

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. Bland.
    I typically season at every level. But I wanted to give this recipe a shot making exactly as described. I should have followed my instincts. Do yourself a favor and season the beef. You’ll also need to significantly increase the chili powder and cumin.2 stars

  2. This recipe is amazing. I try not to cook with too many canned items for health reasons but this recipe really balances the ingredients so the final product tastes fresh. I opted from adding the beer, still delicious!5 stars

  3. I followed recipe. It was bland to me, so I added more chili powder, cumin, and added garlic power and hot pepper flakes. I did use one cup of Bud Light Beer and a 1/2 tsp. of brown sugar.
    After that, it was tasty and my family loved it. I will make this again.
    Thank you for posting this recipe, I appreciate it.5 stars

  4. I have always just made chili by just throwing stuff in the pot but I wanted to impress and I must say this was the best pot I have in I don’t how long. BUT this recipe hit the spot. The flavor was on point the only thing I did differently was adding some red pepper flakes for a bit more heat.5 stars

  5. Thank you so much for this recipe! I use a lot of your recipes. I see some people saying that it is to runny. I just use a 6oz can of tomato paste. I use beef broth instead of beer, just because I don’t usually have beer. It turns out great! It is a hit in my home. Thanks again!5 stars

  6. Love so many of Holly’s recipes. This is a great tasting chili recipe and very easy to make. It will definitely be my go-to chili recipe moving forward. 5 stars

  7. Our family loves FAMILY CHILI NIGHT. We all get together every week and it’s about 20-25 folks. CHILI however causes a bit of ‘discussion’?? We all live in TX now but hail from the West Coast, other southern states and even some Yankees among us.

    That means we have our favorite recipe that brings HOME right thru the front door.

    So being an expert please explain which chili is authentic …. With beans or without? ‍

  8. I’m not great at chili but this was by far the easiest and most delicious chili I’ve ever made! Even my kids, who don’t like chili lol, destroyed this served over white rice. Topped with sour cream and shredded cheese and it’s now a family favorite! Will be making this all fall and winter long! *recipe notes ** I used extra broth instead of beer, mixed chili beans instead of kidney and a 6oz can of tomato paste.5 stars

  9. This is an outstanding recipe! I made it three times now.
    My first time leaving a review on any site but this is a winner!5 stars

  10. Going to make this today in my cast iron Dutch oven , trying dry red beans and Cran berry colored dry beans . Dry beans soaked overnight . Should be a fun project to do . All garden grown veggies included

  11. This recipe is so delicious. Thanks for sharing. I used NA beer as that’s what I had on hand. The beer really does add to the flavor.5 stars

  12. Just made this recipe and it is amazing. I doubled it because I am taking it to a potluck and had to have some for home also. The only thing I did different was I used beef chuck roast instead of ground beef. But everything else the same.5 stars

  13. i just made this chili with some slight variations and adders and is definitely the best chili i ever made, 4 people attested.5 stars

  14. I tried this recipe exactly how it says and it tasted horrible…can’t serve this to my guests. Beef is expensive too so all around I’m very disappointed with my wasted time and effort and money…1 star

    1. Have to reply here. This is a pretty basic chile recipe and pretty hard to mess up, so you must have not folloowed it of did something wrong in order to say it was “horrible”.

      1. Agreed…lol horrible? Seriously…and hardly bland. Use your own instincts and add your own ingred..instead of jalapeno, i threw in a can of Rotel with chilis. I truly scratch my head at some comments5 stars