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.
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.
- 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
- Brown the beef, onions, garlic and some of the chili powder.
- Drain any fat.
- 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.
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.
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
- Instant Pot Chili
- Easy Crock Pot Chili Recipe
- Texas Chili
- Green Chili Recipe
- 15 Bean Slow Cooker Chili
- Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
The Best Chili Recipe
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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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
- 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.
My husband kept telling me each time I made this that it wasn’t ‘chilli’ enough. Sooo after 3 heaped tablespoons chilli powder, 2 large chopped jalapeno and two heaped tablespoons of sriracha; I fixed his complaining lol.
Very good flavor! I left out the beer but added green bell peppers, more garlic and green hatch chili’s. This came out great! I have made chili in past and wasn’t this good. Served on rice with cheese. Thanks for a great recipe!
I switch out the red kidney beans for cannellini beans. They aren’t as dry. Also, if you do not have all the spices to make the chili seasoning, McCormick’s has all the different heats. I like mild chili seasoning.
Great recipe. We loved it. Added celery and corn to it as well. Thanks!!
I don’t drink beer but I’m willing to add it if it makes them more but robust flavor profile. What kind of beer??
Any kind will work, I usually use a lighter beer like Budweiser.
Not all beers are made equal. Go with a porter or a stout for a nice creaminess and depth of flavor. This is especially true if you have spice in your chili. If you use less spice you can go with your favorite IPA.
Ok so I thought I will try this but I bet my chili will be better everyone loves my chili. So I made it and hate to admit it hands down it’s better. It really is the best chili ever and everyone else thinks so too. Delicious thx
I have made chili for 50 years, but needed to go back to basics. I really like this recipe. The addition of beer and beef broth adds something extra. I did as one commenter mentioned and added a dash of soy sauce, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and cocoa. I think is it a great basic recipe. It is a keeper!!
how much cocoa
I twigged it a bit. But it’s smelling wonderful. I put it in the pressure cooker. I only had red wine. !!!!
This is a really good recipe. I did make a couple of additions. I like to add a splash of soya sauce, a splash of Worcestershire, and a splash of Louisiana hot sauce. It really brings the flavour of the chilli out. I learned it from a chef who worked at the Banff Hotel in Alberta Canada
OMG, the best chili ever!! It’s still simmering and my husband and I can’t stop tasting it.
The only changes I made to the recipe was a little salt, NO jalapeños, and to add a rinsed and drained can of pinto beans as well…
Good thing it makes a good sized pot, because I can guarantee you, it won’t last long!
What if I don’t have beer?
You can replace it with additional beef broth. Enjoy Lisa!
I did this chili for the New Year & my husband looooved it! came out perfect!
Great recipe, simple and easy to follow and substitute as necessary. Really helped me with confidence to try new things
Great recipe but I couldn’t resist embellishing. I added 1 rounded tsp of cocoa, 2 Bay leaves, and 4 whole cloves to the mix.
I tried with this with a flavored pineapple beer and syrup instead of brown sugar and it came out PERFECT