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 2415 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 2415 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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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. I was apprehensive with this recipe because it seemed too easy. But I trusted the comments and reviews and thought I’d give it a go. I don’t even like chilli all that much but every now and again I think about making it because it’s cheap and easy.
    This chilli was amazing. It was literally the best chilli I’ve ever had. I added celery to mine and used gluten free beer, but otherwise followed it to a T. I highly highly recommend giving this a go. Have faith in the hour long simmer though, I was stressing out at first. But over time it just kept getting better. Looking forward to the second day chilli.5 stars

  2. The BEST chili ever! Now, finally, I have a chili recipe that brings down the house! I just had company and made it for them. They all loved it!5 stars

  3. This is a great recipe. I used to make chili from prepackaged thing of seasoning, but I couldn’t find one so I decided to do this instead. I was really happy with his recipe. I only made a few changes. And I hate when people say I loved it, but I change this and this and this, and this and this. What the hell. I just added poblano peppers because I like a little bit of spice but my husband doesn’t like anything spicy. I used beer instead of any of the liquid because that’s how I always make my chili. Red onion, and an extra clove of garlic. There is no such thing as too much garlic. Kudos to the recipe maker hair. This was a really good recipe. I would definitely make it again.5 stars

    1. I think it’s funny you said people change this and this and this and this. But you did the same thing. ‍♀️
      I feel the same way about people saying that. But it’s always great to see the renditions and the most important part is that you really liked it. Keep cooking!

  4. I do not like anything that burns my mouth. I tweaked the recipe a bit and it turned out so great. Got the best light burn on the lips and it was amazing. Removed the halapenos and cummin. Used 1/2 less teaspoon of chili powder and only 2 cloves of garlic since my husband does not love the garlic to overpower flavor. I used only 1/2 of a large onion so a small onion will work. It turned out perfect for us! It is now my favorite crock pot meal with jiffy corn bread.5 stars

  5. The name was right has to be the best chili I’ve ever had. Family loved it, now they’re expecting chili every week!! Absolutely delicious!5 stars

  6. wow!! super delicious. I’ve been making chili for a long time now, and have to say I’m very impressed with this recipe!! beyond delicious!!5 stars

  7. Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe! I just made it,the weather is changing and chili and a cup of coffee works for me lol. It turned out great. I don’t like onions or bell peppers in my food but it’s still good and I barely taste it.

    I also added broth to mine,needed to get rid of the last bit. Still great!5 stars

  8. Yummy! I made this with ground elk and fresh tomatoes from my garden. I don’t care for green peppers so I left them out, and didn’t have fresh jalapeños on hand, so I used chipotle peppers instead. The chili turned out Smokey and delicious.5 stars

  9. I just won a chili contest last night with this recipe. What else can I say about it? It was fantastic. I didn’t put beer in it and added some salt and pepper but other than that, I stuck to the recipe.5 stars

  10. I don’t usually like chili, but this is delicious! The only thing I did different was added a little extra broth and crushed tomatoes because I like it runnier to dip bread
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5 stars

  11. Made this yesterday and had to make a few changes . I used a fire roasted crushed tomato instead of regular diced, also added some oregano and parsley. Really has a rich tomato taste with those . Great flavor, cant wait to have it as leftovers, I always find the flavor gets more intense after a day.5 stars

    1. Yes you can just use 1 cup of broth and completely evaporate the beer in the beginning. I basically brown the onions, then add the meat, remove the pink, drain add 1 cup of beer and let the beer completely evaporate. In the meantime I make the beef broth with 2 tablespoons of premium Better than Bouillon roasted beef base in 1 cup of warm water. Add that to the crock add the meat and then all the other ingredients (Except the beans) lightly mix. And 1 hour before I am ready for dinner I add the two cans of kidney beans that way they stand up and don’t get soggy. The beans will even stand up for left overs.

  12. LOVE the base of this recipe. So simple and soooo GOOD!!!! I tweaked mine with spice and used two cans of Ranch Style Beans along with a can of Kidney Beans. A dollop or two of Better Thank Bullion Beef Base and a cup of Lagunitas IPA beer. Two Jalapeño’s and a small can of diced chilies. Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  13. This chili recipe is not the best, unfortunately. The beef broth ruins it, I like my chili thick. I added more tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. I also used a lot of chili powder, added crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and more pepper. The green peppers and jalapeños are still crunchy, so I am letting it simmer for awhile longer. If you like bland and watery chili this recipe is for you. I don’t usually comment on recipes, but this one had me so disappointed.

    1. Oh no Brenda, I’m sorry you were disappointed. If the chili was watery, it likely needed to be simmered longer to thicken (your pot or Dutch oven may have been a different size which can affect the simmering time). After it simmers and thickens, this will also intensify the flavor.

    2. If you actually follow the recipe it will be perfect. But by what you wrote it is obviously not the same recipe. If you like it thicker reduce the broth to only one cup (I do that). The recipe does not call for extra chili powder, crushed red peppers, garlic powder, onion powder nor extra pepper. You didn’t follow the recipe at all. Try it how it was submitted and you will see it will be way better!