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 2354 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 2354 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 halved the recipe and used more beans, broth and crushed tomatoes. Not liking the taste of the cumin and brown sugar. Would not use them again. Used Blue Moon beer. Maybe that was not a good choice. Added small can of tomato juice and couple of dollops of refried beans which are my secrets for good chili.

  2. Good starter recipe but needed some adjusting. I cooked the onions first, then garlic, then added the beef with the seasoning, salt and pepper. Added in yellow peppers instead of green for sweetness, beans, stewed and diced tomatoes, and then the paste. Then put the broth last and skipped the beer.

    I doubled the tomatoes paste, and did extra chili powder and cumin. I also added green chilis, a bit of smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Fixed the flavor immensely and now it’s perfect and delicious. Topped with Frito chips and cheese!

  3. I made this chili today and wow! It’s amazing! I followed the recipe exactly except I used heaping measurements for the spices. Delicious! Will double next time.5 stars

  4. I loved this recipe. Fast, easy and delicious…did not use beer or peppers and it was great..added cilantro.5 stars

  5. So I think this is a great recipe! What I would recommend (I’m a salty girl and if you are too) I added chili powder and good amount of salt and some cumin and adobo to the meat while I cooked it. Y’all just taste it lol I added 2 cans of beans, an entire crushed tomato 20z and more tomato paste, Some oregano more cumin more salt and pepper.. the beer in any chili recipe does it for me! And then I even added more chili powder I feel like you just have to taste and smell it into existence lol. But best chili I’ve ever had lol5 stars

  6. My familys favourite chili recipe. I get requests for it at least once a month. The only thing i do differently is I add about half a teaspoon of cayenne. We usually make chilidogs with the leftovers the next day.5 stars

  7. It’s not a bad base at all, but it definitely needed a little more “oomph” for my liking. I would maybe start with maybe a teaspoon of salt & 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.4 stars

  8. I have to say this wasn’t my favorite recipe. I used water instead of beer (didn’t have any handy) and maybe that made all the difference, but it was VERY lacking in flavor. I added more seasonings (paprika, cayenne pepper) to try and improve it but overall it was just too plain for me. It did get better in the next 1-2 days as the flavors melded more so I would advise making in advance and doctoring up with lots of extra spices for improved flavor

    1. The beer definitely adds a lot of flavor to the recipe. Next time I would replace the beer with additional beef broth to help with the flavor.

    2. Yeah,if you replace any ingredient with flavor for water it’s going to water it down. Next time if you don’t use beer,either replace it with tomato sauce or what I like to use in mine is like a V8 juice or tomato juice. You could even use a spicy one for some kick. But if you just have to use water,at least keep some tomato or beef bullion on hand and add a teaspoon of one or the other to it and maybe a extra teaspoon of chili powder for flavor. If one teaspoon of the bullion isn’t enough add either another teaspoon of the same bullion or another of the one you didn’t use the first time if you have both. If you are not familiar with bullion it’s stout and salty but good flavoring but is why I say add it by the teaspoon then taste it cause you don’t want to put too much.

  9. I felt it needed more chili powder, cumin and some ancho chili powder so I added that for more flavor. Overall, love the recipe as written and ingredients, and the more tomato-y sauce.

  10. I add 3 different beans ….mostly dark red kidney, some black beans and some cannelloni white beans. Also add red bell pepper instead of green because my family doesn’t like the flavor of green and red is a bit sweeter, and a couple of celery ribs, thinly sliced. McCormick original chili mix plus some of a pkg of their spicy/hot mix….just as good as pulling out all the spice jars and measuring.5 stars

  11. delish!! Hadn’t made chili in so long i forgot how good it is. I only had 1lb of ground beef but added an extra can of beans. so 1 can of pinto and 1 kidney. I had only homemade vegametable broth and used beer as well so good! Small chopped red and green bell peppers. I also added some corriander powder a big TBS and some paprika instead of chili powder initially to make it kid friendly. Then took their portion out and spiced it up for the grown ups. Loved it. Easy and who doesn’t love a 1 pot dish. Perfect for a cool fall day. I’ll be masing this all fall/winter long. So good thx!!5 stars

  12. I made this recipe for the first time last night and my husband and I both loved it. it is by far the best chili we’ve ever had. I did not use beer, but used additional broth as stated in the notes. This will be my go to recipe for chili from now on. Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  13. I have chopped canned jalapenos, how many teaspoons or tablespoons do you think would be the equivalent to 3 jalapenos? I want a little kick but not too overpowering. I’ve tripled the recipe. Thank you!

  14. This has to be the absolute blandest chili I’ve ever tasted. Followed the recipe exactly and lacks flavour – I had to add twice as much chili powder to salvage it, and even then it doesn’t have the same complex flavours that chili usually has. The only reason I gave it 3 stars instead of 2 or 1 is because at least it’s not offensive. Very disappointing, and I won’t be making this again.3 stars

  15. Agree with the others – so good, and so easy to make!!
    Couple of substitutions I needed to make were using meat from two sausages, and chicken stock, but the method of putting chilli powder in at the beginning works great for the flavour! Really yummy, especially with sour cream and some green onions on top!
    We like extra veg, so used extra green pepper and left some in larger pieces (with the tomatoes and white kidney beans it looks like Christmas chilli :) I also added some frozen corn for the last 5-10 minutes of simmer.5 stars