The best classic Chili recipe, ready in 30 minutes! Loaded with ground beef, tender beans, tomatoes, and a simple homemade blend of chili seasoning, piled high with all of your favorite toppings. So much flavor!
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The BEST Chili Recipe
Thick, hearty, and loaded with flavor – this ultimate Chili recipe is a family favorite! The BEST Chili recipe is loaded with ground beef, beans, aromatic veggies, ripe tomatoes, and a simple homemade chili seasoning that tastes AMAZING!
Be sure to pile on all your favorite toppings – sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped onions, cilantro, and Fritos or tortilla strips – it makes the BEST Chili totally awesome!
Perfect for chilly nights, potlucks, game day, and summer barbeques, this classic Chili recipe is a crowd pleaser!
Quick and Easy Chili Recipe
This quick and easy Chili Recipe can be made in one pot, feeds a hungry crowd, and it’s ready in 30 minutes. Or give a long slow simmer. If you simmer it longer, keep the lid on and check it occasionally to add more water or broth if necessary.
Ingredients in classic, homemade Chili Con Carne
Ground beef – I use lean so there’s no need to drain it after browning.
Beans – What kind of beans to use in chili? I’ve used dark and light red kidney beans, but you can use pinto beans, black beans, or a mixture.
Chili Seasoning – homemade or store-bought chili powder. What’s in Chili Powder? Paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. I’ve included a simple recipe for Homemade Chili Seasoning below.
Tomatoes – a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes for the perfect balance of saucy and chunky.
Onions, celery, green pepper, jalapeno, and garlic
Beef broth - plus a bouillon cube for the best flavor
Tomato paste – to intensify the tomato flavor and thicken
Homemade Chili Seasoning
Chili seasoning is a spice mix that often includes paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. In the US it’s labeled as Chili Powder. Outside the US, chili powder is usually just ground chilies so be sure to check the label. As a substitute for chili powder, I’ve given the ingredients below for a Homemade Chili Seasoning.
How to make Chili
Sauté the onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeno, and garlic until softened.
Add the ground beef with half of the chili powder and cook until brown.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. (Or give it a long slow simmer.)
How to make Chili in the Instant Pot
Using the “Sauté” mode, sauté the veggies then add the meat and brown it. Add in the rest of the ingredients and pressure cook for 10 minutes with a quick release.
How to make Chili in the slow cooker/crock pot
Sauté the veggies and brown the meat on the stovetop. Transfer to the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Alternatively, you can add all the ingredients at once to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
How to thicken Chili
Simmering the chili with the lid off for a while will thicken it. If you’re in a hurry you could:
- Stir in a slurry of cornstarch and water
- Stir in a little more tomato paste
Possible Chili recipe add-ins
Bacon – Adding bacon to this beef chili recipe takes it to a whole new level. Cook a few slices of bacon until done, remove from the pan, and crumble. Sauté the veggies in the leftover bacon fat (you can drain some of it off first if necessary). Add the crumbled bacon with the beans and tomatoes.
Cocoa – a teaspoon of cocoa added in with the tomato sauce adds depth to the flavor
Add in extra veggies – Chili is the perfect place to hide veggies. My favorites are carrots and corn. Also try cubed sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, or mushrooms.
Chipotle pepper and/or adobo sauce – for a smoky flavor
Smoked paprika – for a smoky flavor
Fire roasted tomatoes – substitute for a can of diced tomatoes
Chili recipe variations
More beans/less meat - For a Chili that is heavier on the beans and lighter on the meat, use only 1 pound of ground beef and 3 cans of beans.
Use ground turkey – for a leaner Chili
Make it spicier/milder - It’s easy to adjust the spice level on this Chili recipe. To make it spicier, add in more chopped jalapenos and/or cayenne pepper. To make it milder, leave the jalapeno out and use mild chilies or paprika in your chili powder mix.
What can you top chili with?
I love my Chili piled high with toppings because when it comes to Chili toppings, more is definitely more!
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Red onion
- Green onions
- Crackers – saltines or oyster crackers
- Tortilla strips
What to serve with Chili
- Cornbread or cornbread muffins
- Buttermilk biscuits
- Homemade bread
- Dinner rolls
How to store Chili
Store Chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 2 months in a plastic freezer bag that has all the air pressed out of it.
MORE GAME DAY APPETIZERS AND PARTY SNACKS:
- Jalapeno Poppers
- Best Ever Crab Rangoon
- Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups
- Baked Buffalo Wings
- Lemon Pepper Wings
- Philly Cheesesteak Bread
- Loaded Smashed Potatoes
- Honey Sriracha Wings
The best classic Chili recipe! Loaded with ground beef, tender beans, tomatoes, and a simple homemade blend of chili seasoning, piled high with all of your favorite toppings.
- 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 4 tablespoons chili powder or homemade chili seasoning, divided (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)
- 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 - 15 ounce cans kidney beans canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 1-2 beef bouillon cubes, optional
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large pan or dutch oven. Sauté the onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeno, and garlic until softened.
- Add the ground beef with half of the chili powder and cook until brown, stirring to break up the meat.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Or give it a long slow simmer. If you simmer it longer, keep the lid on and check it occasionally to add more water or broth if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in any extra cumin or chili powder if you think it’s needed.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings.
Homemade Chili Seasoning
- ¼ cup paprika or ground chilies of your choice (I used New Mexico chilies)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chili, game day, soup, beef, beans, recipe,
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