Best Ever Chili Recipe (2024)

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Thick, rich, and flavorful, this classic chili recipe is a MUST make! This chili is filled with lean ground beef, a mix of beans, ripe tomatoes, fresh seasonings and it’s topped with all your favorites!

Need a side to go with your chili? Try this homemade cornbread (or add a little spice with thisjalapeño cornbread)for a side dish that compliments this chili recipe perfectly.

Best Ever Chili Recipe (1)

The Best Chili Recipe

There is always the classic debate on whether or not chili should have beans in it. This recipe does and it’s so delicious! This recipe can feed a crowd and is made within 30 minutes. Not only that but it cooks up in one pot which masker for easy cleanup! It is so simple and has SO much flavor.

My family loves to make this recipe year round. It is perfect in the winter to warm up but also a summer time favorite during BBQ season. If you are ready to branch out and try a chili thats totally different then check out this Crack Chicken Chili recipe next!

Ingredients to Make Chili

This is an ultimate chili recipe with loads of flavor and an easy to make recipe. In 30 minutes this chili will be ready to feed a crowd!

  • Olive Oil: This is used to sauté the onion, bell pepper, cloves creating a flavor.
  • Onion: Dice up the onion into small, uniform pieces.
  • Green Bell Pepper: Cut into small chunks.
  • Garlic Cloves: I prefer fresh cloves but you can use the jarred minced garlic instead! 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic is equal to one clove.
  • Ground Beef: Lean ground beef gives flavor but also less fat and grease.
  • Beef Broth:The beef broth adds in flavor to the chili while cooking.
  • Tomato: To make things easy, get the canned tomatoes that are already in sauce.
  • Beans: Pinto beans and kidney beans give a good mixture of tender and soft beans.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, saltand cayenne mixes together giving the chili a sweet, spicy and savory flavoring.

How to Make Good Homemade Chili

This is a dump and go recipe that uses only one pot! It is perfect for a quick meal during a busy week or let simmer on a weekend when feeding a crowd. Bring this chili to any potluck or gathering and watch it disappear in no time.

  1. Sauté and Cook Beef: In a large pot add the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until almost tender. Brown the ground beef and cook and crumble until brown.
  2. Add in Remaining Ingredients:Add in the beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne.
  3. Boil:Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until it starts to thicken and flavors combine (about 30 minutes).
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Variations and Substitutions

Sometimes, we need to change things up! Whether it’s because you want to try new flavors or you are missing some ingredients from your pantry and need to use something different, I have you covered!

  • Vegetables:Potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms or zucchini are all great add ins for sautéing at the beginning.
  • Meat: Substitute the beef for turkey, steak, Italian sausage or chicken.
  • Seasonings:Try using taco seasoning for a tex-tex taste.
  • Smokey Taste:Try adding adobo sauce, paprika or a liquid smoke for a smoky taste.
  • Beef Broth: Don’t have beef broth? Chicken or even water will help keep it thick and will simmer well with either liquid.
  • Sugar:Sounds crazy, right! Sugar adds a bit of sweetness. Cocoa powder will also add subtle hint of sweetness with a savory taste of chocolate. It is a must try! Just a teaspoon will do the trick!
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Add these toppings to your chili for more flavor. From a sweet avocado, creamy sour cream, or a crunchy chip is just what this chili needs. All the favorites blend together so well with this chili recipe.

  • Sour Cream: Add a dollop over top.
  • Onions: Chopped up and sprinkled on top.
  • Shredded Cheese: This will melt over top the chili
  • Jalapeños:This adds in some heat.
  • Cilantro: Looks good and adds a great flavoring!
  • Avocado:I love the fresh, creamy texture this brings to it.
  • Tortilla Strips: These are a must. Try my homemade tortilla strips recipe for the best of the best.
  • Frito Chips: I love the salty flavor of these to complement the dish.
  • Lime Wedges: Squeeze the limes over the top for a fresh flavor.
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Storing Chili

  • In the Refrigerator:It is best to keep the chili in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator once cooled after cooking. You can store leftover chili in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days
  • Can you freeze chili? Yes! It is another perk about this recipe. Once it is cooled completely add it to a large ziplock bag letting out of all the air. Laying flat, place the chili in the freezer for 1 month. Don’t forget to label it with the date!
  • Warming up:When you are ready to reheat the chili, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and heat it in a saucepan or microwave until it’s warmed through.

More Popular Chili Recipes

If you loved this chili then you MUST try out some more of my tried and true favorite chili recipes. There are so many delicious flavors!

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Best Ever Chili Recipe (9)



Best Ever Chili Recipe

4.87 from 69 votes

By: Alyssa Rivers

Thick, rich and flavorful! Filled with lean ground beef, mix of beans, ripe tomatoes, fresh seasonings and topped with all your favorites! This classic chili recipe is a MUST make!

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 People



  • In a large pot add the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until almost tender. Add in the ground beef and cook and crumble until brown.

  • Add in the beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne.

  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until it starts to thicken and flavors combine about 30 minutes.



Originally posted on April 26, 2020

Updated on May 6, 2022


Calories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 26gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 640mgPotassium: 534mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 981IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

Read More About Me

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Best Ever Chili Recipe (2024)


What is the secret to really good chili? ›

Season Early and Often. Herbs and spice blends are all key to flavoring chili, but many cooks wait until the very end to add in their spices. Instead, season early and often so flavors mix and mingle to develop an even richer taste.

What makes chili even better? ›

You can always add additional spices to taste, but this could give you a solid foundation to work from. Try adding spices like paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cayenne, or even chipotle.

How do you win a chili competition? ›

Winning chili must look good, smell good and taste good. Because the judging process takes a couple of hours, chili must retain its color, consistency, aroma, taste and afterbite while hot, warm, lukewarm and then cool in a styrofoam judging cup. The chili should be free of grease.

Should I put a bay leaf in chili? ›

Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

What is the most important spice in chili? ›

Cumin is the distinctive aroma and a prominent part of the taste we associate with chili. I like to use from 1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin per pound of meat. If I have it on hand, I love to use whole cumin seeds. I'll roast them in a cast iron skillet until they become aromatic.

Why do you put vinegar in chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

What brings out the flavor in chili? ›

Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight. Warming spice blends, like Garam Masala, Ras el Hanout or Baharat are another simple and delicious way to add layered flavors to this simple one-pot meal.

What liquid is best for chili? ›

Chili cooks low and slow, so you need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or beer.

What is the best meat mix for chili? ›

The best chili meat is a combination of meats, often a mix of ground chuck, ground sirloin, brisket, diced tri-tip, and/or some bacon or sausage. Do your best to mix smaller pieces with larger pieces to stack textures and make it your own! Happy cooking!

What are the best beans for chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

Is chili better the longer it cooks? ›

Cooking chili low and slow is the way to go

According to Southern Living, you'll want to let any chili recipe cook for at least an hour to fully enjoy its spectrum of tastes.

Is it better to make chili the night before? ›

Can chili be made ahead of time? Absolutely! Chili actually tastes better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld. You can make a big batch, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and reheat it when you're ready to enjoy.

What does cinnamon do for chili? ›

Cinnamon. The beauty of ground cinnamon is that it brings a warmth to your chili, without being spicy. It works well with other flavors commonly found in chili (like tomato, cumin and chile powder) so you only need a little bit to achieve the desired balance.

What herbs go in chili? ›

  • ground coriander (up to 1 tsp, start with 1/2 and taste before adding more)
  • allspice (up to 1/2 tsp)
  • turmeric (up to 2 tsp)
  • mace (up to 1/2 tsp)
  • cloves (1/8 to 1/4 tsp)
Nov 8, 2021

What does coffee do for chili? ›

Though it may be an unusual choice, coffee adds an earthy richness to the existing flavors and plays well with spices like cumin and cayenne pepper. Plus, it's a flexible ingredient – while we typically reach for instant espresso powder, you can also add in brewed coffee, making this dish the perfect use for leftovers.

What makes the best chili meat? ›

The best chili meat is a combination of meats, often a mix of ground chuck, ground sirloin, brisket, diced tri-tip, and/or some bacon or sausage. Do your best to mix smaller pieces with larger pieces to stack textures and make it your own! Happy cooking!

Why is my chili not flavorful? ›

It might need salt. If there's not enough salt it will taste flat. Or maybe more chili powder. I little Cayenne is always good unless you are feeding children or very sensitive people.

How do you make chili taste more meaty? ›

In a pot of chili, just a few strips of bacon add a smoky, meaty depth. And it's not just the bacon itself that adds flavor, it's the bacon fat, too. Before you start your recipe, cook 3 to 4 strips of thick-cut bacon until they're as crispy as you like.

Does sugar make chili taste better? ›

Sprinkle Some Sugar adds sugar to her crockpot chili to balance all the additional flavors in the mix. Beyond standard white sugar, feel free to try different sweeteners to add a completely different flavor variation. J.


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