The Best Chili Recipe

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5 from 3 votes
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The Best Chili Recipe is easy, versatile, and a classic for the recipe box! Deliciously made with just six ingredients and ready in 30 minutes!

Delicious and satisfying, this easy, savory chili recipe is a favorite and cooks on the stovetop in minutes! Thick with beef or turkey or even made vegetarian, it is versatile and easy to adapt to your tastes. Either way you make it, it is the BEST chili recipe! Are you looking for more easy ground beef recipes? I think you’ll love my Lasagna, Spaghetti Sauce, and Stuffed Peppers.

Bowl of chili with beef, beans, tomatoes and spices and then topped with sliced peppers, shredded cheese, sour cream and a sprig of fresh herbs.

We all love a classic chili recipe that is dependable, easy, and most of all, delicious to turn to time and again. This recipe is one we all need – it’s so tasty and ready in minutes on the stove with just a few basic ingredients. In addition to personalizing the chili with optional toppings, I’ve included substitution instructions to make turkey chili and vegetarian chili. When you are looking for a scrumptious chili your family will love, this is it – the best chili recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple Ingredients. This recipe is made with just a handful of simple ingredients that I generally keep on hand – ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings.
  • Quick and Easy. My chili is quick and easy to prepare. It is ready for serving in 30 minutes!
  • Make it Your Own. Depending on the season, what we have on hand, and our mood, we can add in other ingredients. I’ve included a few of our favorites below under optional ingredients as well as in the recipe card.

How to Make the Best Chili Recipe

Ingredients

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

For my classic chili recipe, you’ll need just six ingredients. You can then customize this chili recipe with some of the optional ingredients to make it your own.

Ground beef, tomatoes, beans, and spices are the ingredients for the best chili recipe. Photographed on a white surface.

Ground Beef – I love to use a lean ground beef. If I can find local, grass-fed ground beef, I generally will choose it since it has such incredible flavor. You can also use ground turkey or ground chicken, if you prefer.

Beans – You can use your preferred bean such as black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans. I prefer to drain and rinse my canned beans before adding them to the recipe.

Tomatoes – I use crushed tomatoes to make my recipe even easier.

Seasonings – The basic seasonings I include are: Stone House Seasoning, chili powder, and ground cumin. This chili recipe is rather mild, but you can easily adjust the spiciness of the recipe by using more chili powder than called for in the recipe.

Optional Ingredients – diced onions, diced green peppers, diced jalapeño, diced carrots, cubed pumpkin, cubed sweet potatoes, cubed butternut squash, mushrooms.

Optional Toppings – sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeño pepper.

What Makes This The Best Chili Recipe

  1. It’s Easy – This delicious recipe cooks on your stovetop in 30 minutes!
  2. It’s Versatile – Make it with ground beef, turkey, chicken or make a vegetarian chili!
  3. It’s Perfect to Personalize – Alter the amount of spices for more or less heat and garnish this classic chili recipe with your choice of toppings!

Step-by-Step Instructions

In just a few steps and a few ingredients, make the Best Chili recipe in under 30 minutes.

Here’s how you’ll make it:

Browned ground beef in a large white Dutch oven with a wooden spoon.

Brown the meat.

Brown the ground beef and then drain away any excess fat drippings.

White Dutch oven with chili ingredients of beef, beans, tomatoes, and my three seasonings.

Add other base ingredients.

Stir in beans, tomatoes, Stone House Seasoning, chili powder, and ground cumin.

Chili simmering in a white Dutch oven with a wooden spoon.

Simmer, then serve.

Allow to simmer until heated throughout. Simmer uncovered to help your chili reach the thickness you desire.

Once done, serve the chili with optional toppings served buffet style so that everyone can top their own bowls! Enjoy!

Chili Recipe Modifications

Turkey Chili

To modify this to make it a turkey chili recipe, simple use the same amount of turkey in the place of the ground beef.

Vegetarian Chili

To make this recipe as a vegetarian chili recipe, simply omit the meat and double the beans called for in the recipe. It’s also delicious with multiple types of beans such as black beans and pinto beans and / or red kidney beans. Consider adding additional vegetables, like mushrooms and others, listed in the optional ingredients. Serve with your favorite toppings!

Vegan Chili

To make this a vegan chili recipe, follow the directions for making the vegetarian chili and serve it with dairy-free and vegan-friendly toppings.

What to Serve with The Best Chili

Storage Tips

To store: Allow the chili to cool completely. Then place in in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To serve, simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated throughout.

To freeze: Allow the chili to cool completely. Transfer to a freezer-friendly container or freezer zip top storage bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated throughout.

Chili with beef and beans with a wooden spoon in an up close photograph.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make my chili thicker?

Simmer the chili uncovered for a few minutes so that the chili cooks down to the thickness you desire.

What can you put on top of chili?

There are so many toppings that are delicious on this classic chili such as shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, sliced jalapeno peppers and more!

More Chili Recipes You May Love

White Chicken Chili

Instant Pot Chili

Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato Chili

Butternut Squash Chili

Here’s my Best Chili Recipe. It’s a classic and I hope you love it as much as my family does!

The Best Classic Chili Recipe

5 from 3 votes
This Classic Chili recipe is one that everyone needs in the recipe box. Made with just six ingredients and ready in 30 minutes this makes the best chili!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ground beef (lean), ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans beans, black beans, pinto beans, or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Stone House Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Optional Toppings:

  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese, grated
  • jalapeno pepper, sliced

Optional Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced

Instructions 

  • Brown ground meat in a Dutch oven or soup pot set over medium heat. Add seasonings, tomatoes and beans. Simmer until heated throughout.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

Recipe Substitutions/Modifications

Turkey Chili: Substitute turkey for the ground beef in the same amount as listed in the recipe.
Vegetarian Chili Variation:
Omit the meat and double the beans called for in the recipe. 
Vegan Chili Variation:
Omit the meat, double the beans and serve with dairy-free toppings. Consider including additional ingredients including cubed sweet potato, peppers, mushrooms, etc. 

Storage Tips

To store: Allow the chili to cool completely. Then place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To serve, simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated throughout.
To freeze: Allow the chili to cool completely. Transfer to a freezer-friendly container or freezer zip top storage bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated throughout.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




4 Comments

  1. David says:

    Hi Robyn, by pure coincidence I had just made Chili for dinner shortly before opening Add A Pinch newsletter. I had followed a much more complex traditional recipe using many ingredients but I will give your simpler recipe a try next time to compare the result. Love the blog Robyn.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks! Hope you do try the chili and enjoy it, David.

  2. Leigh says:

    5 stars
    Love this chili Robyn! It tastes great! Really easy to get on the table during a busy day and my family enjoys it! I even make it some on weekends because it’s got so much flavor, even though it’s fast to make.
    Thank you for sharing it with us!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks so much, Leigh. I’m glad you enjoy this chili. I’, too, love how easy it is to make on a busy day.