The Best Chili Recipe

5 from 10 votes

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Never need another Chili Recipe again! This is the most basic, family-friendly, veggie-filled, delicious, one-pot chili recipe there ever was!! Enjoy plain or with cheese, avocados, sour cream or any other topping you like.

I love a good and comforting chili recipe, especially during the colder months of the year, and this one will not disappoint. This particular recipe is filled with ground beef, lots of beans, a whole lot of veggies, and is cooked down into a thick and flavorful stew. Perfect with cornbread or Corn Casserole.

Chili Recipe

Chili Recipe

This recipe is a simple ‘chop and drop’ kind of recipe. You chop your veggies, add in your beef, season well. Dump in your cans of beans, cans of tomatoes and beef broth. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook as long as you can. Stir in some frozen corn for an added bonus and enjoy!

Try these other comforting recipes that include beef: Hamburger Soup, Easy Taco Soup, Creamy Crock Pot Stew, Beef Stew (Crockpot Recipe), and Irish Beef Stew Recipe with Mashed Potatoes.

The best beans for this chili recipe

Because beans are so hearty and stand up so well to hours of cooking as well as all these spices, just about any kind of bean is fine. Use what you have! I used pinto and black beans.

The classic bean found in almost every chili recipe is the red kidney bean, but here are a few others that would be great substitutes:

  • white beans
  • garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • red beans
  • white kidney beans (cannellini beans)
  • butter beans
  • pinto beans
  • black beans

When cooking with any canned bean, be sure to drain and rinse well for the best results.

Seasonings

The two seasonings I use for this recipe include cumin and mild chili powder. Some recipes call for cayenne pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes or even cocoa powder.

I keep it simple (and mild!) with just two seasonings. If you’d like to add more heat or more depth of flavor, try some of the listed spices above.

Chili

How to Make Chili

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and zucchini until slightly softened, 5 minutes.
  2. Drop meat into the pot and break apart using a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is cooked thoroughly and browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 20 minutes but up to 3 hours. If you notice chili is getting too thick or is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add in an extra splash of water or beef stock. I love using a heavy-bottomed dutch oven for this recipe. It retains heat well and usually doesn’t burn.
  3. Serve with desired toppings and/or cornbread.

How to thicken Chili

If you cook chili long enough, you won’t need to thicken it at all. The longer it simmers, the thicker and more flavorful it will become. No need to use flour or cornstarch.

If you are wanting to thicken up the broth, try adding in one tablespoon of cornmeal to your chili recipe and simmering for an hour.

How to Make Chili

What to serve with chili

There are so many things that pair perfectly with this best chili recipe! Things like homemade rolls, biscuits or cornbread are perfect. A buttery corn casserole would also be delicious.

Favorite Toppings

Man oh man, when I make this recipe, I love to load on the toppings! Here are some of our favorites:

  • tortilla chips
  • doritos
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • avocado slices
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • diced onion
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • shredded lettuce
  • hot sauce (if that’s your thing)

More Chili Recipes to Love!

5 from 10 votes

Best Chili Recipe

Never need another Chili Recipe again! This is the most basic, family-friendly, veggie-filled, delicious, one pot chili recipe there ever was!!
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef 93% lean
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce 1 can
  • 15 oz. black beans (1 can) drained & rinsed
  • 15 oz. pinto beans (1 can) drained & rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • any desired toppings grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocados, lime juice

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and zucchini until slightly softened, 5 minutes.
  • Drop meat into the pot and break apart using a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is cooked thoroughly and browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 20 minutes but up to 3 hours. If you notice chili is getting too thick or is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add in an extra splash of water or beef stock.
  • Serve with desired toppings and/or cornbread.

Nutrition

Calories: 551kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 1623mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4317IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chili, chili recipe, how to make chili
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Recipe Rating




36 Responses
  1. Abby B

    5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS!!! I doubled the recipe and added a lot more Chili powder and about another 1/2 cup of beef stock. My husband can’t stop eating it! Thanks Lauren!

  2. Peggy

    I am making this up for our chili cook-off at church on Sunday… Wish me luck!!
    (I’m just happy to try out a new chili recipe…. i love me some good chili! and today I sent strombroli into school with the guys… one for french class, the rest for lunches! Yep I was the “cool” mom today! 🙂 Thanks for the recipes and inspiration!!

  3. Mel

    5 stars
    I have made this at home once or twice but just made it for a lunch at work. Every person that I saw had seconds! I did not adjust a thing- it was perfect for a fall day!

  4. Christeen

    This looks to be a great recipe. Even though it’s summer in Southern California, my family would still eat a bowl of chili in the heat. Can’t wait to try it.

  5. Skinny White Chicken Chili | Lauren's Latest

    […] I developed it on maternity leave (pre-baby) when I was 9 months pregnant with Brooke, after tasting some white chicken chili at Cheesecake Factory. (Before my blog ever started!) Heaven knows how much my pregnant self loves the Cheesecake Factory, so my husband and I were pretty frequent guests. I tried their white chicken chili back in 2009 and it was too creamy and spicy for my very sensitive tastebuds, so I re-created a version at home that stuck. My husband just about died because it was so good and 80% of the time, it replaces my normal Simple Chili Recipe. […]

  6. Skinny White Chicken Chili

    […] I developed it on maternity leave (pre-baby) when I was 9 months pregnant with Brooke, after tasting some white chicken chili at Cheesecake Factory. (Before my blog ever started!) Heaven knows how much my pregnant self loves the Cheesecake Factory, so my husband and I were pretty frequent guests. I tried their white chicken chili back in 2009 and it was too creamy and spicy for my very sensitive tastebuds, so I re-created a version at home that stuck. My husband just about died because it was so good and 80% of the time, it replaces my normal Simple Chili Recipe. […]

  7. Super Bowl Party! | Lauren's Latest

    […] Rolls with Sweet & Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce Easy BBQ Pulled Pork Green Chile Cheeseburgers Simple Chili White Chicken Chili Sweet Treats: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Scotchies No-Bake Nutter Butter Nutella […]

  8. Megan

    5 stars
    I’ve been going through sooooooo many chili recipes and I think this is the one for me – really excited to try it out and see. <3

  9. Sarah

    5 stars
    This is my family’s favorite (red) chili recipe!! Everyone I make it for has to have the recipe! It’s one of the reasons I just know anything Lauren posts is going to be GOOOOOD!!!

  10. Victoria L Wallis

    When you state large pot, I have a 5 quart and 8 quart. What size do you recomend? I’m not a big cook but would love to try this. Thanks

  11. Mireya Martinez

    I made this over the stove. Simmered for two hours and it was perfect. My husband said, “This recipe is a keeper.” Love that it had so many veggies. Thanks Lauren!

  12. Steven M Owsiany

    I haven’t tried it so no comment on taste and prep. However, a buddy of mine from Texas gave me a tip, take it or leave it, is to substitute tomato sauce with Spicy V-8. I can comment on that substitute and by far it adds a great source of flavor in which tomato sauce cannot produce or provide.

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