The BEST Classic Chili recipe is one that everyone should have! It’s a comforting, satisfying, and healthy dish loaded with hearty textures and traditional flavors. This delicious low carb meal is super simple and budget-friendly. There’s no long simmering time, so it’s ready in under an hour!
The perfect homestyle chili is loaded with ground beef, onions, and beans brimming with flavor in a perfectly seasoned, tomato base. It’s a simple warming dish that comes together quickly in one pot which means, no fuss and easy cleanup!
Chili is such a customizable and versatile meal that has had many adaptations across time and place.
This recipe uses ground beef, but by all means, swap it for ground chicken or turkey. Meatless Mondays mean leaving out the meat for a vegetarian option. Like a little spice? Add in some cayenne. If you like a more southern style chili, go ahead and omit the tomatoes and serve with a side of cornbread!
Eat it on its own, with your favorite toppings or with a slice of crusty bread. Serve it on a bed of rice, mashed potatoes, or use it as a topping for nachos. See, it really is so versatile!
One of the best things about making a pot of chili is that it’s very forgiving in nature. There are so many ingredients and flavors in one pot, but in true chili fashion, all of the flavors come together in one harmonious bite. It’s incredible.
You can add a little too much of something or not enough of something and easily fix it with one of the other ingredients. It’s a meal every home cook should know how to make and definitely can make!
Whatever your favorite version is, you can never have too many options. Having this classic quick and easy version on hand means you can enjoy it any night of the week. And then have leftovers for lunch the next day!
How to Make This Classic Chili
To a large soup pot/stockpot, heat up olive oil and diced onion over medium-high heat. Stir often. Add in the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Brown the meat completely.
Add in the chicken or beef broth, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, light or dark, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne (if you’re adding a bit of heat).
Bring this all to a low boil, then reduce and simmer. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and enjoy with your favorite sides or toppings!
Best Toppings for Chili
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Green onions
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce
- Tortilla Chips (whole or crumbled)
Tips & Variations
- Substitute a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes for a can of tomato sauce.
- Use light or dark kidney beans.
- Use water as a substitute for the broth if you don’t have any on hand.
- For more spice add in 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper.
- This recipe is suitable for the crockpot, you would just need to brown the meat first before adding all ingredients to the slow cooker. Then cook on low for up to 4 hours.
- For an added smoky flavor, drop in a bit of liquid smoke, smoked paprika, or BBQ sauce.
- If you like the flavor of bacon in your chili, go ahead and toss in some cooked bacon, or pieces of ham.
How to Store it
Make a big batch because it’s very freezer friendly! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then heat it up on the stovetop.
Try these other Chili recipes too:
Best Classic Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth
- 2 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 16 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Add the olive oil and diced onion to a large soup pot and heat over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add in the ground beef and brown until completely cooked, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. (approx. 7-8 minutes)
- Add the broth, tomatoes, drained beans, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne (if using).
- Bring to a low boil.
- Then reduce the heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and enjoy!