This 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 lean 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 lean ground turkey. Meatless Mondays mean leaving out the meat for a vegetarian chili option. Like spicy food? Add in some cayenne pepper.
Eat it on its own, with your favorite toppings or with a slice of crusty bread or homemade cornbread. 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 The Best Chili
To a large pot, stockpot or a large dutch oven, heat olive oil and saute onion over medium-high heat. Stir often. Add in the ground meat, 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 over medium heat, 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 onion
- Sour cream
- fresh Cilantro
- Jalapeno pepper
- Hot sauce
- Tortilla Chips (whole or crumbled)
Tips & Variations
- Substitute a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes for a can of tomato sauce or tomato puree.
- Use light or dark kidney beans or substitute black beans or pinto beans as well..
- Use water as a substitute for the beef or chicken broth if you don’t have any on hand.
- For more spice add in ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
- This recipe is suitable for making crockpot chili, you would just need to brown the meat first before adding all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Then cook on low heat 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 a heartier meat flavor in your chili, go ahead and toss in some cooked bacon, short ribs or pieces of ham.
- Add a bay leaf for as another seasoning when simmering.
How to Store Chili
Make a big batch because it’s very freezer friendly! Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. This chili freezes well too. Place in a freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then heat it up on the stovetop.
Try these other Chili recipes too:
Chicken Chili with White Beans
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Best Classic Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 ½ 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 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ 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!
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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Chili is such a special dish…and so open to interpretation. This recipe is exactly how we like to make ours.
Yummy and perfect for chilly nights.
This recipe is delicious, chilli is the perfect cold day meal. The leftovers were great over baked potatoes for lunch the next day, yum!
Chili is definitely a family fave. We tend to stay mild but may experiment with more cayenne pepper next time. Thanks!