Best Chili Recipe

You’re going to fall hard for this spicy and hearty homemade beef chili. This chili recipe is not only simple, but is flavorful and filled with ground beef, tomatoes, beans, spices and all the toppings making it an award winning chili recipe.

Our beef chili is the most popular recipe to take to cook offs and potlucks, but if I’m looking to switch it up, I also love making white chicken chili, or green enchilada pork chili. They’re all perfect for get togethers during soup season!

Best Chili Recipe

Favorite Homemade Chili

Fall and winter are the perfect times to enjoy chilis and soups. With that in mind, we wanted to share with you our favorite homemade chili recipe!

I love the spice, the flavor, the beans, the big chunks of meat, and pretty much everything else about this chili recipe. It is so delicious, and I know you will love it too when you make this recipe (for our favorite White Chicken Chili GO HERE)!

This is one of the easiest chili recipes. We love to make a big pot of this for gatherings with family and friends. I always whip out this recipe for chili cookouts because everyone that tries it, loves it. Here’s another fun idea – try making this chili on Halloween night post-trick-or-treating! But let’s be honest, this homemade chili is good on ANY night.

Chili Meat

How to Make Chili

Is there anything better than a one pot meal? Sign me up for little-to-no clean up any day!! Who wants to do dishes on top of making dinner? That’s why this recipe is one of my all time favorites. Great ingredients, super easy to cook up, and just a couple of dishes to wash. Yes, yes, and yes.

BEEF. Grab one of your large cooking pots and heat it on medium heat. Cook up the ground beef and drain the excess fat from the pot.

BOIL. Add the tomatoes, all of the seasonings, and the water to the pot. Stir it to combine and bring it to a boil on high heat.

BEANS. Before you add the kidney and black beans, make sure you drain and rinse them from the can. Then add the beans to your chili.

SIMMER. Cover the pot with the lid and simmer on low for 1-2 hours. Give it a little taste halfway through to see if you need more cooking time. Make sure the beans are cooked to your liking.

SERVE. Serve the chili in bowls with your desired toppings.

Here are some of our favorite chili toppings:

  • Lime wedges
  • cilantro
  • shredded cheeses
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips
  • corn bread (my favorite!)

I’m almost drooling over here. I need this chili in my life.

Switch it up!

In case you want to add a little extra to it, here are some chili secret ingredients that will add even more flavor!

  • Lime Juice – it adds just a bit of tang and a clean, fresh taste
  • Cornmeal – adding just a few tablespoons will thicken the chili and add a polenta flavor.
  • Sugar – a pinch is all you need to help balance some of the flavors in your chili
  • Zucchini – it makes it heartier, adds texture and gives bonus veggie nutrition!
  • Mustard – don’t knock it until you try it. Add a tbsp enhances the chili flavor like you’d never imagine.

Different Meats?

Ground Beef is the most common, quickest and cheapest. However, You can try some of these other cuts of meat: beef chuck, brisket, or short ribs.

Make it Thicker

If you find that the chili is too thin for your liking you can use flour or cornstarch to thicken.

  • Flour: In a separate bowl add 1-2 Tbsp of flour to 1 cup of liquid from the chili. Whisk and return to the chili.
  • Cornstarch: In a separate bowl mis 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water. Whisk and add to the chili. This will thicken 2 cups of chili.

Crockpot version

Want to make this in the slow cooker? No problem, just cook the meat and then add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours!!

Beef Chili

leftover chili

Store & Reheat. Chili will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until hot.

Freeze. Let the chili cool and divide into portions your family can consume in one meal. Use a freezer safe airtight container leaving about ½ headspace. Store for 4-6 months. To thaw in the refrigerator allow 24 hours for every 5 lbs. You can choose to reheat the chili without thawing first, but it may affect the texture.

I have a feeling this will become your go-to chili recipe because it is so simple and delicious. AND, I also think it’s the best chili recipe to bring to your next chili contest. It has all the flavors everyone loves to make it award-winning.

Is it fall yet? Because I want to put this chili into my weekly dinner rotation!

what to serve with chili:

And for more chili recipes, check out:

Beef Chili Recipe

5 from 18 votes
You're going to fall hard for this spicy and hearty homemade beef chili. This chili recipe is not only simple, but is flavorful and filled with ground beef, tomatoes, beans, spices and all the toppings making it an award winning chili recipe.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 200 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, Rotel
  • 2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 tso salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 (14oz) can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14oz) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water


  • In a large pot, cook ground meat. Drain excess grease and add tomatoes, seasonings, and water, bring to a boil.
  • Add beans, cover and simmer 1-2 hours.
  • Serve with desired toppings


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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’m so excited for chily nights with chili! Although this looks so fabulous I may not be able to wait for the weather to change!

  2. 5 stars
    My wife made this and i loved it. I grew up eating a similar one from my mom and hated it. This one is fantastic though! Just a tiny bit of kick and incredible flavor. Easy to maoe and worth it, i will be eating it again soon!

  3. 5 stars
    I cannot wait until cooler temps to make this chili!! I love that it’s easy to make, not too spicy, & so, so good!!

  4. 5 stars
    I love this chili recipe. So warm and comforting. It screams winter to me and its even better the day after!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is easy to make and it was my first chili I ever made. We love it topped with cheese, sour cream and saltine crackers. Soo good!

  6. 5 stars
    Love , love, love this Chili. This is my 2nd time making it and my family loves it. I only use 1/2 tblsp so it’s not to spicy. So good served with honey cornbread.

  7. 5 stars
    Hi, Are you going to make a cookbook filled with ALL of your recipes?
    You are my always my go to when I need help on how to cook something!

    1. Oh thank you SO much! No announcement for a cookbook right now, but we’ll certainly spread the word if there ever is!