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You’re going to fall hard for this spicy, hearty homemade beef chili. This Best Chili Recipe is not only simple, but delicious!!
Our Best Chili Recipe made with beef is the most popular to take to cook offs and potlucks, but I also love making White Chicken Chili, or Green Enchilada Pork Chili. They’re all perfect for get togethers during soup season!
Favorite Homemade Chili
We love to make a big pot of our Best Chili Recipe for gatherings with family and friends. I always whip it out for chili cookouts because everyone that tries it, loves it.
A bowl of chili is also perfect on Halloween night post-trick-or-treating! But let’s be honest, this homemade chili is good on ANY night.
I love the spice, the flavor, the beans, the big chunks of meat, and pretty much everything else about this homemade Chili Recipe. For another fav, try our our favorite White Chicken Chili!
How to Make beef Chili
Is there anything better than a one pot meal? 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 sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, paprika and pepper. Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, drained kidney beans and tomato sauce.
SIMMER. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 – 30 minutes.
SERVE. Season with more garlic salt and pepper, if desired.
Making this in the slow cooker is vert simple! Follow the directions below to set it and forget it. 😉
- Cook the meat, then drain the fat.
- Add sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, paprika and pepper. Stir and cook for an additional minute. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
- Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, drained kidney beans and tomato sauce to the slow cooker. Stir and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.
- Season with more garlic salt and pepper, if desired.
Make it Thicker. If you find that the chili is too thin for your liking you can easily mash some of the beans and give it a good stir. You can also use flour or cornstarch to thicken.
- Flour – In a separate bowl add 1-2 tablespoons of flour to 1 cup of liquid from the chili. Whisk and return to the chili.
- Cornstarch – For every 2 cups of chili, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water in a separate bowl. Whisk and add to the chili.
Different Meats. Ground Beef is the most common, quickest and cheapest. However, you can try some of these other cuts of meat:
- beef chuck
- short ribs
Cube it, brown it and add it to the pot. You can also substitute the ground beef for ground chicken or ground turkey.
Best Beans. In my opinion the best beans to use in chili are kidney, black, and pinto beans. Some people use navy beans or green beans. This recipe uses both kidney and black beans, but you can substitute an equal amount of another type if you wish.
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. A tablespoon enhances the chili flavor like you’d never imagine.
Bring on the Heat. If you LOVE spicy chili there are several things that you can do to increase the heat index such as increase the amount of chili powder, add cayenne pepper, add diced jalapeños with the seeds, add red chili flakes. Either add these directly to the pot of chili, or have them available on the side for each person to add heat to their own bowls.
Too Spicy. If the pot of chili is delicious, but a little too hot for your liking, add:
- sour cream or milk
- honey or brown sugar
- tomato paste
- squeeze of lemon or lime juice
All can all help neutralize the heat.
STORE. 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.
Leftovers can be used to make other delicious meals such as chili baked potato, chili hot dogs, chili nachos and more.
I have a feeling this will become your go-to chili recipe because it is so simple and delicious. I also think it’s the best chili recipe to bring to your next chili contest. It has 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
We can’t have chili without cornbread! Here are some of our favorite cornbread recipes to pair with this chili:
And for more chili recipes, check out:
Best Chili Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- pepper to taste
- 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups beef broth
- sour cream, cheese, green onions
- In a large pot, cook ground beef over medium heat, stirring to break up meat, until browned and cooked through. Drain fat.
- Add sugar, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, garlic salt, paprika and pepper and stir to mix.
- Add tomato sauce, kidney beans, tomatoes and beef broth. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25–30 minutes.
- Season with more garlic salt and pepper, if desired, and add any desired toppings before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.