Perfectly spiced Wendy’s Chili is famously delicious. Now you can create this popular, hearty bowl-full at home!!
Copycat Wendy’s Chili is best served with topped with cheese or sour cream, and a side of Sweet Cornbread or in a warm bread bowl! It’s simple and perfect for any fall or winter night.
a spot on copycat recipe!
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE chili. We love to whip up batches in the fall/winter, and trust me I have no shortage of chili recipes. From white chicken chili to chili with spaghetti, we eat and love them all!
This Wendy’s Chili copycat recipe is a family favorite, though. Wendy’s chili is famously delicious and known for being hearty. If you happen to have any leftovers, it’s also great to freeze.
I’ve taken that meat and bean filled chili and created a copycat version that tastes at least as good as the original, if not better! The kids all agree the flavor is spot on!
It’s a pretty simple and straight forward chili, which is probably why it’s so popular. And we are so glad we can now make it at home.
Is Wendy’s chili healthy?
As a general rule, I don’t consider any menu item at a fast food place to be healthy. Per Wendys site Wendy’s chili has 240 calories, 16 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbs and 11 grams of fat. It also contains a few ingredients that I don’t know how to pronounce. However, I would note that it is hearty and a small amount will keep you full for longer.
I much prefer making Wendy’s Copycat Chili recipe at home. It’s automatically healthier because I get to control the exact ingredients that go into the chili and I have a hard time telling the difference.
How to make Wendy’s Chili
MEAT. Heat olive oil in a large pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook meat until no longer pink.
VEGGIES. Stir celery and green bell pepper into ground beef for 4-5 minutes.
SAUCE. Pour in chopped stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, and water. Break apart large chunks of stewed tomatoes. Stir in chili seasoning (and any other spices desired).
BEANS. Mix kidney beans and pinto beans into chili, season with salt and black pepper, and bring to a boil.
COOK + SERVE! Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Mix vinegar into chili.
Simmer: Be sure that your stove temperature is at a simmer. If it is too high then much of the liquid will evaporate leaving you with a thicker chili. If the stove is set too low, then not enough will evaporate and it will be too watery. So what is the right setting for a simmer? I turn the setting down to low so that there are still a few small bubbles coming to the top.
In the Slow Cooker
Follow these steps to make the Wendy’s Chili copycat recipe in the crock pot:
- Brown the beef as directed in steps 1 and 2. Drain excess fat if necessary.
- Scrap the browned beef into the crockpot and add the ingredients listed in steps 3 and 4.
- Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
recipe Tips + Storage
BEEF: If you happen to have leftover hamburgers, this is the dish to make. After all, in an effort to reduce food waste, Wendy’s developed this recipe using leftover cooked burgers.
I suggest using a leaner meat so you won’t need to drain the fat (ground turkey works fine). If you do use beef with a higher fat content, you’ll need to drain the excess fat.
MCCORMICK CHILI MIX: If you can’t find this mix, or simply want to make your own version, here’s a close recipe:
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper,
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
How to add heat to the recipe? This particular version is fairly mild so if you prefer a spicier dish, you can easily change up some of the ingredients.
- Buy spicier versions of the ingredients such as Rotel Tomatoes with Habanero Peppers, Hot McCormick Seasoning, or Stewed tomatoes with Jalapeno.
- Add in chopped jalapenos or increase the amount of cayenne pepper.
- Have red pepper flakes or hot sauce on the side for people to add as much heat as they wish to their own bowls.
How to store? Store in an airtight container in the fridge, whether you want to make this ahead of time, or store leftovers. It will keep for 3-4 days until you are ready to heat and serve.
How to freeze? Freeze in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
What to serve it with?
We have a feeling you will love this Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe!
For More Copycat Recipes, try:
- Cheesecake Factory Luau Salad
- Chili’s Queso Recipe
- Chilis Enchilada Soup
- Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken
Wendy’s Chili Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lb ground beef
- 2 stalks celery chopped, optional
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 3 (14oz) cans stewed tomatoes chop them up a little more
- 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies such as RO*TEL
- 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 (1.25 oz) packages chili seasoning such as McCormick® Mild Chili Seasoning Mix
- 1 (14 oz) can kidney beans undrained
- 1 (14 oz) can pinto beans undrained
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp white vinegar or more to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook meat until no longer pink.
- Stir celery and green bell pepper into ground beef for 4-5 minutes.
- Pour in chopped stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, and water. Break apart large chunks of stewed tomatoes. Stir in chili seasoning.
- Mix kidney beans and pinto beans into chili, season with salt and black pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Mix vinegar into chili.
I love Wendy’s chili & this tastes exactly like it, in my opinion!! My hubby requests it all the time!!
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing wendy’s chili recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!
Ohh so good! You will love this copycat recipe for Wendy’s chili.
I really loved how this turned out. It was the perfect thickness and tasted great.
Chili is my favorite fall dish – especially this copycat recipe from Wendy’s! It’s perfect with cornbread as well.
There’s a reason Wendy’s Chili is so popular – it’s so good! And now I can make it at home with enough to feed my whole family. Love it – thanks for the great copycat recipe!
I actually had this recipe at Kristyns house and loved it so much that I printed out the recipe to make my family. It was sooo yummy!
Best chili you can get
This copycat recipe is so good!!
This chili recipe is the perfect combo of flavors and has just the right amount of spice. I’ll be making this quite a bit when the weather cools down.
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoy the chili recipe. It’s a great one for the cooler weather!
This is one of our favorite chili’s!! It’s crazy good, and always gets rave reviews at our chili cook offs. I love that it’s easy. This is a must-make chili.
I absolutely LOVED this recipe! It’s our favorite chili when we go out and this was so much like it, that I’m not sure we’ll go out of our way to go there now. We’ll just make it at home. Haha!
this is just as good, even better than the original chili! thank you for sharing this recipe!
This recipe does taste so similar to the chili from Wendy’s! We loved topping ours with fritos and cheddar cheese.
I’m looking at two different recipes for “Wendy’s Chili” and your recipe has half as much beans as the other recipe. Both are highly rated. Which is closer to actual Wendy’s chili?
This is seriously delicious! I don’t normally eat chili but this recipe has made me rethink that. Easy to make and truly yummy.
Made the Wendy’s Chili last week. It was so good! Better than Wendy’s. Wendy’s Chili isn’t consistent in taste/texture. I prefer this recipe. Thanks for sharing.
This is the best chili ever. My husband loves Wendy’s chili. This is my go to recipe for chili.