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This perfectly spiced Wendy’s chili recipe is famously delicious. Now you can create this popular, hearty bowl-full at home!!
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 copycat Wendy’s chili 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 straightforward chili, which is probably why it’s so popular. And we are so glad we can now make it at home.
How to Make Wendy’s Chili
This Wendy’s chili is simple to put together and tastes amazing!
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 this recipe for Wendys chili in the crock pot:
- Brown the beef as directed in steps 1 and 2. Drain excess fat if necessary.
- Scrape 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.
Feel free to make this copycat wendys chili your own by adjusting the seasonings.
Ground beef. If you happen to have leftover hamburger patties, 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 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 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper,
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
Add more spice. 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.
Serving + Storing Chili
STORE. Store Wendys copycat chili recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator, 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.
FREEZE in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Serving suggestions. We love to serve our chili with cornbread! Try any of these suggestions:
We have a feeling you will love this Wendy’s chili copycat recipe!
As a general rule, I don’t consider any menu item at a fast food place to be healthy. Per Wendy’s 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.
When serving chili as a main dish plan to provide 1½ to 2 cups per person. However, if the chili is served as a side dish or appetizer, plan for only 1 cup per person.
The easiest way is to reduce the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper you add to the soup. If the chili is still too spicy you can add a sweetener like honey or brown sugar, or dilute the chili by adding more broth, beans, or tomatoes. You can also add sour cream or yogurt.
For More Chili Recipes, Try:
Wendy’s Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 punds ground beef
- 2 stalks celery chopped, optional
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 3 (14-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes chop them up a little more
- 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies such as RO*TEL
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 (1.25-ounce) packages chili seasoning such as McCormick® Mild Chili Seasoning Mix
- 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans undrained
- 1 (14-ounce) can pinto beans undrained
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.