Best Beef Chili

The best chili recipe you’ll ever eat is right here! Our classic beef chili is made with ground beef, beans, diced tomatoes, and a homemade chili seasoning.

4 bowls of beef chili with Fritos on top

Chili for Days

Chili for days you say? That’s right! This classic chili recipe will give you chili for days because boy does it serve a crowd. And, did we mention that it’s truly the best chili recipe on the internet?

  • Amazing Meal Prep: Chili is an excellent meal prep idea because it will literally give you chili for days. This particular recipe serves 6-8 and you can easily double it and freeze for later! Plus, you can turn it into our Chili Mac and Cheese recipe for more variety!
  • Healthy: Our beef chili recipe is made with lean ground beef, beans, and tons of veggies making it high in protein, fiber. It’s also made with a homemade chili seasoning canceling out any additives you may find in the store-bought kind.
  • Made in No Time! In less than 45 minutes you can have dinner on the table!

Classic Chili Ingredients

There’s a big debacle on the internet whether classic chili has beans or no beans. In my opinion, the best chili recipe is a base of ground beef, tomato, spices, and BEANS. I love the number of fiber beans add to this dish and I promise you won’t regret adding them.

Beef

The star of the show here is ground beef. I’ll give you one secret, the fat in your beef matters! We’re big fans of 80% or 85% fat because that little bit of fat adds so much flavor. If you go any leaner, you risk compromising flavor and texture.

Can I substitute a different ground meat? Ohhhh, if you must! Yes, ground chicken or turkey both work for this recipe. you can even try a plant-based ground!

Tomatoes

One of the reasons I love chili is because it’s made with tomato products. Thick, creamy, and so delicious. This recipe calls for 3 different kinds: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato puree.

Beans

While traditional beef chili does not call for beans, we like to up the anty a little bit in the nutrition department and include 2 different variations. Pinto beans and kidney beans add texture and fiber to this beef chili recipe.

Chili Seasoning

Do yourself a favor and make your own chili seasoning. I promise you the flavor is better AND there isn’t any added junk. Try our homemade chili seasoning and keep a batch in your cabinet at all times.

homemade chili seasoning ingredients

  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper

#1 Secret Ingredient for THE BEST CHILI RECIPE

Every chili needs a little bit of sugar in some form to bring out all of the savory flavors from the chili seasoning. Our classic chili recipe calls for a little bit of maple syrup. It’s warm, unrefined, and absolutely delightful.

Don’t have maple? Swap it with some brown sugar or even some honey.

beef and onions in stockpot

Chili 101

What is the best secret ingredient for chili? The best secret ingredient for chili is a little bit of sugar. Whether you use white sugar, brown sugar, or my favorite, maple syrup, a little bit of sugar will bring out all of the savory spices of your chili.

Does traditional chili have beans? Traditionally, chili used to be served without beans, but in my opinion, it’s so much better with beans!

How do you make chili more flavorful? To make chili more flavorful, we suggest using more homemade chili seasoning. We always recommend making your own spice blend at home because you can really control the flavor that way. Other ways to add more flavor include:

  • More salt
  • More heat (diced jalapeño, hot sauce, or green chiles)
  • Add a jar of salsa

What are good chili toppings? Good chili toppings include shredded cheese, green onion, sour cream or Greek yogurt, Fritos, tortilla chips, and chives.

stockpot of the best chili recipe

How to make truly the BEST chili recipe!

  1. Saute ground beef: add ground beef, onion, and garlic to a stockpot or Dutch oven and saute for 7-10 minutes to fully brown.
  2. Add rest of ingredients: Next, add the rest of the ingredients including the chili seasoning and mix to combine.
  3. Simmer: Bring chili to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve: Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!

Topping Ideas

In my opinion, chili isn’t chili without the toppings! I’ll share what we at our bowl of chili with and some other ideas.

  • shredded cheese
  • chips – tortilla or Fritos
  • green onions
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • chives
  • hot sauce

bowl of beef chili with cheese on top

Can I make this chili recipe in the Crockpot or Instant Pot instead?

This ground beef chili can easily be made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. While we haven’t tried either of these methods, you can follow a similar method to the other crockpot and Instant Pot chili recipes we have on Fit Foodie Finds.

Crockpot Chili Recipes

Instant Pot Chili Recipes

Can I freeze beef chili?

Beef Chili is the perfect chili recipe to freeze! We wrote an entire post on how to freeze soup and it works the exact same way for chili.

We recommend freezing in a freezer-safe gallon-size bag or freezer-safe storage container. Make sure that you remove as much air as possible before sealing.

How do I store beef chili?

Store beef chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To reheat: Either place multiple servings of the beef chili back into the stockpot and heat over medium heat until boiling or place 1 serving of chili into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

bowl of beef chili with Fritos and shredded cheese

5 from 7 reviews

Best Chili Recipe

The best chili recipe you’ll ever eat is right here! Our beef chili is made with ground beef, beans, diced tomatoes, and a homemade chili seasoning.

Prep: 15 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 45 minutes

Fat 14 Carbs 38 Protein 24

Yield 68 1x

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef (we used 85% fat)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth (chicken broth or water works too)

Optional toppings

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • Fritos
  • green onion

Instructions

  1. First, heat a large stockpot over medium/high heat.
  2. Then, add ground beef, yellow onion, and minced garlic and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until beef is fully browned.
  3. Next, add pinto beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and maple syrup to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. Add spices and 1 cup of broth and stir to combine.
  5. Bring beef chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Tips & Notes

Nutrition information is for 6 servings and does not include toppings.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/6 Calories: 367 Sugar: 11 Fat: 14 Carbohydrates: 38 Fiber: 11 Protein: 24

Author: Lee FunkeCategory: ChiliMethod: StovetopCuisine: American

Keywords: chili recipe

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