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How to Make the Best Chili

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How to Make the Best Chili

This is the best mouthwatering, homemade chili recipe, and we’ve made it for years! 

the best chili recipe topped with sour cream and green onion.

This hearty homemade chili recipe is made with onions, bell pepper, ground beef, tomato sauce, and more. It’s the best chili recipe I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to share all of the yummy goodness with you. We love to make this recipe and triple it for freezer meals, and it’s the perfect meal for prepping. You can find our version for Instant Pot Chili here.

If you’re looking for a delicious chili that’s healthy and packed full of protein, check out this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili or this Instant Pot Turkey Chili.

The best chili recipe topped with sour cream and onions.

Homemade Chili is good on those cold days, on those lazy days, and during the football season on those game day chili dogs. It’s our “go to” recipe when we are looking to enjoy a good, hearty meal, and just chill out. If you don’t have a couple of hours to dedicate to this homemade chili, you can try this same recipe as a slow cooker chiliOr better yet, prepare this recipe in bulk and freeze it for later for meal planning purposes.

Chili topped with sour cream, avocado, and fresh parsley.

This is such a delicious recipe with onion, peppers, beans, seasonings, and tomato flavoring. It will warm you up from the inside out and leave you satisfied and full. My friends and family love it when we make this chili because it really is the best chili recipe. Most of the time they will leave with a bag to take home for their freezer.

What Ingredients Do I Need for the Best Chili Recipe?

You will need to have a few ingredients on hand. Make sure you head down to the bottom of this post to print out the full recipe card with all of our notes to make this the best chili you’ve ever had.

What you will need on hand:

  • chopped onions
  • bell pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • white sugar
  • oregano
  • black pepper
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • tomato paste
  • water
  • pinto beans
  • kidney beans
  • tomato juice
  • ground beef

How to Make the Best Homemade Chili

Step 1:  Brown the lean ground beef in a deep skillet. Cook over medium heat until cooked all the way through, and then drain.

  • TIP: We love to take the ground beef and make large hamburger-like patties. We will smoke them on the grill until fully cooked and then crumble on a cutting board. Add this smoked beef to the chili. It creates a delicious smokey flavor that is mouthwateringly delicious!

Step 2: In a large pan over high heat add in all of your additional ingredients: cooked ground beef, tomato juice, kidney beans, pinto beans, water, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, oregano, sugar, cayenne pepper, bell pepper, and chopped onions. Bring to a boil.

Step 3:  Once your large pot of chili has started to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours uncovered.

Step 4: Serve.

Chili with a spoon in a white bowl.

How Do I Serve Homemade Chili?

What I love the most about a homemade chili is that I can change up the flavors so many different ways and serve it in different ways as well. Here are a few of the ways our family prefers to serve chili.

  • Serve in a bowl shredded cheese with cornbread
  • Over crushed Fritos and topped with sour cream and cheese
  • Smothering a hot dog to make a chili dog, then covering with cheese
  • In a bread bowl and topped with cheese

There are so many ways to serve chili. If you have another favorite way to serve homemade chili I haven’t listed above, leave a comment below so I can check it out! I love to update my posts frequently and if it fits, I will add it to the notes section of the recipe card below.

What Seasonings Do I Need to Make Homemade Chili?

The seasonings are also where you can make your homemade chili stand out from “just ok” to the level of winning a chili contest. Here are the seasonings we use with our chili recipe.

  • cayenne pepper
  • white sugar
  • oregano
  • black pepper
  • cumin
  • chili powder

If you make and love this chili as much as we do, consider making this homemade chili seasoning in bulk to save time for future meals. You can store the seasonings in an airtight container for up to a year.

Chili Recipe Substitutions

You can change things up with this chili and still have one heck of a recipe. Here are a few of our favorite meat substitutions. As always, leave a comment below if you have a different idea that we might add to this recipe.

  • venison
  • ground turkey
  • ground chicken

You could even choose to go meatless with this recipe if that’s what you prefer.

HOW DO YOU MAKE CHILI FLAVORFUL?

If you have the time, I one-thousand percent recommend you cook the ground beef over a grill with mesquite chips. We’ve made this chili numerous times, and when my husband smokes the meat over the grill, it changes the flavors up from great to AMAZING. 

To smoke the meat over the grill, he will make the beef into large patties, like you would for hamburgers. Once the beef is cooked, crumble it into the chili mixture. Leave me a comment below if you add this extra step and what you think about the different flavors.

How Do I Store Chili?

This chili is definitely not for those who are looking for a quick recipe, so consider making more of it. When you tackle this chili I recommend doubling the batch. We love to double and triple this recipe and freeze it in the fall so that we have quick access to it in the winter. Here is how we store our chili:

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I hope you enjoy this chili recipe as much as we do. It’s one of our favorites and one we make several times a year. If you love this recipe, give it a rating and leave me a comment. Once you make it, it will be your new favorite chili recipe.

chili in a storage container for freezing with labels.

You might also like:

  • Instant Pot Chili
  • Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
  • Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili Recipe
  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Chicken Chili

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Have you made this? Rate our recipe below! Print the recipe, rate it, and learn more about PinkWhen!

The Best Chili Recipe

This is the best mouthwatering, homemade chili recipe, and we’ve made it for years! 

Course dinner

Cuisine American

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 2 hours

Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Servings 8

Calories 174kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp group black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste Can be subbed with a 15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 150z can pinto beans
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 46 oz can tomato juice
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef

Instructions

  • Step 1: Brown the lean ground beef in a deep skillet. Cook over medium heat until cooked all the way through, and then drain.

  • Step 2: In a large pan over high heat add in all of your additional ingredients: cooked ground beef, tomato juice, kidney beans, pinto beans, water, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, oregano, sugar, cayenne pepper, bell pepper, and chopped onions. Bring to a boil.

  • Step 3: Once your large pot of chili has started to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours uncovered.

Notes

  1. The secret to making this the BEST is by grilling the meat with mesquite wood chips before adding it to the recipe. Don’t skip this step if at all possible! 
  2. Consider doubling or tripling the batch and freeze some for later. 
  3. Substitute the tomato paste with a 15oz. can of tomato sauce if needed.  

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 462mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 8.2mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 3.2mg

**Nutrition facts are based on my best estimation for this recipe. They may not be accurate depending on what brands you use or modifications you might make to the recipe. For most accurate calculations, I recommend using a nutrition calculator with the exact brands and measurements you use with the recipe.

Did you make this recipe? Or planning to?Share a photo, mention @pinkwhenjen, and tag #pinkwhen on Instagram and in your Instagram Story. Don’t forget to RATE this recipe once you’ve made it!!

The Best Chili Recipe - full of meat and beans and yummy deliciousness!

Make sure to print out the recipe card above and make it over the winter; you will be pleasantly surprised at the friendly nature and with just the right amount of “kick.” Double the recipe and make sure to freeze some for a rainy day. It is the best chili recipe. Sometimes I use this same recipe as my slow cooker chili recipe and freeze bags of it to place in the slow cooker. No matter how you do it, it turns out amazing!

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