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Our Favorite Easy Chili Recipe

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Your fall and winter nights NEED this easy chili recipe! Made with my secret soup and chili ingredient, this is the best chili recipe if you’re going after a classic version. It’s even won chili cook-offs!

★★★★★ “My husband took this to a chili cook-off at work and WON!!!! Thank you!” – Tessa

There is a lot to love about this award-winning chili recipe. It’s easy to make BIG batches of it. It’s full of nutritious ingredients like protein, beans, and vegetables. It’s endlessly customizable. And then everyone can top their own bowls to make their perfect chili. If you’ve got leftovers, be sure to use them for super simple chili cheese dip, it’s always the first to go at parties!

Is there anything better than chili come the colder fall and winter months? I know I’m on a little bit of a chili kick, after my recent slow cooker turkey chili nachos, and my popular slow cooker turkey quinoa chili recipe.

bowl of easy chili recipe
Photo Credit: My Everyday Table.
[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”yhpmjooE” upload-date=”2020-12-01T20:17:32.000Z” name=”01 – Healthy Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe” description=”This easy minestrone soup recipe will prove that soups don’t have to simmer for hours to taste good! This vegetarian and vegan minestrone soup is loaded with fresh produce, a rich broth, and plenty of beans. It’s filling, healthy, and delicious! ” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Best Chili Recipe Vido

What You’ll Love About this Healthy Chili Recipe

  • Delicious classic flavor
  • Nutritious and delicious
  • Hearty and satisfying meal
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • So many ways to customize it

Ingredients

  • Onion – Use a white or yellow onion. Reserve a bit for topping if you want to have some raw onions sprinkled on your chili.
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic for the best flavor or frozen garlic cubes for a convenient shortcut.
  • Beans – The recipe calls for both black beans and kidney beans, but you can use whatever variety you prefer! Pinto beans, chili beans, or all black beans will all work.
  • Ground beef – You can make chili with any ground meat or a combination of ground meats. I’ve done turkey, pork, and ground beef…they all work well! Ground beef and ground pork are fantastic together in chili.
  • Seasonings – Sea salt, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper
  • Marinara sauce – My soup and chili secret ingredient! The marinara sauce adds major depth in flavor without requiring any extra cooking time, ingredients, or general fussiness.
  • Diced tomatoes – Add fire-roasted diced tomatoes for best flavor and a subtle smokiness.
  • Broth – I recommend using bone broth. You can use chicken or bone broth. Either will add rich flavor to the classic chili recipe and a little extra protein, too!
  • Toppings – I have a list of toppings below, but I always love some cheese, sour cream, and sliced jalapeños or hot sauce for a little heat.
Bowls of easy chili recipe

How to Make Chili

This is an overview on how to make chili, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Prep ingredients. Chop onion and garlic. Drain and rinse beans.
Brown onions and ground beef. Heat dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat and cook onions until soft. Add garlic and ground beef to onions, breaking up with a back of a spoon. Sprinkle ground beef with seasonings and cook until meat is cooked through.
Simmer simple chili recipe. Add marinara, diced tomatoes, beans, and broth to ground beef mixture. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or longer. Season with salt to taste and serve with plenty of fresh toppings.
bowls of beef chili with toppings

Topping Ideas for Easy Homemade Chili

Chili toppings are definitely part of the appeal of chili, don’t you agree? I love a combo of creamy, crunchy, and cool.

Here are some easy chili topping ideas:

  • Diced avocado
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped onion (white onion, red onion, or green onion)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • Frozen (but thawed) corn
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers or salsa
  • Tortilla chips, corn chips, or cornbread

FAQs

Is chili a soup?

Chili is usually considered a stew as it has less broth and liquid than soups do.

Does chili have beans?

This is a hot debate and really comes down to personal preference. Some of us can’t imagine a chili recipe with beans and some of us can’t imagine a chili recipe without them. While I tend to love the addition of beans, this chili con carne is bean-free and incredible.

How to make chili seasoning?

Many chili recipes call for chili seasoning, but I’ve made up my own for this particular recipe, as it’s made with really basic ingredients that you probably already have. You can also easily customize the seasonings depending on your preferences. Like your homemade chili spicy? Add some more cayenne, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce. Prefer a hint of cinnamon? Add it! Like it smokey? Add some canned chipotle peppers in adobo.

What do do with leftover chili?

Leftover beef chili recipes are a fantastic lunch or dinner simply reheated, but if you would like to turn it into something different, try it on chili dip, layered into tortillas with cheese for chili quesadillas, or spread over tortilla chips and topped with cheese for a hearty pan of nachos.

Why is there marinara sauce in your recipe for chili?

I love using marinara sauce in my soups and chilis! It all started with this easy minestrone soup and now I’m hooked. It gives soups and this easy homemade chili a really rich flavor, so much more than regular diced tomatoes.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

How to reheat

Reheat chili on the stovetop or in the microwave, whatever you prefer.

Can you freeze chili?

Yes, you can also freeze chili! Freeze portions into souper cubes (don’t forget to label!) and store in a freezer bag or container for 2-3 months.

bowls of easy chili with toppings
Photo Credit: My Everyday Table.

What to Serve with Chili

Chili is often enough on its own, but here are a few ideas if you want to add something or if you want to stretch it further:

How to Feed Chili to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the easy chili in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

Soups and chilis can be harder for kids to enjoy as all of the components are mixed together, so be patient, it can take years and years for them to come around. This fall was the first time I remember BOTH kids enjoying it (besides when they were tiny and would eat anything!) and they are 6 and 8.

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More Chili Recipes

If you like this homemade chili recipe, you might also like some of these other chili recipes:

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bowls of easy chili with toppings

Classic Easy Chili Recipe

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Description

You’ll love this easy chili recipe that’s delicious, nutritious, and award-winning! It tastes like it’s been simmered for hours, but it’s ready in 30 min.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 15.5 oz. can black beans
  • 15.5 oz. can kidney beans
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/41/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 26 oz. jar garlic marinara
  • 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, chopped onion

Instructions

  1. Prep ingredients:
    Chop onion. Reserve a bit for topping if you want to have some raw onions sprinkled on your chili.
    Mince garlic.
    Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Heat oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onions, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and garlic to pot and break up beef a bit with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle seasonings over ground beef, stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add marinara, tomatoes (don’t drain), beans, and broth to beef. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for at least 15 minutes or longer.
  5. Season with salt to taste and serve with plenty of toppings.

Notes

  • Instead of seasonings, you can use 1 1/2-2 Tbsp. of chili powder. Add salt to taste.
  • Be sure that your marinara sauce is a plainer version, and not one with Italian flavors.
  • Bone broth helps add a really deep and rich flavor, use it if you can!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup

Keywords: chili recipe, best chili recipe, easy chili recipe

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Reader Interactions

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Comments

  1. Lenora

    It’s super easy and I used ground pork because I can’t eat beef. Added a few different spices too. It was great!
    Thanks for your recipe!






  2. Lisa

    We had this for Super Bowl Sunday. Even my husband that doesn’t like beans absolutely loved it! I found that this is my favorite Chili, perfect taste and not to hot but can make the spice to your liking.






  3. Kristin

    Delicious! I changed it only slightly as I had 1lb of Italian sausage and 1 lb of beef on hand. I added two finely chopped jalapeños as my husband and I like spicy dishes! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂






  4. AJ

    I am anxious to try this chili recipe using marinara but I have not been able to find any brand of marinara in the * 26 ounce * size listed in the recipe. Please advise on the one that you use. Thank you in advance!

  5. Andrea Barnes

    Excellent????. Wonderful and delicious chili recipe????. It came together in a timely manner and it was a ‘no fuss’ meal. Thanks and God bless you and your loved ones ????????????. Take care.






Trackbacks

  1. […] Chili is the perfect one pot meal for cool evenings, and this award winning chili recipe is one you are sure to love! Everything you need for a complete meal is already here in this one pot dish that includes meat, beans, and veggies! Don’t forget your favorite chili toppings too! Get the recipe: Easy Homemade Chili […]

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