Beef Chili

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An easy recipe for delicious Beef Chili, just like mom used to make. Follow the recipe, or add your own special stuff for an award-winning bowl everyone will love.

Beef chili in a white bowl on a teal cutting board surrounded by shredded cheese.

When the weather starts to turn and the air is a little crisper, making a big pot of chili is a no-brainer. It’s great when you have a lot of mouths to feed or you want to send a hearty meal to a neighbor or friend.

This recipe cooks up quickly on the stove, in a little more than an hour, with very little hands-on time. Or, make it in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled beef chili ingredients in various bowls.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Bell peppers: Or add or substitute carrots, celery, corn, or zucchini.
  • Chipotle chili powder: Substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit if you don’t like spicy food.
  • Kidney beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 2 cans (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of kidney.
  • Canned tomatoes: I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, but you can substitute regular canned tomatoes and add 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies. Ro*tel tomatoes are good, too.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil in over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, thyme, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened, 7 to 10 minutes.
Chopped vegetables cooking in a black pot.
  1. Stir in the garlic, then add the beef. Break up the larger clumps with a wooden spoon. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Cooked ground beef and chopped vegetables in a black pot.
  1. Stir in kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer for 30 minutes longer.
Beef chili in a black pot.
  1. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with shredded cheese, scallions, and sour cream.
A bowl of venison chili.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 8 (1-cup) servings, about 2 quarts chili.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Cool within 2 hours, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days in advance. Reheat the full recipe on the stove over low heat to 165 degrees. Reheat small batches in the microwave.
  • Freezer: Cool cooked chili to below 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer within 2 hours and place into airtight containers. Frozen chili will last 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Instant Pot: Sauté the onions, peppers, spices, garlic, and beef in an Instant Pot until the beef is browned, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf and mix well. Cook on manual or high pressure for 10 minutes. Fast release the pressure when done.
  • Slow cooker: At the end of step 2, transfer the cooked beef mixture to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients as directed in step 3, cover and cook the chili on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  • More toppings: Cheese, sour cream, and scallions are classics. You can also try diced avocado, cooked bacon, fresh cilantro, minced onion, hot sauce, lime wedges, tortilla chips, corn chips, or oyster crackers.

Homemade Chili Seasoning

The best secret ingredient for chili is Homemade Chili Seasoning, a blend of herbs and spices that takes ordinary ground beef and beans to the next level. Skip the packet and the expensive little jar…

3 minutes
View Recipe

Bonus chili recipes

A bowl of beef chili.

Beef Chili

An easy recipe for delicious Beef Chili, just like mom used to make. Follow the recipe, or add your own special stuff for an award-winning bowl everyone will love.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 381

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil in over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, thyme, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up the clumps with a spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer for 30 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with shredded cheese, scallions, and sour cream.

Notes

  1. Bell peppers: Or add or substitute carrots, celery, corn, or zucchini.
  2. Chipotle chili powder: Substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit if you don’t like spicy food.
  3. Kidney beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 2 cans (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of kidney.
  4. Canned tomatoes: I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, but you can substitute regular canned tomatoes and add 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies. Ro*tel tomatoes are good, too.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 8 (1-cup) servings, about 2 quarts chili.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead: Cool within 2 hours, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days in advance. Reheat the full recipe on the stove over low heat to 165 degrees. Reheat small batches in the microwave.
  8. Freezer: Cool cooked chili to below 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer within 2 hours and place into airtight containers. Frozen chili will last 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  9. Instant Pot: Sauté the onions, peppers, spices, garlic, and beef in an Instant Pot until the beef is browned, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf and mix well. Cook on manual or high pressure for 10 minutes. Fast release the pressure when done.
  10. Slow cooker: At the end of step 2, transfer the cooked beef mixture to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients as directed in step 3, cover and cook the chili on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  11. More toppings: Cheese, sour cream, and scallions are classics. You can also try diced avocado, cooked bacon, fresh cilantro, minced onion, hot sauce, lime wedges, tortilla chips, corn chips, or oyster crackers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 22gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 218mgPotassium: 713mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2519IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 6mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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