We don’t take it lightly when we call this the best chili recipe. We have made this chili recipe with our family for years. It’s the perfect hearty and full flavored classic chili recipe everyone loves.
Why is this the best chili recipe? I can’t tell you just yet, you have to keep reading and then be prepared to take this to your next chili cookoff – AND WIN! Or, if you don’t have time to read, hit that JUMP TO RECIPE button up top and print it out.
If you don’t have a few hours to dedicate to this chili recipe, you can also find the same recipe converted to a slow cooker chili.
The Best Chili Recipe
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can probably take it to any chili cookoff and win, or at least place in the top 3. I’m completely serious when I say this! It’s full of delicious mouthwatering flavor and it is something my family and I have made for years.
I have several bags of this prepped and ready in my freezer for those days when I am craving this delicious recipe but don’t have the time it takes to make it.
What Ingredients Go in Homemade Chili?
This is such a delicious recipe made with onion, peppers, oregano, beans, and tomato flavoring. It takes some time to make it, but it is worth every single second. Here are the ingredients I use for my homemade chili recipe.
Note: this recipe does call for tomato paste, which some people have a strong aversion to. If that’s you, you can substitute the tomato paste for a larger size of tomato sauce. We’ve done that for you in the recipe below.
- chopped onions
- bell pepper
- pinto beans
- kidney beans
- tomato paste
- tomato juice
- ground beef
What Spices go into Homemade Chili?
You can add or takeaway spices to make it your own, but I love to add these spices into my homemade chili recipe:
- cayenne pepper
- black pepper
- chili powder
- white sugar
Many people ask “why sugar?” Believe it or not, adding a little bit of sweetness to this recipe changes the flavors to perfection.
Classic Serving Options for Homemade Chili
One thing I love about chili is all of the ways that you can serve it. There are so many different ways to serve this homemade chili, but here are a few of my favorites:
- in a Frito pie
- with a hotdog and cheese
- over a burrito
- with crackers
- with homemade cornbread
The Secret to The Best Chili Recipe
I am going to share a secret with you. Remember I mentioned at the beginning of this post I would share what makes this the best chili recipe? Well, here it is.
Before we do ANYTHING else, we take the lean ground beef, make it into large hamburger shaped patties. We place those on a heated outdoor grill with mesquite wood chips and cook them thoroughly. The smokey mesquite flavor is what REALLY takes this chili to the next level.
Of course, you don’t have to do this extra step, but if you are looking to knock the socks off of anyone eating this chili, don’t skip this step.
How to Make the Best Homemade Chili Recipe
If you haven’t grilled the ground beef as we mentioned above, use your favorite skillet to get things started.
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.
Best Chili Recipe
How do I store homemade chili?
After serving, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, I would consider freezing any leftovers for use on a later date.
How do I freeze homemade chili?
When you are ready to freeze, I recommend using a freezer system such as this one. They are able to correctly seal your food without leaving any air pockets, which can hasten freezer burn and ruin your frozen foods.
What did you think about this recipe? Are you ready to try the best chili recipe ever? I can’t wait to hear all about it! Make sure you leave a comment or tag me with a photo if you are on Instagram (#pinkwhenjen and @pinkwhenjen).
If you loved this recipe for chili, you might also like these:
- slow cooker potato soup
- instant pot Hawaiian chicken
- stuffed chicken breast
- Louisiana style crawfish etouffee
- slow cooker pulled pork nachos
The Best Chili Recipe
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- Consider doubling or tripling the batch and freeze some for later.
- Substitute the tomato paste with a 15oz. can of tomato sauce if needed.