Best Chili Recipe features all of the classic chili ingredients you know and love like ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and more. What really makes it the very best easy chili is the bouquet of bold seasonings in the mix!

chili recipe in a bowl

What is Classic Chili Made of?

This classic chili is made of the perfect mixture of chili beans, ground beef, ranch style beans with jalapeños, tomato sauce, onion, and beef broth as the main ingredients. We then add lots of seasonings like chili powder, garlic, chipotle powder, onion powder, cumin, and a few optional ingredients like hot sauce to spice it up!

Want to try something a little different? Check out my easy recipes for White Chicken Chili and Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chili

How to Make Chili on the Stove Top:

  • Mix together all of your seasonings in a small bowl if desired, optional but makes life easier.
  • You will start by browning your ground beef along with the onions and half of your seasonings in a large dutch oven or soup pot until no longer pink.  Drain any grease from the pan.
  • Return the beef to the pan and add in the minced garlic and cook stirring frequently for just 1-2 minutes.
  • Now, everything else goes in from the undrained beans to the remaining seasoning! Let the pot boil, then cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes giving it a stir occasionally so that nothing sticks.
photo collage how to make chili

Can I Make This Recipe in the Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can! It’s actually my preferred way because all of the flavors simmer on low for 6-8 hours and it’s so good! Just brown the beef, onions, and garlic as usual then dump everything into the crockpot, stir and let it cook.

chili in crockpot

Storing Leftovers

In an airtight container in the fridge, you can store chili for up to 4 days. Reheat for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring each time it stops, until warmed all the way through. 

You can also freeze it to make it even further in advance! Make sure it’s totally cooled to room temperature before transferring the chili to an airtight freezer safe container. You can also pour it into a zip-top bag and lay it flat on a baking sheet before popping it in the freezer for even easier storage. Properly stored, it will freeze well for about 3 months. Let it slowly thaw in the fridge prior to reheating. 

Ingredient and Recipe Notes

  • Ground Beef: I like to use lean ground beef because it creates less fat when cooked. However, you can use any other type of ground beef you prefer. 
  • Beans: You’ll need both chili beans and ranch style beans. Both of these types of beans can be found in your local grocery store. However, if you can’t find ranch style beans, I recommend using the chili beans as well as drained and rinsed black beans.
  • Seasonings: For the boldest, best chili, use a savory mix of chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin and cinnamon. The cinnamon (just a pinch) warms things up without making it taste like cinnamon. 
  • Hot Sauce: Optional but highly recommended! You can use any brand like Frank’s, Tobasco, Cholula, etc. Cholula classic is my fave because it adds flavor but isn’t super spicy!
chili in a white bowl with crackers and cheese

Enjoy!

~Nichole

5 from 11 votes

Best Easy Chili Recipe

Best Chili Recipe features all of the classic chili ingredients you know and love like ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and more. What really makes it the very best easy chili is the bouquet of bold seasonings in the mix!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 15 Ounce Cans Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Cans Chili Beans Undrained
  • 1 Can Ranch Style Beans Undrained
  • 1/2 Cup Beef Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce SEE NOTES
  • 1 Tablespoon Jarred Jalapeno Juice OPTIONAL SEE NOTE
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pinch Ground Cinnamon

Instructions 

STOVE TOP VERSION

  • Brown the ground beef and onions in a large deep pot or dutch oven until the beef is browned and the onions are soft, drain off any fat if necessary.
  • Add in the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes.
  • Add in all of the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  • Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low to medium-low (simmering) and cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

SLOW COOKER VERSION

  • Follow steps 1-2 above for cooking the beef.
  • Add the cooked beef and onion mixture along with all of the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir well and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Video

Notes

NOTE ON BEANS:  See the photo below the recipe card to see the type of chili and ranch style beans I use.
NOTE ON JALAPENO JUICE AND HOT SAUCE:  I use mild pickled jalapeno juice and Cholula hot sauce.  If you like it spicier you can use a spicier hot sauce and full heat pickled jalapeno juice.  I love these ingredients because they don’t make it too spicy just add flavor, but you can leave them out if you are sensitive to heat.
NOTE ON COOKING METHOD:  This chili is great made on the stove top but does have even more flavor cooked in the crockpot because it simmers for so long!  If doing on the stovetop I recommend simmering at least 30 minutes, but really up to an hour (stirring every once in a while) is best for flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5Cups, Calories: 230kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!

Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Touchdown!!! Great mixture of ingredients that blended wonderfully. I added another can of Ranch Beans. This really had the flavors jumping. Wow good!

  2. Wondering if you could advise as to what I would do differently if I didn’t want the beans. We are a no-bean family. Is it as simple as omitting them?

    1. Hi, yes you can leave them out however they do add volume to the recipe. So, you might consider adding in some chopped bell peppers, sliced mushrooms or even some cooked rice towards the end. If leaving them out and not adding any of the extras I mentioned, I would cut down on the liquid by a cup or two so it won’t be soupy. Hope that helps

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for the first time the other day and my family absolutely loved it! My son, who is highly picky, told me to make sure I never forget this recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I use a hybrid of the instant pot chili recipe and crock pot recipe and it comes out great. I have never been a chili person but I’m sold on this recipe, and leftovers are looked forward to. hank you!

  5. 5 stars
    OMG! This is the BEST Instant Pot chili!

    I followed the recipe exactly. We had chili leftover and it was just as good then as it was the first night. It did thicken slightly…

    Will definitely be making this again.

    Thank you!

    1. Oops! I see I posted my review for the Best Ever Instant Pot Chili in the comment section of the regular chil recipe. Sorry about that! Anyway, I’m sure this one is just as good as the Instant Pot version.