posted October 25, 2023
Easy Homemade Chili
Whether you’re looking for a rich and hearty winter meal, or a little spice for those summertime hotdogs, you can’’t go wrong with my Easy Homemade Chili recipe. Add some of my favorite chili toppings and you’re in for a cheesy, meaty, delicious treat that can’t be beat.
Chili is the ultimate comfort food, and it’s somehow even better when you make it yourself at home. It may seem challenging, but it’s actually super simple. With just a few ingredients and the right spices, you’ll master my simple recipe for chili in no time.
One of my favorite things about making my own chili is it gives me total control over what I’ll be eating. I use red bell peppers and a jalapeño in this recipe, but you can change things up to suit your own taste once you have the basics down. You can adjust the heat levels, the spices add, and even beans you use.
Does chili have beans?
Speaking of beans… chili beans might be one of the hottest debated topics in the history of food. It really depends on who you ask, and where you ask them. In Texas, for example, it’s borderline sacrilegious to put beans in chili. Some competition chili cooks avoid beans as well. That’s because beans can have a strong flavor and affect judging. However, you can find plenty of longstanding traditional chili recipes throughout the country featuring beans.
You also want to consider the rest of your menu. If you’re doing a larger BBQ, there’s a good chance you might have beans as a separate side. In that case, maybe Texas style is the way to go. Bottom line, making and eating food should be an enjoyable experience, so do what you like.
Tips for Making Chili at Home
Brown. Make sure you brown your ground beef before adding the rest of your ingredients. Yes, it’s going to cook for quite a while, but you’re going to get a chunkier texture by browning it first.
Beans. Be sure to drain and wash your beans before adding them to your chili mix.
Thicken. Nobody likes a runny chili. I find that 25-30 minutes of simmering is usually plenty. But if you want it thicker, give it 2-3 extra minutes at a time until you get to your desired thickness. Remember you’re going to be adding things like cheese, so it will thicken up on its own when toppings come into play.
Customize. I use sour cream, green onions, and shredded cheddar to top this chili off, but feel free to get creative with it. You can adjust heat level, thickness, and toppings. This chili is going to go great with whatever you add, so have fun with it.
How to Make Chili
- Brown your beef. Preheat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces. Let the ground beef brown on one side for about 4-5 minutes before stirring with a wooden spatula, scraping up bits of the browned beef.
- Add onion and peppers. Remove the seeds and stems from your peppers, and dice along with your onions. Cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant. Once you get comfortable with the base recipe, feel free to add or take away the amount of pepper to suit your preferences.
- Add garlic. Mince the garlic. I like to use a microplane, but you can use a garlic press or whatever you have available. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add wet ingredients. Pour the beef stock into the pan, using the flat edge of your wooden spatula to scrape and lift the browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the stock. Stir in the kidney beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes.
- Add dry ingredients. Add in brown sugar and my Fiesta Rub. You can purchase it here or follow my recipe. The Fiesta Rub is going to be very fragrant when you first add it. Don’t panic though, you didn’t add too much. It’s going to blend in as you cook and give your chili a nice, hearty finish in the end.
- Let it simmer. Place a lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer. You want to do this for 25-30 minutes to let it reduce and thicken up a bit. You don’t have to do much during this part, but make sure you stir it every 4-5 minutes to prevent burning.
- Serve. Top chili with your favorite mix-ins and serve.
What to Serve with Chili
One great thing about chili is its versatility. You can add toppings to your chili, like cheese and sour cream. Your chili can be a topping on things like hotdogs or baked potatoes. You could eat this chili with a shoe and it would probably still taste amazing, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re looking for side to accompany your chili, my Skillet Cornbread makes for a knockout combo.
More Chili Recipes
Now that you know how easy chili can be to make, check out some more of my favorites:
Easy Homemade Chili Recipe
Easy Homemade Chili
- 2 pounds 85/15 ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 15.5 ounce cans red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Fiesta Rub
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- sour cream
- shredded cheddar
- green onions (diced)
- Brown your beef. Preheat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces. Cook 4-5 minutes until all ground beef is browned.2 pounds 85/15 ground beef, 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Add onion peppers. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant.1 yellow onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 jalapeño pepper
- Add garlic. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.4 cloves garlic
- Add wet ingredients. Pour the beef stock into the pan. Be sure to scrape the bottom of pan with the flat edge of your wooden spatula to catch any beef that might be stuck. Stir in the kidney beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes.4 cups beef stock, 2 15.5 ounce cans red kidney beans, 1 6 ounce can tomato paste, 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- Add dry ingredients. Add in the Fiesta Rub and brown sugar.1/4 cup Fiesta Rub, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- Let it simmer. Place a lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes to prevent burning.
- Serve. Top chili with your favorite mix-ins, serve and enjoy.sour cream, shredded cheddar, green onions
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