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The Best Classic Chili Recipe

How do you make good homemade chili?

Start with the best classic chili recipe, add some flavorful seasonings, some of your favorite chili toppings, and you’ve got the perfect family favorite dish.

Easy Chili Recipe

Homemade easy chili in a green bowl.

This is a quick easy chili recipe that will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. 

Perfect For Making Ahead Of Time

I am notorious for not planning meals ahead of time. I do my best to plan things out, but it doesn’t always happen.

So, the other night, I knew my husband would be home from work soon, and I didn’t have anything prepared.

I decided to have a look around the kitchen and came up with enough ingredients to make a homemade chili recipe.

Thankfully, I had some ground beef thawed out in the fridge, and enough cans of chili ingredients to make it happen.

What You’ll Need To Make Classic Chili – The Best Homemade Chili Ingredient Checklist

The beef chili recipe is made with classic chili ingredients and can be made in a variety of ways.

  • Ground beef
  • Can of chili beans in chili sauce
  • Can of tomato paste
  • Water
  • Italian seasonings
  • Can of diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Onion (diced)
  • Grape tomatoes (diced)
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Full recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card. And it’s printable.

How To Make The Best Chili Recipe

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the tomato paste, water, seasonings, salt, and pepper and set aside.
  2. Brown the ground beef and drain the grease.
  3. Add the onion and grape tomatoes to the pan.
  4. Next, add the chili beans, tomato mixture, and minced garlic to the meat pan and stir.
  5. Simmer on low for one hour and serve.

Price Of The Meal

The recipe only costs about $10 to make.

I didn’t want to dirty too many dishes, so I decided to brown the beef in the bottom of a large pot since I would already be using it to simmer everything as I completed the homemade chili recipe.

I had two pounds of meat, but you really don’t need any more than one pound.

I’m feeding two teenagers, and they can eat a lot.

I cut up some grape tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, that I had bought to make a salad (and never did), and threw those into the pot.

Shopping at Aldi’s is great because you can buy more than one onion at a time and they have great prices.

I usually end up with more onion than I know what to do with, so this was a good way to use some of the extra onion.

Step-By-Step Instructions For The Best Beef Chili

Ground beef, tomatoes, and onions in a saucepan.

Start by browning the ground beef and add the tomatoes and onions on medium heat.

I always keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge, as well.

I don’t have to take the time to cut up the garlic, and it stays fresh for a long time. It’s also pretty inexpensive at Aldi’s (love that place).

This recipe can also be made with lean ground beef or ground turkey if you’re wanting a lower fat version.

Ground beef, sauce, beans, and onions in a saucepan.

Add the garlic, tomato paste mixture (see recipe), diced tomatoes and chilies, and beans.

I usually put tomato sauce in my chili but didn’t have any in the cabinet. So, I used some tomato paste, added some water, Italian seasonings, and called it good.

I did have a can of chili beans, and diced tomatoes and chilies, so that came in handy, as well.

It was shaping up to be a great pot of chili for dinner!

You can also add some diced green bell pepper or red bell pepper to the pot if you’d like.

Simmering chili in a saucepan.

Mix everything together and let it simmer in a covered pot for one hour on low heat.

I let it simmer on low for about an hour before dishing it up. The hubs loved it and the kids ate it up and it’s such a simple recipe.

We had plenty left over, so I was able to freeze some for another night when I don’t plan well or time is cut short for making dinner.

The beauty of this homemade ground beef chili is that you don’t have to have the exact ingredients.

You can substitute ground beef with turkey, or add more beans, and more water, or maybe even less garlic. It’s totally up to you. 

What kind of chili is your favorite? Let me know in the comments. 

Have you ever tried chili with a side of bread and peanut butter? My husband loves bread with peanut butter on the side. Try it next time! 


How To Store The The Best Classic Chili Recipe

Store the chili in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to reheat it, place some into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for several minutes, depending on the amount you are heating up.

Favorite Toppings

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Green chilis
  • Tortilla chips
  • Limes
  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeños
  • Green peppers
  • Ground red pepper
  • Sliced green onions
  • Add the chili to bread bowls

Can The Chili Be Made Other Ways?

Yes, you can make the chili in a large Dutch oven or in the Crock Pot.

In both cases, you will need to cook the ground beef first, drain the grease, and add to the Dutch oven or Crock Pot. Then, add the other ingredients.

Slow cooker recipe cook time: Four hours on low.

Dutch oven recipe cook time: cook on low heat on the stovetop for one hour.

Cooking Classy has a great recipe for white chicken chili if you want to try something different next time.

Can I Use Different Types of Beans?

Yes, you can use red kidney beans (light or dark), chili beans, navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, or even green beans.

Can I Use Regular Ground Beef For Chili?

Yes, you can use regular ground beef for chili. You can also use ground turkey, ground chicken, or lean ground beef.

Easy Homemade Thick Chili Recipe

Homemade easy chili in a green bowl.

What To Serve With Chili – Favorite Recipes

All of the recipes are very easy recipes and can be prepped in a short time. They are the perfect addition to game day, family gatherings, or potlucks.

The Best Classic Chili Recipe

Be sure to print out the best classic chili recipe below. It’s easy to make and full of flavors.

You can make the recipe ahead of time and warm it up when you’re ready to eat.

Homemade Chili recipe from scratch

Homemade Ground Beef Chili

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

If you’re looking for a good homemade chili recipe from scratch, you’ve come to the right place. This is a quick easy chili recipe that will satisfy the heartiest of appetites.


  • 1 to 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1-16 ounces can chili beans in chili sauce
  • 1-6 ounces can tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasonings
  • 1-10 ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix tomato paste, two cups of water, Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Brown meat in a large saucepan and drain grease.
  3. Add chili beans, tomato paste mixture, can of diced tomatoes and chilies, grape tomatoes, onions, and minced garlic to the saucepan, and stir until blended.
  4. Turn down burner to low and simmer for about one hour.
  5. Serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 856mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 35g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

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