Say hello to the best beef chili, ever! This hearty + cozy chili is rich in flavor, insanely delicious, and so easy to make. Pair it alongside all of the toppings you love and also enjoy the leftovers as this chili gets even better as it sits!

beef chili in large purple pot with silver ladle

Ahhh I’m so excited to have revisited this delicious blast from the past, y’all. Listen, my beef chili recipe is seriously one of my most favorite recipes on this site! I originally shared this recipe way back in 2019 and decided it was long overdue for a much needed glow-up. Yuh, my chili recipe has been revived with fresh newness. It’s very much giving Beyoncé upgrade-you-vibes, ha!

The Best Beef Chili, Period

So, I know chili is serious business. You can’t deliver a half-good chili recipe, nah. I’m confident that you’ll find this beef chili recipe to be one of the best out there. I like to think that it’s definitely winning someone’s county fair ribbon lol. You’ll find that this chili is so flavorful and loaded with goods. This one is perfectly spiced with a variety of umami taste in every single bite!

beef chili in small bowls with chopped avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheese on top

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • olive oil– feel free to use avocado oil or grapeseed oil as alternate.
  • onion– just one, finely chopped.
  • bell peppers– use whatever colors you’d like!
  • ground beef– lean ground beef is my favorite but you can honestly use whatever kind of ground beef you want- ground chuck, ground sirloin, etc.
  • tomato paste– imparts big, bold tomato-flavored goodness.
  • garlic– 4 cloves, minced, for lotsa garlicky notes.
  • spices– chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, brown sugar (cuts through the acidity), garlic powder, chipotle powder, salt, and pepper.
  • green chiles– one can of mild green chiles, a must!
  • fire-roasted tomatoes– because what is chili without tomatoes, duh.
  • beef broth– use regular or low-sodium beef broth as you wish.
  • red kidney beans– helps to make this chili so filling.

⇢ Such simple ingredients here, folks. It’s super straightforward and totally uncomplicated aka the best. Some have deep feelings about beans being in chili and some love it. I will say that when it comes to chili, in my opinion, beans make it all the better. Those beans give this chili an extra heartiness and filling nature. In addition, beans add a bite and contrast to the other ingredients.

& if you’re looking for more delicious recipes: take a peek at other comforting classics like my roasted butternut squash soup, collard greens soup with beans and ham, and this sweet potato soup… a soup-er trifecta 😉

black hand holding a small bowl filled of beef chili

How To Make Beef Chili

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

A classic + cozy ONE-POT dish that is almost too easy to make, peeps! ♡

  1. Sauté the veggies. Heat up the oil and sauté the onion and bell peppers.
  2. Add in the beef. Use a wooden utensil to break up the ground beef and let cook until browned completely.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste + spices. Add these in and cook until fragrant.
  4. Toss in the green chiles, tomatoes, and broth. Then bring to a light boil.
  5. Add in the beans. Reduce the heat and let everything simmer together.
  6. Serve! Ladle your beef chili into bowls, top with whatever, and enjoy!

Why We Love This Recipe 😍

  • SIMPLY DELICIOUS: This beef chili recipe is flavor-filled to the max! A variety of bomb spices, a light kick of heat, tender veggies, chock full of beef, and more! It’s definitely a recipe that hits the soul different mhmm.
  • EASY AS CAN BE: Everything comes together so quickly and with ease. You’ll have incredible homemade beef chili that you can enjoy in under 1 hour.
  • HELLO LEFTOVERS: Chili is one of the best recipes to enjoy day after day (meal prep!). In fact, chili leftovers are even better the next day once the flavors deepen after sitting and develop even further >> #teamleftovers
beef chili in large purple pot with silver ladle on the side

What To Serve With Beef Chili

This here is my most favorite part about chili…the toppings, omg! 😋

Serve this beef chili with whatever your stomach desires, friends. Whenever I make this recipe, I always set out a little chili bar filled with all kinds of chili pairings and accoutrements for extra fun! Delicious toppings like cornbread, corn chips, chopped avocado, sliced jalapeños, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, crispy tortilla chips, sour cream (or greek yogurt), tater tots, biscuits, pepperoncini, lime wedges, fresh salsa, and more! And a more personal fave that we always serve with chili is my loaded olive cheese bread, whew.

Best Beans For Chili

I’m a big fan of red kidney beans in my beef chili. However, you can also use black beans if you prefer. Other great bean alternatives include pinto, navy, and even chickpeas, too. Also, make chili with a combination of beans!

Beef Chili Customizations And More

  • More meaty flavor: Bacon is one of the top add-ons I recommend for chili. It adds an even more robust flavor. Fry up a couple strips of bacon, chopped, before sautéing the onion + bell peppers. Then use that rendered bacon fat to sauté them in- in lieu of the olive oil- flavor on flavor, y’all.
  • Spiciness? Everyone’s heat tolerance is subjective. This recipe packs a very subtle punch of heat with the chipotle powder. You can always omit it entirely if you’re sensitive to heat. Otherwise, if you like dat spice, a couple dashes of hot sauce in this beef chili is beautiful as well!
  • Add cocoa powder: Believe it or not, unsweetened cocoa powder adds a nice richness and depth to chili. It enhances the overall flavor without leaving a “chocolatey” taste. About 1-2 teaspoons will do the trick!
  • Vegan “beef” chili: My plant-based bbs can also get in on the fun with a few swaps. Use your favorite vegan beef crumbles or cooked tofu crumbles! And use vegetable broth in place of beef broth. Top with plant-based shredded cheese or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, too!
  • Add more veggies: Chili is the perfect recipe to go crazy with adding more wholesome veggies in. Go wild with tossing in some corn, sautéed zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, green beans, and chopped sweet potato.
three bowls filled with the best beef chili with toppings on top of chili

Can I Substitute The Beef?

Ugh, if you really need to! Ha. All jokes aside, go ahead and swap the ground beef in this recipe with ground chicken or ground turkey– they’re both great!

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Wanna make this chili in your slow cooker? That can happen! Follow the directions to sauté the onions + bell peppers and brown the beef completely on the stove (if your slow cooker does not have a sauté function). If it does, then do this in your slow cooker vessel. Afterwards, dump everything into the crockpot; mix to combine, and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

Instant Pot Beef Chili

The same can be done in your pressure cooker! Set the instant pot to the sauté function and add in the oil, then cook the onion + bell peppers. Add in the beef and brown completely. Lastly, add in everything else and mix to combine. Set the pot to the pressure cook/seal setting and secure the lid and cook for 20 minutes. After cooking, allow the pressure to naturally release/vent.

speckled bowl filled with beef chili and silver spoon

Hope y’all enjoy my beef chili recipe and have a chance to dig in to this deliciousness! Can’t wait to see your chili recreations! ♡

This post was originally published in 03/2019 and updated as of 10/2021.

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beef chili in large purple pot with silver ladle on the side

The Best Beef Chili

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 35m
  • Total Time: 45m
  • Yield: 810 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Say hello to the best beef chili, ever! This hearty + cozy chili is rich in flavor, insanely delicious, and so easy to make. Pair it alongside all of the toppings you love and also enjoy the leftovers as this chili gets even better as it sits!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mild green chiles
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes 
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

beef chili toppingsoptional

  • chopped avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream/plain greek yogurt, corn chips, tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, and sliced jalapeños.

Instructions

  1. In  a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add in the chopped onion and bell peppers. Stir together for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture is tender.
  2. Add in the ground beef and use a wooden utensil to break up the meat into pieces. Brown the meat, stirring every so often, about 6-7 minutes or until the beef is browned completely.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, chipotle powder, and salt/pepper (to taste). Give everything a good stir to fully combine and let cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add in green chiles, diced tomatoes, and broth. Stir to combine all ingredients. Cover the pot with a lid and let the chili come up to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Add in the beans, and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
  2. Chili can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  3. If you prefer a less liquid kind of chili, use 2 cups of beef broth.

Keywords: the best beef chili