This is the best chili recipe ever! It is a contest winner, total crowd pleaser and the best version you’ll find. It is packed with flavor, texture and color. Make it for your next gathering, large or small, and you will get rave reviews. Add jalapenos for extra spice or go mild!
Why This Recipe Works
You have just found THE BEST classic beef chili recipe your lips will ever taste. That is a massive claim, I know, but you will soon agree! You are about to have either a very happy tummy, a very happy family, very happy guests or all of the above.
My husband and I have been making this delicious soup for years. Together we have tweaked it many, many times and it is absolute comfort food perfection.
We make this recipe frequently to enjoy on cold, snowy days and we also make it for larger gatherings like game-day parties or holiday feasts. We’ve never thrown a single morsel of it away because it always gets gobbled down in its entirety.
It has the most perfect consistency and the flavor is beyond explanation (gotta taste for yourself!). This classic chili recipe is a GREAT quick and easy comforting soup!
If you absolutely cannot find a chunk of time to make this delicious dish, consider trying my Easy 5-Ingredient Chili for a much-condensed version. ENJOY!
Check out my FAVORITE easy, tried-and-true holiday recipes here on the blog in one handy gallery.
Say goodbye to endless internet browsing and hello to easy, delicious recipes!
More Ground Beef Recipes
If you have extra ground beef on your hands, browse through this comprehensive roundup of delicious ground beef recipes!
Ground beef – To keep this chili on the leaner side, use ground turkey, ground chicken or lean ground beef. To add a delicious flavor, replace 1 pound of ground beef with 1 pound of ground sausage.
Jalapeno peppers – Although the end result is not “spicy,” omit the jalapenos and cayenne pepper to ensure a totally mild soup.
Tomato juice – For a thicker chili, use half the amount of tomato juice in the recipe.
Beans – While red kidney beans and pinto beans are super tasty inside, feel free to swap out any variety of beans.
Toppings – Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, cilantro, chopped red onion or crushed saltine crackers.
Check out our web stories to see Pip and Ebby “recipes in action!”
How To Make The Best Chili on Earth
In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook 2 pounds lean ground beef over medium heat until it is no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain the excess fat from the skillet, but do not clean it out.
Add the olive oil to the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add the chopped onions, green bell pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
Remove the pan from the heat and add the chili seasoning ingredients to the beef mixture: 3 tablespoons chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.
If you are cooking it on the stove top, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If you’re using a slow cooker, add the meat-veggie mixture to the slow cooker.
Add the tomato juice (replace a portion of the juice with 2-3 cups beef broth to add a kick of flavor, if desired), diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to either the skillet or slow cooker, depending on which you are using.
On the stove top, bring to a boil, dial the heat back to medium-low and let the chili cook for 2 hours (stir occasionally). In the slow cooker, cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours.
Web Story For This Recipe
Check out this chili recipe in action!
What To Serve With Chili
Chili Dinner Ideas
Chili dinners are the best in those cold winter months! If you are looking to round out your meal, peruse this roundup for ideas about what to serve as appetizers for chili dinner.
How To Thicken Chili
If you make a delicious batch and find that it is not thick enough for your liking, we have some simple methods that will fix it! Read on for tips about how to thicken chili.
How Long Does Chili Last In The Fridge
If you are wondering how long chili lasts in the fridge or if your batch is still fresh, click over for all the info!
Best Bean Substitutes
Whether you can’t eat beans or you just don’t have any on hand, learn what to substitute for beans in chili!
- Serve warm with cheese and sour cream! Other great topping options include sliced green onions, avocados, crushed tortilla chips or minced jalapenos (give your meal a nice kick!).
- This is more of a soupy chili recipe, so in order to thicken, replace the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes and reduce the amount of tomato juice by half.
- For a more Mexican flair, replace some or all of the beans with black beans.
- Make the dish heartier by adding diced potatoes or another hearty vegetable such as carrots.
- Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste for an extra robust flavor.
How To Make Chili In An Instant Pot
This comforting meal turns out like absolute perfection when made in an Instant Pot. Head over to my Instant Pot Chili post to get the full instructions!
FAQ About Chili
The ingredients in chili that typically make it spicy are chili powder, peppers and pepper (or cayenne pepper). To decrease the amount of heat in the recipe, reduce the amount of chili powder used and omit peppers (aside from bell peppers, which are very mild) and cayenne or ground black pepper.
A bowl of chili is the perfect template for delicious toppings! Consider any or all of the following: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions or oyster or saltine crackers.
Serve chili warm with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. A few good options to serve alongside it include chopped salad, dinner rolls and cornbread.
Chili lasts up to 5 days in the fridge after it has been cooked and cooled. Beyond this timeframe, chili will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Store in an airtight container or double-bagged freezer bags.
What To Do With Chili Leftovers
If you have leftovers (and it’s very possible that you will because this makes a large batch), please check out these delicious recipes to help use them up:
- Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Best Ever Chili Dogs recipe
- Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Chili-Topped Baked Potatoes
How To Make Hot Dog Chili Sauce
Don’t use any old chili recipe to pile on top of hot dogs. This delicious recipe details how to make hot dog beef chili sauce so the consistency is just right!
More Chili Recipes
Chili Dinner Ideas – Recipes and Sides!
Click over for chili dinner recipe ideas with a variety of recipes and side dish recommendations, as well. Or use this post as your guide for dinner ideas using leftover chili so nothing goes to waste.
Mac and Cheese Recipes for Thanksgiving – 13 Delicious Ideas!
Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving staple! Read on for some scrumptious mac and cheese recipes for Thanksgiving that you can make this year! You’ll find a ton of options to choose from in this roundup.
What People Are Saying About This Recipe
“I will NEVER make another chili recipe in my life again!! This is so good! I absolutely hate cooking and all the prep so the first time I made this I told myself I would never again do it. It was so good that it was worth the chopping up of a few veggies and measuring of a bunch of spices. I make it at least 2-3 times every fall/winter now!“ ~ASHLEY
“This IS THE BEST Chili! This recipe has been on rotation in my home for awhile now. Everyone raves about how it IS the BEST chili they be ever had! Thank you for sharing this with us! “ ~SARA
The Best Chili on Earth
- Slow Cooker
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley finely chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers finely chopped (optional)
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 46 oz tomato juice
- 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 16 oz kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 16 oz pinto beans drained and rinsed
- Shredded cheese and sour cream for topping
- In a large skillet, cook ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain excess grease from skillet, but do not clean.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.
- If cooking on the stove top, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If using a slow cooker, add meat-veggie mixture to the slow cooker. Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to either the skillet or slow cooker, depending on which you are using.
- On the stove top, bring to a boil, dial back to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours (stir occasionally). In slow cooker, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve warm with cheese and sour cream.
- Serve warm with cheese and sour cream! Other great topping options include sliced green onions or minced jalapenos (give your meal a nice kick!).
- For a thicker chili, replace the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes and reduce the amount of tomato juice by half.
- To keep this chili on the leaner side, use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
- To add a delicious flavor to the recipe, replace 1 pound of ground beef with 1 pound of ground sausage.
- For a different flavor, replace some or all of the beans with black beans.