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Best Chili Recipe

This homemade chili recipe is a contest winner, total crowd pleaser and the best chili 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.
5 from 16 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make the best chili recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 391kcal


  • 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.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 1104mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1502IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 6mg