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the best chili on earth

Somebody told me recently that they had searched for a standard chili recipe on my website and couldn't find one. Whoa...WHAT?! I cannot believe I haven't shared this recipe until now! It's a tragic oversight and I hope you will find it in your chili-loving heart to forgive me. Dan and I have been making this recipe for years and I recently tweaked it, pushing it over the edge into the realm of chili super-greatness. I love this recipe. And guess what? It's another snowy, cold day in which eating a heaping bowl of comfort is just what I need.

Enjoy, friends!


In a large skillet, cook 2 pounds of ground beef, turkey or venison over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink.

Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain the excess grease from the skillet, but do not clean it. Leave those tasty meat morsels right where they are so they can mingle with their new veggie friends.

Add 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. 


1 yellow or white onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (optional, but highly recommended)

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are fragrant (mmm, don't you love the smell of cooking onions and garlic?!) and the onions and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add:

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Stir it all together and resist the temptation to start eating those delicious, spiced onions and peppers.

There are two ways you can finish up, depending on how much time you have. If you have the time, I recommend using a slow cooker. If you don't have the time, the chili will be just as delicious and you can finish up on the stovetop.

Either throw the entire contents of the skillet into a slow cooker or keep them where they are.

Either way, add:

Cooked ground beef/venison/turkey

46-oz. container tomato juice

28-oz. can diced tomatoes

15-oz. can tomato sauce

16-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

16-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Mix everything together. Yum! Getting hungry yet?

If you are using a slow cooker, cook on Low setting for 7 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. And test-tasting often, of course.

If you are using the stovetop, bring the chili to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how much time you have. 

Serve warm with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and a dollup of sour cream.

Oh sweet chili-eating goodness, I'm heading downstairs to make myself a bowl!

The Best Chili on Earth

I'm serious when I say this is the BEST chili. Ever.

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Feb 15, 2014

Serves: 12

Total time: 8-9 hrs (slow cooker) or 2 1/2 hr (stovetop)

The Best Chili on Earth


  • 2 pounds ground beef, turkey or venison
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 46-oz. can tomato juice
  • 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 16-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded cheese and sour cream, for topping
  1. 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.
  2. Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, green pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using). Cook, 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.
  3. If cooking the chili stovetop, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If you are using a slow cooker, add everything to the slow cooker. Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans. On stovetop, bring to a boil, dial back to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours. In slow cooker, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve warm with cheese and sour cream.



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Reader Comments (93)

This looks wonderful! Somewhat similar to the one I've been making for years, but just different enough that I think I could try it out on my hubby without him whining that I'm not making THE chili that he likes best. Ha!

This looks SO good! I'm going to make this for dinner tonight. :) The only thing I think I'll do differently is to use a milder pepper than the jalapeno. I have three young kids, and they're not nuts about spicy things. I can't wait!

02.16.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Wells

I haven't made chili for so long I think I forgot how. I'll just follow your recipe for the best chili on Earth. Can't get any better than that.

02.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I made this chili today. When my sister and I sat down to eat we expected it to be good because the aroma was so wonderful. I took one bite and looked over at her and said, "This is better than what we usually make." She certainly agreed. I haven't eaten any chili that I thought was better. It's delicious! The only thing I changed was adding a little bit of pasta. When we were growing up our Mom used to add elbow pasta to her chili. This was probably to make it stretch further since there were five of us. It is something that has stuck with us as adults. Other than that, I didn't change a thing and it was perfect. Thanks Megan for another wonderful recipe. :)
Tami W.

02.23.2014 | Unregistered CommenterT Walker

I was entering a chili cook off and thought I would try this recipe since you deemed it "The Best Chili on Earth" and said you were serious about that. I made it along with my old stand by that is a simple recipe but really good. I actually won a chili cook off when I entered it years ago. So I made both recipes this time and to be perfectly honest, I didn't think your recipe was THE BEST at all.
I ended up entering my old stand-by and was one of 3 (Out of 18) that won the cook off again. Gotta be careful when saying something is the best on earth. Sorry, but don't think your recipe is at all. Was very good though.

10.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterVal

Val... care to share your recipe? I have a chili cook off this Saturday

11.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterkimi

VAL is rude

11.8.2014 | Unregistered CommenterWMW

Next time try adding a soon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder. It give a deep richness that makes it taste like its been cooked for days by grizzly looking cowboys. If you think it sounds too strange think Mexican mole.

11.19.2014 | Unregistered Commenternyala

I'm so trying this!! Plan on making it this week but think i will do it the crock pot but I love stew meat in think this recipe will be wonderful with it thanks :)

11.22.2014 | Unregistered Commentershannon

im trying this tonight for a potluck!!! Thanks for posting!!

11.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Going to try this! do you keep the crockpot covered when cooking ? im new to crockpot cooking.

11.30.2014 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Hi Michelle! Good question! Yep, keep the crockpot covered. I hope you enjoy the recipe!!

11.30.2014 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Awesome ! First time making chili and my family loved it! Thanks for the awesome recipe and it was so easy to follow.

12.16.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSahara

Hi, I don't know if you meant to type 3 tablespoons or not, but that was WAY too much chili powder. This came out to be the worst chili I ever had. The heat was so strong we couldn't even taste the chili at all.

12.20.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeanette

Hi Jeanette! Thanks for the reply! I'm so sorry you didn't care for this recipe. I do indeed put 3 tablespoons of chili powder in this recipe and my family always devours it! Have a great holiday!

12.20.2014 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Made this tonight - minus the jalepenos. Delicious and still had a nice kick.

12.24.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I made this this morning, and have been tasting it throughout the afternoon. It's delicious. I did add extra chili powder, subbed the kidney and pinto beans for black beans, added corn, and a shake of cinnamon. It's way good, and this was my first attempt ever at making chili. I think I found a keeper recipe! Thanks.

12.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

I made this chili yesterday and it was amazing!!! I followed your recipe exactly to the letter using all organic ingredients and cooked it for 8 hrs in the crock pot. I have found my go-to chili recipe!! Thank you!!

12.30.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshley D.

We just made this chili for our New Year's Day of football and relaxation and OMG ... It's amazing!!!

Thank you Thank you!!!!

01.1.2015 | Unregistered CommenterJudi

Best chili for sure! I followed directions but I used only one jalapeno, will definitely make this again! Hubby and kids LOVED it! Thank you!

01.4.2015 | Unregistered CommenterKait D

What size crock pot should I use?

01.8.2015 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Hi Michelle! My crockpot is a 6.5-quart, so something comparable to that would be great!!

01.8.2015 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

I used your recipe to make homemade chili for the first time. Easy recipe and it was slap yo momma good! My husband loved it and my neighbor loved it. I added Sirachi sauce for more kick. The sour cream and cheese made it oh so good too! Definitely will be making this again and again!!! Thank you!!!

01.12.2015 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Turned out excellent, way better than packaged chili mix. Didn't have tomato juice, so I used three 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce plus a can or so of water (I like mine a little runny.). Also, my grocery store sells a chili powder called San Antonio Chili Powder, I used it in place of the regular chili powder because it is lighter tasting than the regular, which I feel can overpower a good pot of chili.

01.13.2015 | Unregistered CommenterHaley

Going to make this during the snow storm that's coming! It'll be my first attempt at making chili. Wondering if you've ever added extra veggies? I was thinking of celery & maybe some red & orange bell peppers along with the green?

01.25.2015 | Unregistered CommenterErin

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