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. Add jalapenos for extra spice or go mild!
However you have found this page that details how to make THE BEST pot of chili 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 chili recipe for years. We have tweaked it about a hundred times and it is absolute comfort food perfection.
We make this recipe all the time to enjoy on cold, snowy days and we also make it for larger gatherings like Super Bowl parties or holiday feasts. We have never thrown a single morsel of it away because it always gets totally gobbled down in its entirety. It is the most perfect consistency and the flavor is beyond explanation (gotta taste for yourself!). I love adding a couple jalapenos to the mix for a spicy version, but omit the peppers and go mild if that’s your style!
WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TUTORIAL TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CHILI EVER
Enjoy the step-by-step video tutorial we have created for this recipe! Our goal is to make your time in the kitchen as easy as possible and to ensure that your version of this recipe is a success. See our full collection of cooking and baking videos on YouTube!
WHAT MAKES THE BEST CHILI RECIPE?
In my opinion, an exceptional chili recipe cannot be super thick but not runny, either. It should be the perfect consistency, it should cook low and slow to bring out the flavor in the ingredients and it also should have a bit of zing. It absolutely must include the following ingredients: beans, meat (lots of it!), tomato sauce/juice and a bit of spice (I love adding jalapenos, but they’re not for everyone).
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HOMEMADE BEEF CHILI
In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until it is no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain the excess grease from the skillet, but do not clean it out.
Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion and peppers, 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 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 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 simmer for 2 hours (stir occasionally). In the slow cooker, cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours. Serve warm with cheese and sour cream!
WHAT BEANS ARE BEST IN CHILI?
I love using pinto and red kidney beans because they are hearty and sturdy. Occasionally I will get crazy and add black beans, but for this recipe stick with the pinto-kidney combo!
DO YOU DRAIN CANNED BEANS FOR CHILI?
I always drain my beans to avoid adding extra salt and starch and I think the liquid gives it a different flavor. However, you are not going to seriously damage the recipe if you add the liquids from the cans. I know people who love it!
SHOULD I COOK CHILI IN MY SLOW COOKER OR ON THE STOVE TOP?
Both the stove top and crock pot versions of this recipe are quick and easy (both are included in the recipe card below) and both are great recipes, although when possible I always go low and slow in my slow cooker. Whichever way you decide on, please go make this chili and let me know how much you love it! Serve warm with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. And a chopped salad!
HOW TO THICKEN CHILI
I’ll be honest. I’m not a huge fan of super thick chili. I like for mine to resemble soup and not a heap of meat. However! If you are in the thick chili camp, it is easy enough to transform this recipe to fit your liking. Decrease the amount of tomato used in the recipe by half (or more) and simmer for 30 additional minutes. Yum!
CAN I MAKE CHILI IN MY INSTANT POT?
Yes! This chili recipe turns out like absolute perfection when made in an Instant Pot. Head over to my Instant Pot Chili post to get the full instructions!
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CHILI
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:
If you absolutely cannot find a chunk of time to make this delicious recipe, consider trying my Easy 5-Ingredient Chili for a much-condensed version. ENJOY, friends!
OTHER DELICIOUS COMFORT FOOD RECIPES
Here are some of my other comfort food options to make your life even more delicious:
Broccoli Cheese Soup (this is a copycat of Panera's famous recipe!)
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BEST CHILI RECIPE FROM PIP AND EBBY
“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
“This has been our go to chili recipe now for over 2 years! My daughter actually made it for our country fair & received a Blue Ribbon. We love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.” ~COLETTE
“I have made this chili a dozen times and get the most positive feedback! Everyone loves this chili! I’ve been told several times that it tastes better than restaurant chili. “ ~KIM