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Easy Homemade Chili Recipe

A hearty homemade chili recipe made in one pot, making dinner a breeze! Perfectly seasoned and full of delicious flavor.

homemade chili in a white bowl

Hearty Homemade Chili

With fall just around the corner, I thought I would share one of my favorite chili recipes. There’s just something about the air turning crisp that makes me want to make a big pot of warm chili. It’s the perfect comfort meal to enjoy on a cool, fall day!

This recipe is super easy and tasty! Not too spicy, not too sweet…just right! Plus it only takes 10 minutes to prep, then let it simmer and do all the work!

Everyone will rave over how flavorful and delicious it is. Add more chili seasoning or peppers to kick up the heat if preferred! And don’t forget to serve with a piece of sweet cornbread or a cornbread muffin. This award winning chili is perfect for your next get together or chili cook off!

chili ingredients in a cast iron pan

Tips + Modifications

  • Spice. Add a dash more chili powder or red pepper flakes to boost the heat. You could also add in some chopped jalapenos when you sauté the onion and bell peppers.
  • Lighten it up. For a lighter version, swap the beef for ground turkey or use a combination of both. You can also use chicken broth instead of beef broth.
  • Brown sugar. I’ve found that adding a few spoonful’s of brown sugar gives the chili a subtle sweet flavor that tastes delicious. This is optional, but highly recommended!
  • Simmer. The longer it simmers, the more flavor it will have. Let it simmer for at least an hour, preferably longer if you have the time.
  • Using leftovers. If you have chili leftover but not enough to fill a whole bowl, you can still put your leftovers to good use! Serve it on top of a baked potato or boiled hot dog for a totally new lunch or dinner.

Crockpot Version

You can also use your slow cooker to make crockpot chili. Brown the beef on the stove first, then add the cooked meat and all other ingredients into the crockpot. Turn to low heat and let cook for about 4 to 5 hours.

making homemade chili in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon

Freezing instructions

Chili makes an amazing freezer meal! It holds up really well and is one of my favorite recipes to freeze and reheat.

  • Freezing: Allow to cool completely. Add to a zip top bag or freezer container. Don’t fill up your bag or container all the way. Leave a little room for the chili to expand. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Reheating: Remove from freezer and place in fridge or microwave to thaw. Add to a pot and simmer over low heat until warm.

Freezer tip: If the chili has thickened from freezing, add a few Tablespoons of beef broth when reheating to thin out the consistency.

Chili Toppings

Piling on the toppings is a must when enjoying a warm bowl of homemade chili! I love how melty and delicious shredded cheese tastes on top, along with a scoop of sour cream and some tortilla strips for an added crunch.

bowl of chili with shredded cheese, sour cream and cilantro

More Easy Chili Recipes:

bowl of homemade chili topped with sour cream, cheese, cilantro and crushed chips

Homemade Chili

5 from 6 votes
A hearty homemade chili recipe made in one pot, making dinner a breeze! Perfectly seasoned and full of delicious flavor.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 15 ounce can beef broth
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa , optional
  • 15 ounce can light red kidney beans , rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans , rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can black beans , rinsed and drained
  • 10.5 ounce can Rotel
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chili seasoning , about 1 package
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar , optional

Optional toppings: shredded cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, cilantro

    Instructions

    • In a large saucepan over medium-heat, combine the ground beef, onion and bell peppers. Saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if needed.
      taco meat recipe
    • Add all other ingredients. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more salsa or chili seasoning if you'd like to take up the heat.
    • Serve hot with your favorite toppings.
      homemade chili in a white bowl

    Notes

    To freeze: Allow to cool completely. Add to a zip top bag or freezer container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
    Reheating: Remove from freezer and place in fridge or microwave to thaw. Add to a pot and simmer over low heat until warm.
    Slow cooker: Make in the slow cooker by browning the meat first and then adding everything else into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. 

    Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1440mg | Potassium: 1228mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1505IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 7mg
    Course: Soup
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    beef chili in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon

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