Everyone needs a good Classic Homemade Chili recipe and this one is simply perfect! It’s made with ground beef (or ground turkey) and I’ve included tips for how to make chili on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.

Chili is such a versatile and delicious comfort food. It shines as a main dish (along side some Homemade cornbread of course!) or serve it over a baked potato, on top of Cornbread Waffles, or on Spaghetti Squash.

Overhead view of a white bowl full of chili with sour cream and shredded cheese on top and a spoon in it.

I think we can all agree that a basic chili recipe is something everyone should have in their recipe file! I’m talking about a no-nonsense chili with meat and beans, that’s super flavorful but simple and easy to make. You could substitute ground turkey to make it turkey chili, or leave the meat out all together (and add more beans) to make vegetarian chili.

How to make Chili in 3 simple steps:

  1. Cook onions. Cook the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes until they are tender and start to get a little bit golden and caramelized.
  2. Add meat. Add the ground beef and sausage cook until browned. Remove grease.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least an hour, to allow the flavors to blend. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and shredded cheese.
Three process photos for making chili in a saucepan.

Additional Add-in Ideas:

This is a great basic chili recipe and you can easily customize it to add other things you like, like:

  • Cooked Bacon
  • Diced Bell pepper
  • Chopped Celery

You can also make this a meatless chili by leaving out the ground beef and ground sausage and doubling the beans. Or check out my spicy chili!

To Make Chili in the Slow Cooker:

Cook the onion and brown the meat in a large skillet. Add the remaining ingredients to a large slow cooker and stir in the cooked meat and onions. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.

Chili in a large saucepan with a ladle scooping some up

Freezing Instructions:

Allow to cool and then add to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stovetop for 20-30 minutes.

Serve Chili with:

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Recipe

Overhead view of a white bowl full of chili with sour cream and shredded cheese on top and a spoon in it.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs 10 mins
Total 2 hrs 20 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes , undrained
  • 4 cups tomato juice *
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 15 ounce cans pinto beans , undrained
  • 16 ounce can can kidney beans , undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you want it spicier)
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Add the olive oil to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the ground beef and sausage to the pot and cook, breaking apart into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned. Drain any grease.
  • Add the vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato juice, ketchup, beans, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and cayenne.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer over medium-low heat for a at least one hour, or up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve in bowls with a dollop or sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese on top.
  • Serve chili with: cornbread, biscuits, or a green salad.

Video

Notes

Tomato Juice: I usually buy a 46 ounce can and don’t use all of it. You could drink the extra, make a veggie/fruit smoothie with it, or save it for another soup. A good tomato juice substitute for this recipe is 2 cups tomato sauce + 2 cups of water.
Meatless Chili: omit the meat and double the beans.
Spiciness: As written, this chili is pretty mild. If you’d like to make it spicier, add more cayenne pepper, chopped jalapeños (canned or fresh), or hot sauce. 
Slow Cooker: Cook the onion and brown the meat in a large skillet. Add the remaining ingredients to a large slow cooker and stir in the cooked meat and onions. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.
Instant Pot: Turn Instant Pot to Saute and brown the onion and meats. Drain the grease. Add everything else and cook on high pressure for 20-30 minutes to concentrate the flavors quicker than on the stovetop.   
Freezing Instructions: Freeze chili in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stovetop for 20-30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 517kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 32gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 1193mgPotassium: 1488mgFiber: 11gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 2103IUVitamin C: 40mgCalcium: 118mgIron: 7mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the absolute best recipe, quick & everyone loves it. I serve it with cheese, sour cream & tortilla chips. It’s a keeper for sure!

  2. 4 stars
    Pretty good recipe except for cooking meat after the onions. Brown the meat first and drain on paper-towel lined baking sheet. Add it back when onions are almost translucent. Also add some Hatch chiles for “zip” and masa to thicken near the end of simmer.

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