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.
I think we can all agree that a basic chili recipe with beans is something everyone should have in their recipe box! I’m talking about a no-nonsense chili with meat and beans, that’s super flavorful but 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:
- 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.
- Add meat. Add the ground beef and sausage cook until browned. Remove grease.
- 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.
4. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and shredded cheese on top.
- Add bacon: cooked bacon would add a fun flavor twist.
- More veggies, like chopped, sautéed bell pepper and celery, or even cooked cubes of butternut squash, or pumpkin.
- Meatless: leave out the ground beef and sausage, and double the amount of beans called for.
- Spicy Chili: As written, this chili is very mild. If you’d like to make it spicier, add more cayenne pepper, chopped jalapeños (canned or fresh), hot sauce, or make my delicious Spicy chili recipe!
For Crockpot Chili:
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.
For Instant Pot Chili:
Turn Instant Pot to Saute and brown the onion and meats. Discard the grease. Add everything else and cook on high pressure for 20-30 minutes to concentrate the flavors quicker than on the stovetop.
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.
Try Serving Chili on top of:
- French Fries to make Chili Fries.
- Cornbread Waffles
- Hot dogs to make Chili Dogs.
- Baked potatoes
- Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Side dish ideas:
- Homemade Cornbread
- Cheese crisps or quesadillas
- Green salad
- Potato Skins
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Easy Homemade Chili
- 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)
- 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.
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I originally shared this recipe August 2019. Updated October 2021.
Tried this last night. Turned out amazing!!! Family asked me to make again. My slight changes: I used tomato sauce instead of juice for a thicker consistency. I used half the called-for ketchup. Didn’t want the ketchup sugars to overpower like I have done in past. And a couple more shakes of chili powder and cayenne pepper. Marvelous. I served each bowl with a large pinch of shredded cheese and 10 corn chips (Fritos) for presentation and crunch. Thanks for the recipe. Finally! A chili we like!
So good! I added 2 Serrano peppers without seeds or spines, half a green bell pepper and half a large red bell pepper. Amazing!
I made this chili today in my slow cooker, and it came out tasting great, though not too thick. I made an adjustment using only two pounds of ground beef; no pork at all. Perhaps it would have been thicker if I had replaced the pork with a third pound of beef! At any rate, my family loved it. I will make it again.
This chili is not what I’m used to. It is a little like fancy baked beans with the Ketchup and brown sugar. I really enjoy this website and have made some wonderful things, but I will be going back to my usual recipe.
I tried it in the crockpot; went by the recipe but it needed up very soupy. I ended up having to add some tomato paste to thicken. Afterwards it was really good. Not sure if I did something wrong or what. Perhaps I should’ve drained the beans.
Love this recipe, my go to chili recipe. It goes in the crock-pot on high for a few hours and it’s great. Tastes even better the following day.
I expected a recipe that uses dried beans, not canned beans. Since we are cooking from scratch, I am looking for a chili recipe that is totally from scratch.
My thoughts, too. You can substitute about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans for each can called for.
Easy and very tasty
If you don’t simmer for at least an hour the taste of the red wine vinegar will be too strong. Added more spices and simmered for 2.5 hours – delicious!
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