The Best Classic Chili

Rate Now
Jump to RecipeJump to VideoPrint Recipe

The Best Classic Chili – This traditional chili recipe is just like mom used to make with ground beef, beans, and a simple homemade blend of chili seasonings.

The Best Classic Chili recipe in a red bowl topped with cheese and sour cream

This classic chili is perfect for a weeknight meal because it can be made in minutes.  The only thing to chop is an onion.

How do you make good homemade chili?

  • Heat olive in a large soup pot. 
  • Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon.
  • Cook for 6-7 minutes.

onions and ground beef sautéing in a soup pot

  • Add chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. 
  • Stir until well combined.

chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper over browned beef and onions in a pot

  • Add diced tomatoes, kidney beans, beef broth, and tomato sauce. 
  • Stir well.

diced tomatoes over chili seasoned ground beef and onions in a soup pot

  • Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  • Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

beans, beef broth, and tomato sauce added to chili seasoned beef, onions, and tomatoes in a pot

What do you top chili with?

In addition to the chili ingredients listed in this recipe for chili, you may also want to have these things as toppings.

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • sliced green onions
  • saltine crackers or oyster crackers
  • diced avocado

What goes well with chili for dinner?

I’ve been playing around with this chili recipe for the past few months, making it many times.  My family didn’t mind the repetition at all because I really do believe that I ended up with the best chili ever!

Watch the step by step recipe video for this chili recipe below.

Find more of my recipes on TikTok

The best classic chili recipe in a red bowl topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream

The Best Classic Chili Recipe

4.96 from 2977 votes
The Best Classic Chili - This traditional chili recipe is just like mom used to make with ground beef, beans, and a simple homemade blend of chili seasonings.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


Servings 6 servings
Calories 334 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion -diced
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper* -optional
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce


  • Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. Stir until well combined.
  • Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  • Bring the liquid to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.


I typically skip the cayenne pepper because I have a young kiddo.  Then, I put out some hot sauce for those adults that want to add some spiciness to their chili.


Serving: 1/6th of the recipe | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1249mg | Potassium: 1110mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1445IU | Vitamin C: 12.8mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 7.5mg
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Keyword best chili, chili recipe, classic chili, homemade chili
Cuisine American
Author Amanda Finks

Check out all of my great ground beef recipes.

Want more recipes?
Sign up here to have new recipes sent directly to your inbox.
newsletter signup

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    Finally made a delicious chili without the little spice packet! It’s absolutely delicious! Served with a big crusty bread! My new favorite chili recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    I love a good chili — especially on a cooler night. This one sounds easy to make and has great spices! Great for game day!

  3. 5 stars
    Chili is one of my all-time favorite cold weather dishes! I make it at LEAST once a month between September and March, and I’ve been craving it something fierce already this month. I never used to measure my seasonings, and would always add a TON of chili powder (since I thought it was the only thing that made chili taste like chili) until I started blogging, and I’m happy to see that this recipe has a similar ratio to my own – except I like to add a dash of cocoa powder vs. sugar to balance out the tomato! Delish!

  4. 5 stars
    With fall fast approaching, I’m always on the lookout for good chili recipes. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

  5. 5 stars
    Always on the hunt for new chili recipes. Chili is one comfort food that I can’t get enough of! This look delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    One of the best I have tasted. The combination of hot and sweet is just right. I cook the beef first and drain it, then set it aside and do the onions and then add the beef. Thanks for the share.

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve tried so many different chili recipes over the years, and we’ve always been disappointed. This is so, so good! The seasonings are spot on. My 12 year old son hates soups and stews, but especially chili. He couldn’t stop talking about how much he loved this, and asked me to make it again. He practically licked his bowl clean! Thank you for this recipe. It will be our new chili recipe from here on out!

  8. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING! I followed the directions exactly and added the cayenne pepper. It added the perfect amount of spice! Delicious! My first time making chili and it was a success thanks to this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    Ooo I love a chilli especially when it has a kick and then dosuing it with sour cream. So comforting and flavoursome. Yum!

  10. 5 stars
    Chili is my favorite mexican food ever! I love making it at home and eating, mostly on cold days, but still, can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Chili isn’t Mexican food lol San Antonio is we’re chili first came about might have some Mexican influences but definitely American.

  11. 5 stars
    The sour cream and cheddar on top are a must for me! Love this comforting chili recipe – so good!

  12. 5 stars
    This Chili really is the very best! My whole family devours it! It’s also so quick and easy which is always a bonus for me!

  13. 5 stars
    This looks fantastic! The nutrition profile is great too! I will also say that chili is an AMAZING place to hide a plethora of pureed vegetables that will go virtually unnoticed, even for the pickiest of eaters, helping to boost the nutrition levels. (carrots, zucchini, celery, broccoli, sweet peppers, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, kale etc.) Thanks to the cumin and chili powder, these vegetable flavors fly under the radar (the more strong flavored veggies you’ll want to use more sparingly), and the color of the tomato base helps to mask funky colors (spinach & kale tend to give the chili a little more of a brown-red color, but not unappetizing). I love making chili because it is so versatile and this recipe looks like a real winner! Thanks for sharing!

About Amanda Finks

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. I’m an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! I’m trained in Food Science & recipe development. It’s my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love!

Read more