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 2048 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.

Recipe Rating

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


  1. Me and my family love this recipe. This the only one my kids would always tell me to make. Soo much favor!!! With leftovers we make some nachos and chill dogs as well. If you looking for a chili recipe this is it 😁

  2. 5 stars
    Have to say this IS the tastiest chili I’ve ever had. Plus it uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry so you can make it in a pinch. It will be my go to chili recipe from now on.

  3. 5 stars
    Best chili I’ve ever had!! Husband loved it!! Will for sure be making this again!! Thank you!! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely perfect! Normally I follow a recipe for the first time to the letter, but this time I had about 2 lbs Of leftover smoked beef brisket from poker night, so instead of ground beef, I diced up the brisket, and then doubled the recipe. I’ve never made chili before bc my dad is the chili king and I always have him make it for me, even though I’m 37, but I decided to try it. Google directed me here when I searched “best chili recipe” and I’m glad it did! This recipe is amazing. I wouldn’t change a thing, the spice levels are perfect.

  5. 5 stars
    I love to cook and have tried several chili recipes and this is by far THE BEST I’ve ever made. I do adjust the sugar a bit, so it is not too sweet. I also make mine with turkey and not ground beef! There is not a person that doesn’t love this chili 🌶!!!

  6. 5 stars
    This good. If you have people that don’t like heat, maybe cut down on the chili powder a little bit. Is perfect for me, not so much for the wife and 2.5yo. 5 star for sure though

  7. 5 stars
    This is my go to chili recipe. I like to add a can of Pinto beans, fresh garlic and some orange, yellow or red bell pepper. I also use a good hot sauce instead of cayenne. This is a perfect recipe to eat as is, or experiment with to make it your own. Thanks for the great recipes Wholesome Dish!

  8. 5 stars
    This is without a doubt the best Chili ever. I make it using the exact ingredients and measurements. The only things I add are drained can of black and white beans.

    1. 5 stars
      I did not have beef broth so I used organic chicken broth, no change in the chilli taste. I also added black beans (for the fibre content) It was still very delicious.
      I would definitely make this one again!

    2. 5 stars
      This is a really good basic chili. I’ve made it several times and I usually make a double batch then freeze the leftovers. The only changes I’ve made are I leave out the sugar as I think it is plenty sweet from the tomatoes. I also use half hamburger and half sausage caue my mom’s recipe calls for that.
      I really think this recipe is great as is and also provides a good base that you can adjust and tweak to your own liking. Thank you for sharing.

  9. 5 stars
    I grew up eating and then making my grandmother’s chili recipe (beef, onion, tomato soup, chili hot beans, salt and pepper, TEASPOON of chili powder XD). Over the years I started adding to hers and recently my mother commented how tomato paste doesn’t belong in it. So I searched for a classic recipe using it specifically and found this. I just finished making it and I knew the moment I started measuring out the spices it was going to be good!! After my first taste I prayed for forgiveness because I know when I serve this tonight my mom is going to die. May she Rest In Peace.

  10. Chili was easy and basic. Sometimes getting back to basics is the best way to go. And you can use this recipe and add to it and make it your own. Five ⭐’s

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