The Best Classic Chili

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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 2508 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.

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  1. 5 stars
    Excellent for a quick chili recipe. We loved it. My family likes spicy so we used hot Rotel kept the Cheyenne and used a little less sugar. ❤️❤️Will make this again. Thanks for the recipe

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing! I omitted the onion so kids didnt complain and used chili ready beans and tomatoes. I also reduced the beef broth to one cup for a thicker consistency. This will be a staple in our rotation.

  3. Too much spice- family did not like
    Made it as stated in recipe-
    4 TABLESPOONS of cumin and
    5 TABLESPOONS of chili powder
    3 TABLESPOONS of garlic powder??!!
    Is this correct?

    1. 5 stars
      Sounds like you doubled the spices. I actually cut the spices in half since I don’t like too spicy. I added 3 or 4 TB of sugar since I like mine a little sweeter. Also add 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder for richness—a secret my mom taught me.

    1. 5 stars
      We’ve been craving chili and this didn’t disappoint! Recommend adding the cayenne pepper that is optional. It really elevated the flavor of the chili. Will make this again and again. 10 stars if I could. Thanks for a great recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    This is fantastic! Made with Impossible ground beef, diced tomatoes/chilies and added some beer. Will definitely put on the rotation, so easy and good!

  5. 5 stars
    Great basic chili recipe. I never add sugar to my chili. The 1 1/2 cups of broth seemed like too much. I used just 1 cup and it was plenty. It was simple to make and delicious.

  6. Amazing recipe and soooo easy. I’ve gotten so many compliments. Everyone says it’s the best. I don’t usually have cayenne pepper so I leave it out. I usually double it and swap a can of tomatoes for diced tomatoes with green chilies (mild). Easy recipe to adjust to your own taste.

  7. 5 stars
    My husband and my family said it was the best chili they have tasted. I added an extra can of kidney beans and I used one less tablespoon of cumin and sugar because I had never used it before and I wanted to make sure we liked it but it turned out excellent. I also have never used a can of beef broth in my chili before but that added to it very well done

  8. 4 stars
    Great chili recipe with one exception. Way too much cumin in the recipe. It overpowers everything. Next time I will reduce cumin to 2 teaspoons and see if that helps.

  9. I’ve been using this recipe for at least the last four years, it’s truly the best recipe I’ve come across! So delicious!

    1. 5 stars
      I had a group of eight over and everybody raved about the chili. They said it was so good. It was very delicious. I’ve never put sugar in chili before. It brought the flavor of the spices out.

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!

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