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. Delicious recipe. Only thing different I did was doubled it so I could use a can of kidney beans and black beans. I love the combo of spices used. Served with French baguette and dollop of sour cream and cheese which the latter was not necessary.

  2. 5 stars
    Good chilli. Straight forward and nothing exceptional. I put 5 cut slices of bacon in mine. Makes for great leftovers.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe. I tweaked it a bit. I added chilli mix 2 tbsp and 1/2 bottle of tomato pasata. Brown sugar and hot sauce.

  4. 5 stars
    This is really great chili! I tripled the recipe for a large party and also doubled the ground beef (6lbs of beef) and everyone loved it!

  5. This is so easy and tasty! Lots of flavor and just the right amount of heat. Has become a staple in our house.

  6. 5 stars
    This is a very good receipt , and Chilil thanks all friends have asked me about it. and of course i’ve told them…

  7. 5 stars
    Holy Moly! This really IS the best chili recipe. I added one component: I rehydrated a few cascavel chili peppers & ran them through a food processor (I then strained them using the beef broth because the skin of the pepper didn’t break down in the processor). The peppers are low on the heat scale and add depth to the recipe without being overpowering at all. It’s a keeper for sure 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Your recipe was so grand and left room to add and subtract certain amounts to suit my taste. Thank you so much

  9. 5 stars
    This is the ONLY chili recipe you will ever need! I made this again today with frozen fresh tomatoes from the summer. Recipe is spot on as written but forgiving if you wish to tweak it. The only things I did differently was half the sugar and added a splash of lime juice after it was done cooking. Really compliments the cumin flavor! Thank you for the truly best chili recipe I’ve ever found!

  10. I am a basic chili kind of person and even this is a basic chili there are layers of flavor that really kicked it up a notch on my favorites list. I used all suggested ingredients and it was not too hot for me. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    This Chili Recipe is the Ultimate!!!
    A Keeper!!! Recipe was easy to follow.
    I made a double recipe and treated a couple Friends and myself.😋
    ThankYou for Sharing!

    1. 5 stars
      Brilliant recipe. I use fresh diced green hot chili peppers (2pcs) instead of chili powder, fresh diced tomatoes (4-5pcs), add water instead of beef broth, and also add a can of corn. I used ground pork instead of beef and the result was astonishing!

    2. Did you use the full 2 Tablespoons of cumin? Want to be sure this is suppose to be tablespoons and not teaspoons before I make it. Thanks for any advice.

  12. 5 stars
    This is a good recipe for chili. The family loved it and I will use this recipe for the next time we want some chili. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I will not be using chili mix packs no more.

    1. 5 stars
      Great recipe the best in my opinion I don’t eat any canned food unless it’s home canned I used dried small red beans and I diced up fresh tomatoes everything else I yellowed the receipt it takes about 4 hours to cook med high towards the end I turn it down it thickens up nicely when the beans are like them it’s done

    2. 5 stars
      I have used this recipe for the last 3 years for deer hunting in black powder season it is a hit with the guys it is definitely a top notch recipe I am making it tomorrow to head to the camp for another season

    3. 5 stars
      My all time go to Chili. You can’t beat this. I add one other secret ingredient 😉. Ever time you turn around my husband asks for more chili. When you get down to -6 degrees there is nothing like a bowl of this amazing chili with some hot cornbread. I am so blessed to have found this recipe.🙏🏻. Thank you for sharing. Love it❤️

  13. 5 stars
    It really is a good chili. I’ve followed several recipes that were all good, but the simplicity and great taste of this one makes it my goto chili recipe.

    1. 3 stars
      This recipe was easy to follow. For me, the sugar was too much, so I may try again but with only 1 tbs of sugar. Hopefully my husband will eat it so that it doesn’t go to waste.

    2. I found this chili way too salty and liquidy. I would not make it again without modifications. And I used some products being low salt items.

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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