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 3628 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
    I made this recipe a week ago. Both my daughter and I liked it. Today we were driving somewhere with a friend of hers. She told her friend that I’m a chef (I’m not even close) and that I make the best Chili. She then asked me to make Chili again tonight.

  2. 5 stars
    Best chili ever! Sent a copy to my sister. For the 2T. chili powder I used a variety of Penzey’s chili powders. Ancho, reg., medium hot and their chili con carne powder. Cannot get enough. Will probably be making once a week for awhile. Love the fact that it comes together so quickly. Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe. Cooked it in my parents cast iron deep skillet.

  3. 5 stars
    This was the best chili that I have ever made. I did add a tablespoon of coco powder, but omg this was very good chili.

    1. 5 stars
      At the top of the recipe is a box with 6 in it ( for 6 servings). You can treat the box as if you were ordering a different quantity of an item. I replaced the 6 with 12 and the recipe automatically doubled!!!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe was excellent! Quick and easy to put together. The only thing I did different was I used ground chicken and omitted the sugar. Will definitely make again!

  5. thank you for this recipe, needed one tonight and this came up at the top of my search results am making it now

  6. 5 stars
    I always make my own recipe but wanted something a little different than mine and I have to say, it’s delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe! 😊

  7. This recipe looks really good. As an option if a person wanted a little thinner chile would you use water, more beef broth or some tomato juice? Thanks

    1. Add beef, chicken, or any homemade broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, or a beer. Just not water (not enough flavor).

  8. 5 stars
    Just made this chili and we LOVE IT!! This will be my go-to for chili from now on. I left out the cayenne for the sake of my children’s tender taste buds but it’s still so deslicuous! They have it loaded up with cheese and Fritos! Thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    Perfect fall day for chili! I’ve been looking for a simple, easy classic chili recipe and this hit the spot! Thank you so much for sharing. I only made one small adjustment and that was with the sugar, as I only used half of what was indicated (I tend to do this with all recipes I use that call for sugar). Thanks again for sharing and will definitely be making again soon!

  10. 5 stars
    This is terrific! I’ve made it twice now and my husband loves it! He just liked the chili i made before in which I used packaged chili spices. But I was out and he wanted chili so I googled and found your recipe. THSNK YOU!!! I’ll never go back to package chili spices again!

    1. 5 stars
      hello i had not chili paper pouder and used green fresh chili. After all taste with bitterness not like spicy more like bitter, but over all I like it, my family does not like May you tel it is make difference taste when use pouder instant of fresh chili. Thank you

      1. 5 stars
        Dried chili powder is actually very bitter… the bitterness of the fresh peppers might depend on the type of pepper you used. To make chili less bitter, you can try increasing sugar, or cumin.

  11. 5 stars
    My husband requested chili and I’m not much of a chili fan but thought I’d find a recipe to try and WOW! This was a hit! My four year old asked for seconds and she doesn’t do that very often. This recipe is perfect and I will definitely make it again!

  12. 5 stars
    This was very good! The only thing I did different was cook the meat separately so that I could drain the grease. It was soooo delicious.

  13. 5 stars
    My first time making chili and I am absolutely in love. Used ground turkey. Topped with shredded cheese and sour cream. I LOVE this recipe! And the best part is how easy and quick it is. Cooking in a crock pot would be too much waiting. This recipe is really amazing! Perfect fall comfort food.

  14. 5 stars
    I was CRAVING my mom’s chili. Sad thing was, my mom died 7 years ago and had never written her recipe down.
    I tried many chili recipes, but nothing tasted the same …until this one. 🙂 This recipe is still just a little bit different than my mom’s, but delicious none the less. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 5 stars
    Perfect!! I’ve been looking for a classic, standard chili recipe for years & this was exactly what I was thinking. Tasted great and my daughter said at least 5 times how much she liked it – glad I doubled the batch because she declared she’s taking some for lunch tomorrow 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    Making this now! Still simmering, but I’ve already sampled and it’s delish. I didn’t have cayenne so I used so red pepper flakes for a little kick. I’ve also tried many chili recipes, this is one of the best. Thanks for sharing!

  17. 5 stars
    Have read ever so many chili recipes and made them as well. I got a little inspiration today.. I used chuck beef cubes (small) cut from a big steak and decided to use the bones. I sauteed them along with the onions and beef and let them simmer along in the cooking. It tasted wonderful and let’s face some added nourishment…and of course, remove before serving.

  18. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe last night and it tasted amazing. I’ve tried a few chilli recipes but this is the best one and I will use again. Thank you Amanda.

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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