An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (2024)

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on October 3, 202356 comments »

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If you’re a chili fan, you’re in the right place. This no-bean beef chili recipe is seriously the best! In fact, it just happens to be an award-winning chili recipe! And there’s really nothing like a warm bowl of classic chili, especially as the weather cools down. It’s easy to make and is perfect for game day, a lazy winter evening or really anytime!

An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (1)

Raise your hand if you love beef chili! I know there are tons of chili recipes out there, but this recipe is definitely a MUST try.

My whole family is obsessed! But we are a bit picky about our chili. We like it:

  • Super thick!
  • Chunky, but not too chunky. You get me?
  • Spicy, but not like fire-in-your-mouth spicy. Just the cozy, warming, winter afternoon kind of spicy.
  • Simple. On most occasions, we don’t want any strange ingredients in our chili. Lentils, I’m looking at you!

So… with that, I’d like to introduce you to my dad’s award-winning classic chili recipe.

That’s right, this beef chili is a cook-off champion! When I was just a kid, my dad experimented with his favorite chili recipe and entered it into our hometown chili cook-off. He ended up winning first place for overall BEST chili! And this recipe has been a favorite in our family ever since. You won’t be surprised he took home the blue ribbon, once you give this dish a taste!

On Pinterest I looked for chili with no beans and got your recipe. I’m trying to eat a low glycemic food plan for diabetes and all the ingredients in your chili fit the bill.I only had yellow and orange peppers so I used them and I love cinnamon so I added that as well. I also took your suggestion and let it simmer the full two hours! Delicious, absolutely delicious! We had no toppings but it didn’t need it! My husband’s taking it to work tomorrow for lunch, that’s a huge compliment, he doesn’t do that often!

— Debbie

Table of Contents

Ingredients needed

One of the best things about chili recipes is that they’re completely versatile. I’ve listed our favorite ingredients below, but feel free to substitute or completely leave out any ingredient to suite your family’s taste preference. Here’s the lineup:

  • Ground meat. Any ground meat will work great. However, note that if you’re using ground beef with a higher fat content, you’ll want to drain off any excess grease after it’s cooked. We typically like to use lean ground beef.
  • Onions. A must for most any soup or chili recipe!
  • Green bell peppers. Adds a slightly spicy and aromaticflavor. If you want to use red bell peppers instead, that works too!
  • Tomatoes. My dad’s recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, which are larger and softer than diced tomatoes. You can totally use either, though! For extra richness, add a few tablespoons of tomato paste. And for a roasted flavor, use fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • Beef broth. I recommend using a low-sodium beef broth because then you can control the amount of salt in the meal.
  • Spices. We’re using a delicious blend of chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Feel free to use as much or as little as you prefer. For a bit of heat, add a dash or two of cayenne pepper.
  • For serving. Top your bowl of deliciousness with any favorites! We love sour cream, shredded cheese and diced avocado.

How to make this recipe

You may have tried other chili recipes, but this one’s definitely my favorite! It’s so flavorful and super easy! Here’s the simple process, but for the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Sauté. The first step in making this is to sauté the ground beef with the onion and bell pepper in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook the beef until just cooked through, it doesn’t need to cook too long because it will continue to cook as the ingredients simmer.
  2. Simmer.Add the rest of the ingredients – tomatoes, beef broth and spices into the pot. We typically add a couple tablespoons chili powder, a couple teaspoons cumin and 1 teaspoon salt to start off. Now, it’s time to let everything simmer away! So easy! The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it will become. Stir occasionally using a wooden spoon.
  3. Serve. Once cooked to your liking, taste and adjust seasonings. Then, ladle into bowls and top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

My dad recommends letting the chili simmer over a couple of hours to let the flavors really shine. However, if you don’t have that kind of time, you can enjoy it after about 30 minutes of simmering. It’s even better the next day after all of the flavors really have a chance to meld together and become stronger. Yum!

An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (2)
An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (3)

Expert tips

This is seriously the best chili recipe and it comes together with very little effort, but here are few tips to consider.

  • Ground beef. We like to use 90% lean ground beef. It’s got plenty of flavor without all the extra fat.
  • Ingredients. This recipe is very versatile. Feel free to add the amount of spices and other ingredients that you prefer.
  • Crockpot. Using theslow cooker method for making chili is great. Because you’re cooking low and slow, the flavor will be rich and robust and the texture of the beef will turn out nice and tender.Six hours of slow cooking is perfect! For best results, sauté the onion, bell pepper and meat. Then, add the meat mixture along with all of the other ingredients to the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. We don’t recommend cooking it on high.
  • Make ahead. Chili always tastes better the dayafteryou make it. Whip up a pot on the weekend and enjoy it as a quick dinner during the week.

Frequently asked questions

What is the secret to great chili?

As strange as it might sound, many people like to add the secret ingredient, ground cinnamonto chili. It brings a warmth to the dish, without being spicy. It combines well with other flavors commonly found in chili (like tomatoes, cumin and chile powder), so you only need a little bit to achieve the desired balance. If you’d like to give it a try, add about 1/2 teaspoon, taste and you can always add a bit more, if you’d like.

What is the best meat for beef chili?

The best meat for chili depends on the type you’re making. For example, in this beef chili, you’ll be using ground beef. The fullest fat meat will make the richest chili. Many use a combination ofground chuck, brisket, short ribs, or diced tri-tip sirloin mixed with bacon and sausage.Using a a joining of different types of meats like this give the chili a depth of flavor and multiple textures.

Do you need broth for chili?

Chili should cook low and slow, soyou need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable stock, or beer.

Is beef chili healthy?

This particular version of beef chili has great nutrition, especially if you use a leaner meat. Healthy is subjective and means something different to everyone, but it’s packed with good-for-you ingredients. We’ve got veggies and high protein lean ground meat, so it is a balanced meal. And for one big bowl, the calories are just over 200 and the fat is only 6 grams, while the protein is 26 grams! This chili recipe can also easily be made paleo, Whole30 and gluten free.

An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (4)

Serving suggestions

Cornbread is the classic side dish for homemade chili, and my Low Calorie Mexican Cornbread Muffinsor this incredible Mexican Cornbread (personal favorite) pair perfectly for a complete meal! Other great options include serving the chili over a baked potato, on a hot dog, or poured over french fries. There are so many different ways to enjoy it and you just can’t go wrong with this recipe!

Toppings

To add even more flavor to your bowl of chili, top with any of the following options!

  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled cotjia cheese
  • Crushed tortilla chips, and/or crumbled corn bread
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Diced avocado or guacamole
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, green onion, red onion

Recipe variations

While this is a classic version, there are many ways to customize it to your tastes.

  • Turkey chili. Use ground turkey instead of the beef. Or even a combo works – 1 pound turkey and 1 pound beef.
  • Beans. Add 1 to 2 (15-ounce) cans of dark red kidney beans.
  • Seasonings. Add 2 teaspoons smoked paprika and 2 teaspoons garlic powder for a different flavor option. Oregano is also a popular seasoning for chili.
  • Three bean chili. Use a total of 3 1/2 cups of black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans.
  • Meat lovers chili. Use 2 pounds of cubed and browned stew meat instead of the ground beef.

How to serve leftovers

Turn your leftover chili into another meal with so many tasty options!

  • Pair with crackers, corn chips, tortilla chips or warm tortillas
  • Serve overrice
  • With fries orpotato wedges
  • Stuffed inside baked potatoes
  • Combine it with macaroni noodles for chili mac
  • As Sloppy Joes piled high on hamburger buns
  • As a hot dog topping — Chili Dogs!
An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (5)

Storage recommendations

  • Storing leftovers.Thiswill stay good in your fridge for about 1 week. Once it is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it) without any additional toppings and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating. Simply pop it in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop. Add your toppings once you’re ready to serve!
  • To freeze.This freezes beautifully and reheats really well. Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing it in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat from frozen. Thaw it overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, when you’re ready to eat.

During the winter months, we love to keep some stocked in the freezer for an easy and delicious dinner! It’s also great for meal prep! Freeze small batches for an easy lunch throughout the week. Sometimes we even make a double batch (using two large pots) then freeze a batch for dinner the next week or even month.

More recipes you’ll love:

Looking for more chili recipes? Try our other favs!

  • Crockpot White Chicken Chili
  • Vegan Quinoa Chili
  • Healthy Turkey Chili
  • Beef Sweet Potato Chili
  • Chicken Chili
  • Bison Chili
  • Butternut Squash Chili

Helpful tools:

  • Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven– If you’re open to spending a bit of money on a piece that you’ll own forever, Le Creuset is my favorite brand for heavy pots and cookware.
  • Lodge Dutch Oven – Lodge is a great brand as well. I own several of their cast iron skillets and have been very happy with them. This one is morebudget-friendly, but still great quality!
  • Ground Beef Chopper– This cheap ground meat chopper is life-changing! I seriously don’t know why I waited so long to order one. Makes cooking ground meat so much easier.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to giveit a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagramwith a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (6)

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4.60 from 174 votes

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Beef Chili Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

If you’re a chili fan, you’re in the right place. This no-bean beef chili recipe is seriously the best! In fact, it just happens to be an award-winning chili recipe! And there’s really nothing like a good bowl of classic chili, especially as the weather cools down. It's easy to make and is perfect for game day, a lazy winter evening or really anytime!

Author: Kim

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef*
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, diced (or 1 red bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed, crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans beef broth
  • chili powder & ground cumin, added to your desired taste , (You will most likely add a couple of tablespoons of chili powder and a teaspoon or two of cumin.)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional for serving: sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, fresh chopped cilantro, diced avocado or guacamole and sliced jalapeños

Instructions

  • In a large stockpot (or dutch oven) over med-high heat sauté ground meat with diced onion and bell pepper until meat is just done. Don’t cook meat too long because it will continue to cook within the chili.

    An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (7)

  • Add the rest of the ingredients in with the ground meat mixture, including seasonings; stir to combine. The amount of seasoning is up to you. You will most likely want to add seasoning as the chili cooks, tasting as the chili continues to cook. Bring the chili to a boil and then lower heat to simmer and cover.

    An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (8)

  • Chili can be enjoyed in as little as 10-20 minutes after simmering. However, if you've got the time, allow chili to simmer for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally. The longer you allow the chili to cook, the tastier it will become. After simmering for preferred amount of time, ladle into bowls and top with any favorite chili toppings. We like sour cream, cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños. So good! Enjoy!

    An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (9)

Notes

*Use any ground meat you prefer. I’ve used ground turkey, bison, chicken and even a combo of 1 pound ground turkey and 1 pound ground beef. I like to use lean ground beef, but you can also use regular ground beef.

  • Storing leftovers.Thiswill stay good in your fridge for about 1 week. Once it is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it) without any additional toppings and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating. Simply pop it in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop. Add your toppings once you’re ready to serve!
  • To freeze.This freezes beautifully and reheats really well. Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing it in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat from frozen. Thaw it overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, when you’re ready to eat.

Photos by Danielle fromOur Salty Kitchen

Author: Kim

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 338mg, Potassium: 736mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 880IU, Vitamin C: 34mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 5mg

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posted by Kim on October 3, 2023

56 comments Leave a comment »

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56 comments on “Beef Chili Recipe”

Leave a comment »

  1. Mireya Harding Reply

    This is one of the best if not the best chili recipe thus far! I invited some friends over and they loved it. Even my toddler enjoyed it. Thank you for this recipe.An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (10)

    • Kim Reply

      Oh that makes me so happy! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  2. MR805 Reply

    Made this last night for dinner. My family wasn’t too happy about having chili and cornbread. All I have to say is the pot was empty and no leftovers whatsoever! This was the best chili they had!
    Thank you for sharing!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (11)

    • Kim Reply

      This is awesome! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed, and thanks so much for your comment!

  3. Brittany Reply

    Absolutely delicious! Easy to make which is a bonus! 10/10An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (12)

  4. Connie Reply

    I really liked the recipe because its not overpowered by tomatoes!The beef broth cuts the tomatoes nicely. I added 3/4 can of pinto beans. And I put it over some rice and it was great. Nice bite to it also!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (13)

    • Kim Reply

      So happy to hear you enjoyed! Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. Debbie Reply

    On Pinterest I looked for chili with no beans and got your recipe. I’m trying to eat a low glycemic food plan for diabetes and all the ingredients in your chili fit the bill.
    I only had yellow and orange peppers so I used them and I love cinnamon so I added that as well. I also took your suggestion and let it simmer the full two hours! Delicious, absolutely delicious! We had no toppings but it didn’t need it! My husband’s taking it to work tomorrow for lunch, that’s a huge compliment, he doesn’t do that often!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (14)

    • Kim Reply

      This makes me so happy to hear! Thanks so much for all of your feedback!

  6. Emilie Reply

    Can you cook this in a crockpot?

    • Kim Reply

      Yes, I give instructions in the FAQ section of the page. Enjoy!

  7. Ashley Reply

    This looks good! How much is 1 serving size if I was to measure it out based on your macros listed above?

    • Kim Reply

      I’m sorry, I don’t remember. Each serving should be about 1 1/2 to 2 cups, though.

  8. Sara Reply

    Great recipe. Making it for our Super Bowl party. ThanksAn award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (15)

    • Kim Reply

      Awesome! So happy to hear!

  9. Cindy Reply

    Easy, delicious recipe! I prefer homemade, so I’m happy to now be able to make a homemade chili—no package chili seasoning packet used! I just made this chili for our dinner tonight, and it was easy to make and delicious! I added a half a red bell pepper as you gave it as an option. I’ll be making this again! Thank you!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (16)

    • Kim Reply

      That makes me so happy to hear! Thanks so much for your feedback!

  10. Julia Reply

    Are you saying two 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes so 29oz total? Or two cans for 14.5oz total? Same question for beef broth.

    • Kim Reply

      29 ounces total for both. Enjoy!

      • Julia

        Thank you!

  11. Andrea Moore Reply

    Do you drain the beef mixture after it browns?

    • Kim Reply

      If you’re using lean ground beef, you shouldn’t have to but I would with full fat.

  12. Penny Reply

    Had to piggy back on my last comment. I served this last night at a bonfire party and EVERYBODY loved it. Definitely a hit. My husband who is super picky about his chili loved it.
    Thank you so much for sharing your dads recipeAn award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (17)

    • Kim Reply

      Oh, that makes me so VERY happy!!

  13. Penny Reply

    Omgosh, so good.
    I just made this for a party I’m having tomorrow night for about 30 people.
    I added 4 Jalapeños and a teaspoon of cinnamon for a little added kick and touch of sweet and it is perfect.An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (18)

    • Kim Reply

      This makes me so happy to hear! Thanks so much for your feedback – love the addition of cinnamon!

    • Lindsay Reply

      I’m having a similar size crowd, did you double or triple the recipe?

  14. Karen Reply

    Just made this fabulous tasting chili before I expect to lose power due to Hurricane Ian in Orlando! Grateful for delicious food to provide comfort while hunkering down during this scary storm!!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (19)

    • Kim Reply

      So happy to hear you’re enjoying the chili, but very sorry to hear that you’re having to deal with the hurricane. Stay safe!

  15. Jade Reply

    Delicious and so easy!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (20)

  16. Pam Reply

    I had to add some spices. It was a tad bland for this southern girl but all in all we enjoyed it!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (21)

  17. Denise Reply

    This chili was easy and so flavorful! Will definitely make again!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (22)

  18. DiB Reply

    It would be helpful for you to add measurements for the spices. When making a recipe for the FIRST time I am dependent on measurements……I adjust afterwards if I make the dish again.

    • Kim Reply

      Start with 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 black pepper

  19. addie Reply

    is the serving size one cup?

    • Kim Reply

      I’m pretty sure it would be at least 1 1/2 cups. I just took the recipe and divided by 8 for the nutritional info. I didn’t actually measure out the recipe in cups.

  20. Gina Reply

    I made this chili for dinner tonight. It was a big hit with the kids since it didn’t have any beans in it. It had good flavor. My only complaint is…it was too watery. I let it simmer for an hour and a half thinking it would thicken up. Next time I will only put in 1 can of beef broth.An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (23)

  21. Sydney Reply

    I have made this weekly since November. We love it that much!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (24)

  22. Kim creed Reply

    I added two cans of tomato sauce as well made it fantastic chilli!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (25)

    • Kim Reply

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed!

  23. Beth Reply

    LOVE this award winning chili! It turned out soooooo good! I love that it’s not too chunky, not too spicy chili so it’s perfect for me!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (26)

  24. Katie Reply

    I did not have beef broth on hand so I substituted with chicken broth, added 4 garlic cloves and used 1/2 ground turkey 1/2 ground beef. Turned out delicious!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (27)

    • Kim Reply

      Sounds perfect! So glad you enjoyed!

  25. Darla Barnett Reply

    Browned the beef then threw it all in the Instant pot for 25 minutes! Easy and delicious!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (28)

    • Kim Reply

      Yay! Awesome to know it worked well in the instant pot. Thanks so much for your comment!

  26. Nicole M Reply

    Made this for the first time tonight. Halved the recipe and it was perfect! Will definitely be making it again and again!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (29)

    • Kim Reply

      Love hearing this! So glad you enjoyed!

  27. Kelly Anthony Reply

    I love a bowl of hot chili this time of year and this chili was a winning recipe. My whole family enjoyed and I will definitely make again!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (30)

  28. Sara Reply

    We just had chilly fall weather that appeared over night and this was the perfect easy dinner! So tasty!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (31)

  29. Amy | The Cook Report Reply

    Made this chili last night and it was beyond delicious! Will definitely be making again and again through winter.An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (32)

  30. Demeter Reply

    So much flavor in this chili, but it’s so simple too! It’s my new go-to!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (33)

  31. Liz Reply

    Loved this recipe! I was hesitant to try because it seemed so simple, but it was absolutely delicious. I used lean ground turkey and it was fabulous! An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (34)

  32. Cathy Reply

    I loved this chili so much! 🙂 Even my picky kids and hubby enjoyed!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (35)

  33. Danielle Wolter Reply

    I am such a huge fan of chili and this version was amazing! So much great flavor – can’t wait to make it again!An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (36)

  34. Eileen Kelly Reply

    You are not kidding, award winning! Such a delicious chili that is also easy to make. And great game day chili – perfect for a crowd.An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (37)

  35. Roxana Reply

    Great chili recipe packed with flavor. So easy too. Love the amount of detail and tips in this post.An award-winning beef chili recipe that's the best! You've found it! (38)

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