World's Best Chili Recipe (2024)

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This is the world’s best chili recipe! It is a contest winner, total crowd pleaser and the best chili recipe on the internet. It is packed with flavor, texture and color. Make it for your next gathering, large or small, and you will get rave reviews. Add jalapenos for extra spice or go mild!

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Original post: April 2018 | Updated: February 2023

Why This Recipe Works

You have just found the world’s best chili recipe ever. That is a massive claim, but you will soon agree! You are about to have either a very happy tummy, a very happy family or very happy guests.

My husband and I have been making this delicious soup for years. Together we have tweaked it many, many times. Here are a few of the reasons we deem this to be the perfect meal:

  • It is absolute comfort food perfection and such an amazing chili recipe that the whole family will love.
  • It’s versatile! My famous Pip and Ebby chili recipe is a favorite easy recipe for game days, lazy weekends and weeknight meals.
  • This classic chili recipe is perfect for those cozy cold weather snowy days and for larger gatherings like game day parties or holiday feasts.
  • We’ve never thrown a single morsel of it away because this award winning chili recipe (Seriously! It wins every contest I enter!) always gets gobbled down in its entirety.
  • It has the most perfect consistency and there is such a depth of flavor.
  • This beef chili recipe is a GREAT quick and easy comforting soup, but can easily be transformed into a leaner turkey chili (or even venison!).

If you absolutely cannot find a chunk of time to make this delicious dish, consider trying my Easy 5-ingredient chili for a much-condensed version. Enjoy!

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Ground Beef Dinner Ideas

If you have extra ground beef on your hands, browse through this comprehensive roundup of delicious ground beef recipes!

Chili Ingredients and Equipment

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Ground beef – To keep this chili on the leaner side, use ground turkey, ground chicken or lean ground beef. To add a delicious flavor, replace 1 pound of ground beef with 1 pound of ground sausage.

Bell peppers – Any color of bell pepper tastes delicious. Green, yellow, red or orange!

Jalapeno peppers – Although the end result is not “spicy,” omit the jalapenos and cayenne pepper to ensure a totally mild soup. You can cater the spice level to your liking. Personally, I consider this the secret ingredient the thing that helps this soup win chili cook-offs.

Use fresh jalapeños when you can! In a pinch, canned jalapeno peppers will suffice.

Tomato juice For a thicker chili, use half the amount of tomato juice in the recipe.

Beans – While red kidney beans and pinto beans are super tasty inside, feel free to swap out any variety of beans. Or you can omit the beans altogether! Use this no bean chili as your guide.

Spices and seasonings – Chili powder, cumin,sugar,oregano,salt,pepper andcayenne pepper are the perfect combination of spices!

In small amounts, you may add garlic powder or regular paprika to the recipe.

Favorite toppings – Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, cilantro, lime wedges, chopped red onion, crushed corn chips or crushed saltine crackers.


Slow cooker – This makes a very large batch, so you’ll want to use an 8-quart crockpot or larger.

Extra large saute pan – I adore my 7-quart saute pan! There are a lot of ingredients to cook before adding them to the slow cooker and you won’t want anything to spill over.

Dutch oven – An alternative to using a large saute pan is to use a 7-quart Dutch oven.

Chili bowls – If you serve hearty soups often, it’s worth it to invest in a set of chili bowls! These have handles so you can avoid burning your fingers.

Ladle – I love a heavy-duty, extra large ladle for thicker soups like this one.

Wooden spoon – This is a dense mixture to stir, so a good wooden spoon will be helpful and save your hands from cramping up.

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How To Make The Best Chili on Earth

Step 1

In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, cook 2 pounds lean ground beef over medium-high heat until it is no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain the excess fat from the skillet, but do not clean it out.

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Step 2

Add the olive oil to the skillet and reduce heat to medium.

Add the chopped onions, green bell pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using) and sauté veggies over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onions are soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes total time).

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Remove the pan from the heat and add the chili seasoning ingredients to the beef mixture: 3 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.

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Step 3

If you are cooking it on the stove top, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If you’re using a slow cooker, add the meat-veggie mixture to the slow cooker.

Add the tomato juice (replace a portion of the juice with 2-3 cups beef broth or beef stock to add a kick of flavor, if desired), diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to either the skillet or crock pot, depending on which you are using.

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On the stove top, bring to a boil, dial the heat back to medium-low and let chili cook for 2 hours (stir occasionally). In the slow cooker, cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours.

Enjoy immediately! Allow leftovers to cool, then store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Recipe Notes

  • Serve warm with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream! Other great topping options include sliced green onions, avocados, crushed tortilla chips or minced jalapenos (give your meal a nice kick!).
  • This is more of a soupy homemade chili recipe, so in order to thicken, replace the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes and reduce the amount of tomato juice by half.
  • Add up to 1 tablespoon brown sugar for an added touch of sweetness.
  • For a more Mexican flair, replace some or all of the beans with black beans.
  • Turn this into an extra hearty chili by adding diced potatoes or another hearty vegetable such as carrots.
  • Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste for an extra rich flavor.
  • Store leftovers that have been cooled to room temperature in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in heavy duty freezer bags in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Turn this into a spicy chili by adding hot sauce, red pepper flakes or extra jalapenos. A little bit goes a long way with any of these ingredients.

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What To Serve With Chili

Homemade cornbread is a great option to serve alongside this bowl of comfort. Dinner rolls, chopped salad and garlic bread taste delicious, too!

Chili Dinner Ideas

Chili dinners are the best in those cold winter months! If you are looking to round out your meal, peruse this roundup for ideas aboutwhat to serve as appetizers for chili dinner.

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How To Thicken Chili

If you make a delicious batch and find that it is not thick enough for your liking, we have some simple methods that will fix it! Read on for tips about how to thicken chili.

How Long Does Chili Last

If you are wondering how long chili lasts in the fridge or if your batch is still fresh, click over for all the info!

Leftover chili freezes very well! Place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months for best results.

Substitute for Beans in Chili

Whether you can’t eat beans or you just don’t have any on hand, learn what to substitute for beans in crockpot chili!

How To Make Chili In An Instant Pot

This comforting meal turns out like absolute perfection when made in an Instant Pot. Head over to my posted Instant Pot chili to get the full instructions!

What To Do With Chili Leftovers

If you have leftovers (and it’s very possible that you will because this makes a really big batch of chili), please check out these delicious recipes to help use them up:

  • Baked stuffed sweet potatoes
  • Best ever chili dogs
  • Chili mac and cheese
  • Chili-topped baked potatoes

Mac and Cheese Recipes for Thanksgiving – 13 Delicious Ideas!

Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving staple! Read on for some scrumptious mac and cheese recipes for Thanksgiving that you can make this year! You’ll find a ton of options to choose from in this roundup.

What People Are Saying About This Recipe

“I will NEVER make another chilli recipe in my life again!! This is so good! I absolutely hate cooking and all the prep so the first time I made this I told myself I would never again do it. It was so good that it was worth the chopping up of a few veggies and measuring of a bunch of spices. I make it at least 2-3 times every fall/winter now!“ ~ASHLEY

“This IS THE BEST Chili! This recipe has been on rotation in my home for awhile now. Everyone raves about how it IS the BEST chili they be ever had! Thank you for sharing this with us! “ ~SARA

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World’s Best Chili Recipe

This is the best chili recipe on the internet! A contest winner, crowd pleaser and the best chili you’ll find, it will get rave reviews!

5 from 185 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours hours

Total Time: 8 hours hours 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 12

Calories: 391kcal

Author: Megan Porta



  • In a large skillet, cook ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain excess grease from skillet, but do not clean.

  • Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.

  • If cooking on the stove top, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If using a slow cooker, add meat-veggie mixture to the slow cooker. Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to either the skillet or slow cooker, depending on which you are using.

  • On the stove top, bring to a boil, dial back to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours (stir occasionally). In slow cooker, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve warm with cheese and sour cream.


  • Serve warm with cheese and sour cream! Other great topping options include sliced green onions or minced jalapenos (give your meal a nice kick!).
  • For a thicker chili, replace the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes and reduce the amount of tomato juice by half.
  • To keep this chili on the leaner side, use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
  • To add a delicious flavor to the recipe, replace 1 pound of ground beef with 1 pound of ground sausage.
  • For a different flavor, replace some or all of the beans with black beans.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 1108mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1504IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 6mg

Did you make this recipe?If you loved this recipe, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below!

World's Best Chili Recipe (2024)


What is the secret to making good chili? ›

Only Add Flavorful Liquids

Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

What is the most important spice in chili? ›

Most Common Chili Spices. Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

What is the most flavorful meat for chili? ›

What is the best meat for chili? The best meat for chili depends on the type you're making, but professionals generally use a combination of ground chuck, brisket, short ribs, or diced tri-tip sirloin mixed with bacon and sausage to layer multiple textures and flavors.

What are the best beans for chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

Why do you put brown sugar in chili? ›

The brown sugar gave it a sweet/tangy flavor that reminded me of BBQ-sauce! Th chili was so good - it was hard to stop eating it! I did had some extra veggies (1 cl. garlic, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 1 bell pepper, 1 hot pepper) and used a can of diced tomatoes rather than tomato juice.

What liquid is best for chili? ›

The Sauce Ingredients: Choose Up to 2

While something as basic as water will get the job done, broth is a quick and simple way to give chili an extra-savory flavor, and canned tomatoes can add a layer of sweetness.

What does cinnamon do for chili? ›

Cinnamon. The beauty of ground cinnamon is that it brings a warmth to your chili, without being spicy. It works well with other flavors commonly found in chili (like tomato, cumin and chile powder) so you only need a little bit to achieve the desired balance.

Why would you put vinegar in chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

What does paprika do for chili? ›

The most popular form of paprika is sweet paprika, meaning it has no heat. This spice is a rich red color, and is used to add sweet and earthy flavor to meals. Common dishes that use paprika range from authentic Hungarian goulash, to chicken paprikash, rice dishes, chili con carne, eggs, soups, and stews.

Does beef broth make chili taste better? ›

Beef Broth: Provides liquid and enhances the beefy flavor of the chili. Crushed Tomatoes and Tomato Paste: Adds a rich tomato flavor and contributes to the chili's thick texture. Molasses: Offers a touch of sweetness to balance the heat and spices.

How do you make chili taste more meaty? ›

In a pot of chili, just a few strips of bacon add a smoky, meaty depth. And it's not just the bacon itself that adds flavor, it's the bacon fat, too. Before you start your recipe, cook 3 to 4 strips of thick-cut bacon until they're as crispy as you like.

Is ground beef or chuck better for chili? ›

Many chefs agree that chuck roast has the perfect lean-to-fat ratio at 80/20. However, leaner ground beef has its culinary uses too. It may be a better choice for dishes where you want the meat to be more crumbly, like chilis, tacos, sloppy joes, meat sauces, beef patties, and other dishes.

Does Gordon Ramsay put beans in chili? ›

Gordon Ramsay's recipe for chili con carne includes onion, a red chili pepper, fresh tomatoes, and kidney beans. Ramsay's chili recipe is lengthy — it includes everything from ground cumin and sweet paprika to a cinnamon stick, ground beef or beef mince, and garlic.

What is the best onion for chili? ›

Yellow Onions: These are the most versatile and widely available type of onion, and are a good choice for chili con carne. They have a slightly sweet, sharp, and tangy flavor that adds depth and complexity to the dish.

What kind of tomatoes to use in chili? ›

Red Gold tomatoes. Particularly diced with green chilies. Red Gold are grown in Indiana soil, and Indiana grows the sweetest tomatoes. It makes a difference in any tomato dish around here, but especially chili.

What brings out the flavor in chili? ›

Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight. Warming spice blends, like Garam Masala, Ras el Hanout or Baharat are another simple and delicious way to add layered flavors to this simple one-pot meal.

What does sour cream do for chili? ›

For an extra tangy, rich bite, incorporate a dollop (or five) into your batch. This is already common practice in many white chili recipes (which, ironically, are often made with green chiles), but a dollop of stirred-in sour cream can benefit red chili, as well.

What does coffee do for chili? ›

Though it may be an unusual choice, coffee adds an earthy richness to the existing flavors and plays well with spices like cumin and cayenne pepper. Plus, it's a flexible ingredient – while we typically reach for instant espresso powder, you can also add in brewed coffee, making this dish the perfect use for leftovers.


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