Classic Beef Chili

8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Classic Beef Chili is a ONE POT classic comfort food made with ground beef, beans, crushed tomatoes, and spices, ready in under 45 minutes!

We know how important it is to make comfort food on cold winter days, thats why three of the most popular recipes on the site are Slow Cooker Beef ChiliUltimate Slow Cooker Pot Roast and this recipe!

Classic Beef Chili

Classic Beef Chili is a popular all-time favorite comfort food, made with ground beef, kidney beans, and spices in a thick tomato sauce. Top this chili with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese, and serve with plenty of corn chips or Corn Bread.

Honestly, this is the last chili recipe you’re ever going to need, it’s that good. Plus it only takes ONE POT to make, so there’s less to clean up afterwards! Or if you’re a big fan of Wendy’s Chili, here’s your perfect Copycat.

If you’re short on time, you can make this chili recipe with a packet of chili seasoning and a pinch of chipotle seasoning. This recipe also does great in the pressure cooker or the slow cooker, along with the stovetop. This is also the perfect meal prep recipe, and the total time to cook is under 60 minutes.

You can even make a double batch of this beef chili recipe and freeze half for a quick dinner another day. You’ll also love to serve this over baked potatoes the next day to use up leftovers.

Easy Beef Chili

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet. Then add it with all other ingredients in a crock pot and stir together. Close the lid and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. If you make this in the crock pot, use a liner bag to make cleaning up really easy.

Instant Pot Beef Chili

Use the sauté feature to brown the ground beef and onions. Then add all other ingredients and stir together. Seal the lid and close the pressure valve. Set on manual high temperature for 20 minutes, then let it release naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other vegetables can be added to Beef Chili?

Try adding diced fresh tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, green onions, zucchini, diced potatoes, corn, or mushrooms.

Can I substitute the beef in this chili recipe?

If you don’t want to use ground beef, you can substitute ground turkey or chorizo in this recipe. Or, make this vegetarian by crumbling extra firm tofu and adding a can of black beans and two tablespoons of olive oil.

Is Beef Chili good the next day?

The longer chili sits, the more developed the flavors become. Some people swear that chili is always better the next day!

What can I serve on top of Beef Chili?

Serve with shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream, chopped cilantro, corn chips, and lime wedges. You can also garnish with a few slices of pickled jalapeños.

How do I adjust the heat of Beef Chili?

You can make this more or less spicy by adding or taking away the cayenne pepper or adding chopped jalapeños when you sauté the onion. If your chili is too spicy, add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to cut the spice down and add a nice molasses flavor. For a different flavor, add some chopped chiles in adobo to the ground beef while it’s browning.

What kinds of beans should I use in Beef Chili?

This recipe uses kidney beans but you can use any beans that you have, or a mixture of several types.

How to Store Beef Chili

  • Serve: Beef Chili can be left at room temperature for up to two hours.
  • Store: Beef chili will last in the fridge for 4-5 days, stored in an airtight container.
  • Freeze: You can also cool the chili completely, wrap it tightly and freeze it for 2-3 months.

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Classic Beef Chili

Classic Beef Chili is a ONE POT classic comfort food made with ground beef, beans, crushed tomatoes, and spices, ready in under 45 minutes!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American/Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 pounds ground beef , 85/15
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 15 ounces canned kidney beans , rinsed and drained
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes


  • In a large pot over medium heat add the ground beef and onion, cooking until no longer pink and the onions are soft.
  • Drain and discard the fat and add the garlic, stirring and cooking until you can smell it.
  • Add the tomato paste and chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, kidney beans and tomatoes. Bring it up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (low heat) and cook for 30 minutes.



Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 731mg | Potassium: 887mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1225IU | Vitamin C: 12.2mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 5.2mg
Classic Beef Chili Collage

Photo used in a previous version of this post.

Easy Ground Beef Chili

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. this is my go to chili recipe, even my wife likes it. Describes it as a nice blend of spices and ingredients.

  2. This chili is fantastic! Everyone of your recipes that I have tries always turn out wonderfully. Thank you so much for sharing them!

  3. Hola Sabrina,
    This chili was not good. it was too bland. It could also use vegetables just to also keep it healthy. I will try it again with some vegetables. What vegetables do you recommend adding?

    1. You can definitely spice it up to more to your liking. If you want to add veggies, I suggest carrots and bell peppers. Have fun experimenting.

  4. I made this chili today and it tastes like spaghetti meat sauce. It doesn’t taste like chili. Very disappointed

  5. This recipe definitely needs tweaking. I made it as written even though I seriously doubted the missing sugar. Well I was right. It is waaaaay too acidic without the addition of sugar. I’m brutally honest in this review because most of the reviews posted are people that just want to try out the recipe. I would add 2 teaspoons of sugar to the pot and some oregano as well. However the base of this recipe is great. I’d just build on it.

  6. Great chili recipe. Made in the InstantPot. Sautéed beef and onions then turned to slow cook. Let it sit in fridge overnight. Was scrumptious and easy. My new ‘go too recipe for chili.

  7. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours!
    I did add 1Tbsp of oregano to the recipe and it was DELISH! I also added 1 can tomatoes w/green chillies. My college daughter said it was “really good”! I have 1 serving left that I need to hide from the spouse. (Ohmygosh-so good!)

  8. If I leave the beans out, will it still be good. Not a bean lover, but like chili.n. That’s why
    I gave it the four stars. Only took 1 away for the beans ;o]

  9. This chili looks so yummy. I love chili, but my husband isn’t a fan so to be able to freeze the extra is wonderful. I don’t like kidney beans and usually sub them with black beans.

  10. Hi Sabrina, I am making this for dinner and as I’m adding the spices, I wasn’t sure how much oregano and paprika to add so I guessed at it. Should it have been in the ingredient list, am I blind or what? Thanks for your help.

  11. Earlier I saw a receipt for crab artichoke dip and I can’t find it again. Would you be able to send that to me please.

  12. This looks really delicious! You’re totally right that a big bowl of chili is such great comfort food this time of year! I really appreciate all the terrific tips you gave, especially on how to make this on stovetop vs. pressure cooker vs. slow cooker – that’s super-helpful! And great ideas on all those toppings and different mix-ins (yum – zucchini and mushrooms!). So many great ideas and variations to try – love it!

  13. It looks totally fabulous blog. it is water in My mouth to see your fabulous recipes here hmmm i love to learn this and apply at my home.

  14. Oregano and Paprika aren’t in the ingredient list but are mentioned in the directions. How much of each, if they are supposed to be in the recipe??