Wendy’s Chili (Copycat)

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Wendy’s Chili copycat made with kidney beans, onions, chilis, bell peppers and tomatoes with a spicy chili powder and cumin spices. The perfect copycat!

Wendy's Chili copycat made with kidney beans, onions, chilis, bell peppers and tomatoes with a spicy chili powder and cumin spices. The perfect copycat!Wendy’s Chili is a no brainer now that the weather is cooling down in a hurry. This copycat recipe is actually so spot on that when I tested it on an unsuspecting family member who loves it she replied, “If you got Wendy’s where is my FROSTY!!”

Sadly, I had not made a Wendy’s Frosty for her, but the chili is in fact a very spot-on copycat. Plus I love serving it with my Jalapeno Popper Cornbread Muffins.

Wendy’s Chili seems like it would be a tough recipe to make, but honestly the most difficult part is waiting for it to cook low and slow. In fact here are some tips and tricks for making this the PERFECT chili recipe.

  • Add in a tablespoon of butter at the end of cooking. It helps mellow flavors and provide the best texture. It adds a richness with minimal calories (it is only 1 tablespoon for the whole pot!).
  • Cook on a “simmer” which is lower than “low” usually. Cooking on a simmer is just the smallest of bubbles.
  • If you find your chili doesn’t look the same as below you may have the heat on too high so too much water has evaporated or on too low and too much water is remaining.
  • If you’re nervous about cooking it uncovered just stir more frequently. You’ll be able to feel if any of the chili is sticking to the pot.

Slow Cooker Wendy’s Chili Recipe?

  • Brown the beef before adding to the slow cooker. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

An amazing Wendy's Chili Copycat!

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Tools used in the making of this Wendy’s Chili Copycat:
Cast Iron Dutch Oven: Great heavy bottomed pan is amazing for low, even cooking and high quality for not a lot of money! Plus the lid is a second pan!
Pot Strainer: MY LIFESAVER. I strain everything in a pot through this and it is SO MUCH easier than a colander. Perfect for cooking 1 pot meals.
Pinto Beans: I also use this variety with jalapenos when I don’t want to go to the store for fresh jalapenos.
Kidney Beans: My favorite for salad toppings too, this variety is my favorite.

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Recipe

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Wendy’s Chili (Copycat)

5
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
Wendy’s Chili copycat made with kidney beans, onions, chilis, bell peppers and tomatoes with a spicy chili powder and cumin spices. Taste like a perfect copycat!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef 85/15
  • 29 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 29 ounces canned kidney beans not drained
  • 29 ounces canned pinto beans not drained
  • 28 ounces canned tomatoes chopped (not drained)
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 diced jalapeno de-seeded and de-veined
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

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

  1. In a heavy bottomed stockpot brown the ground beef.
  2. Drain the fat.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except the butter) and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower to a simmer and cook uncovered (please keep at a simmer level) for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
  5. Add in the butter and stir until fully melted and incorporated.
  6. Serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 servings, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Wendy's Chili copycat made with kidney beans, onions, chilis, bell peppers and tomatoes with a spicy chili powder and cumin spices. Taste like a perfect copycat!
An amazing Wendy's Chili Copycat!

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Comments

    1. Loved it. Except for not draining the beans. Which means you’re leaving the ingredient that causes gas.. I have cooked many chili recipes, , as a firehouse cook. That’s how I know.

  1. This looks exactly like Wendy’s chili. Can’t wait to try this. I am really loving the fact that this only calls for 1 Tbsp of butter for the entire recipe.

    1. I did a side by side taste test and thought it was spot on but if you’d like to add garlic powder, definitely go for it! Enjoy!!

  2. Just made this for supper. I made it in the crock pot and just added half he chilli powder and 3/4 the cumin. It was delicious.i didn’t spice it as much because I have picky 3 year old. I just added till it was flavorful but not too much. My son still wouldn’t eat it. My husband he really liked it.

    Rating: 4
    1. It may seem like a lot but after a side-by-side taste comparison, that’s the correct amount to get the right flavor. Enjoy!

  3. My daughter loves Wendy’s chili, so I thought I would give this a try. It is SO much better than the one that I have made in the past. If you want it to taste like Wendy’s, though, I would suggest leaving out the jalapeno. It gives way too much heat to this – Wendy’s doesn’t have any kick/burn to it, and this was so hot I barely could eat it.

  4. Bingo! 5/5 for taste, 5/5 for simplicity, 5/5 for authenticity. This recipe is a keeper….thank you so much!

    Rating: 5