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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Ingredients

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.

Equipment

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

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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)

FAQs

What is the secret to really 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 number one chili in the world? ›

The Carolina Reaper is once again officially the Worlds Hottest Pepper.

What secret ingredient will deepen the flavor of your chili? ›

Stir some puréed pumpkin into your chili just after sautéing your aromatics (onions, garlic, etc...) and before adding any liquid. This will deepen and sweeten its flavor, making it a great balance for all the chile peppers and heat.

What is the secret to competition chili? ›

Additional Depth of Flavor

Ingredients like tomato paste, cinnamon, coffee and liquid smoke can all add flavor hints that will make your chili cook-off entry unique. Roast your vegetables and use broth or beer instead of water for even more flavor in your pot.

What is the magic ingredient for chili? ›

A cup of strong, brewed coffee will work wonders for your pot of chili, imparting a deep, roasted flavor that will make the chili taste like it simmered away all day long.

What not to put in chili? ›

Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

What adds the most flavor to chili? ›

If you want more of a smoky flavor, add cumin, Spanish paprika, ancho chili powder, or a combination. If you are looking for more heat, add cayenne, crushed red pepper, or Hungarian paprika. If it's too spicy add a little brown sugar and some sweet paprika.

What is the king of chili? ›

In Northeast India, bhut jolokia is also known as the "king chili" or "king cobra chilli'".

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.

How to make chili taste richer? ›

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.

Why do 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 is the best meat for chili? ›

When making chili, former Southern Living Test Kitchen Director, Robby Melvin, recommends using a mix of ground chuck and ground sirloin. "It's the best of both worlds," he says. "You get a balanced lean-to-fat ratio from the chuck and the hearty, beefy leanness from the sirloin."

Is chili better the longer it cooks? ›

Not Cooking It Long Enough

A low and slow cook time—at least an hour total—is key for drawing out the most flavor in a pot of chili.

What does tomato paste do for chili? ›

The tomato paste adds color and rich flavor to our chili. Now we have our flavorful base, you are going to finish the chili with pureed tomatoes, beef broth (or chicken broth), and beans. Beans make this chili hearty — I like pinto beans or kidney beans.

Is it better to make chili the night before? ›

Can chili be made ahead of time? Absolutely! Chili actually tastes better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld. You can make a big batch, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and reheat it when you're ready to enjoy.

What can I add to chili to make it amazing? ›

Spices: While cumin, chile powder, and cayenne pepper tend to be common additions to many chili recipes, there's a broad world of flavor out there to experiment with. Try a little fenugreek, turmeric, garam masala, or sumac to layer in more complex flavors. Smoky paprika is my own personal favorite.

What makes can chili taste better? ›

Although canned chili will already have some seasonings, fresh herbs and spices will add bolder flavor. You can upgrade your chili using ingredients you likely already have on your spice rack, such as chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.

What makes the best chili meat? ›

The best chili meat is a combination of meats, often a mix of ground chuck, ground sirloin, brisket, diced tri-tip, and/or some bacon or sausage. Do your best to mix smaller pieces with larger pieces to stack textures and make it your own! Happy cooking!

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