This homemade chili recipe is filled with all the classic ingredients, like beef, pork, beans, chili seasoning, tomato sauce, and more. It’s so easy to make a big batch for a crowd, or just for a cozy family dinner. This is the best chili recipe because it’s hearty, flavorful, and filling. A bowl of this will satisfy every craving!
What’s in this Homemade Chili?
This classic chili recipe is filled with both beef and pork, beans, and lots of other ingredients that create the most delicious dish. It’s mostly pantry staples so your shopping list won’t be too long!
- Beef: Use ground chuck for the most flavor, as it has more fat than ground beef. However, you can substitute the latter if you prefer.
- Pork: Use pork sausage meat.
- Beans: This chili uses a combination of black beans and red beans.
- Chili Seasoning: Make your own chili seasoning if you don’t have any on hand. It’s a mix of chili powder, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a few other herbs and spices.
- Tomato Sauce: This is the base of the saucey component.
- Yellow Onion: Yellow onion creates the best flavor. If you like red onions, I recommend saving them for a topping instead.
- Garlic: If you love garlic, feel free to add more than 1 clove.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This is tangy, salty, and sweet all in one, so it adds a nice overall flavor.
- Vinegar: The acid in vinegar helps to balance everything out and brighten up the flavor for a finishing touch. You can use any kind of vinegar or cider vinegar.
- Ketchup: This is a great way to enhance the flavor, as it contains both sugar and vinegar (sweet and acidic).
- Yellow Mustard: Mustard adds tanginess to the flavor.
What are the best chili toppings?
A bowl of chili may be filled with tons of delicious ingredients, but it still isn’t complete without the toppings! You can add whatever you like here, but here are my favorites.
- A dollop (or two) of sour cream.
- Sprinkle with some cilantro or parsley.
- Chopped onions (or even caramelized onions) make a great topping.
- Add plenty of shredded cheese (I love how it melts on top).
- Crackers, croutons, or torn up pieces of bread.
- Jalapenos or hot sauce can add some extra spice.
This recipe really isn’t spicy. While the chili seasoning adds a small kick, it’s pretty mellow. If you want something spicier, use a spicier chili mix, add more cayenne, or you could simply add peppers as a topping (jalapenos taste great with chili).
I recommend using ground chuck (beef) and sausage roll (pork). The mix of both makes a really savory, hearty, protein-packed chili. But you could just use one or the other, or even leave the meat out if you want a vegetarian version.
We want our chili to be nice and thick! So keep simmering until it really thickens up.
If it’s still too watery and thin after about an hour, add a flour or cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. To do this, mix corn starch or flour with cold water, and then mix that into the pot of chili.
The longer chili simmers on the stove top, the thicker it will get and the more the ingredients will meld together. That means, yes, a longer cook time means more flavor. But usually an hour is plenty of time, or until it reaches your desired consistency.
Absolutely! Chili actually gets better in the fridge if you ask me, so make it up to a couple days ahead of time and reheat. Or make it and freeze to keep it even longer.
Yes, you definitely want to drain the beans first. Otherwise all that extra liquid will thin out the chili too much.
Let chili simmer with the lid off. This allows liquid to escape as it cooks down and thickens. The lid would keep extra moisture in, which could lead to watery chili.
How to Store and Reheat
Fridge: Let the beef chili cool before storing. Then place it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Make Ahead: If you are cooking this chili for a crowd, feel free to make it ahead of time! The flavor really intensifies as it “marinates” in the fridge, so it’ll taste even better this way.
Microwave: To reheat, warm it up the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring to heat it evenly.
Stovetop: You can also gently reheat it on the stove top until warmed through.
How to Freeze Classic Chili
Place leftovers in airtight, freezer-safe containers (or a freezer-safe resealable bag to freeze flat). It will keep in the freezer for 4-6 months. Thaw it in the fridge and then reheat to eat!
What to Serve with Chili
This classic, hearty, homemade chili is plenty filling on its own. I love to serve it for a comforting dinner when it’s cold outside, or for an easy game day meal. I always add some cornbread, dinner rolls, or hearty bread to go along with.
If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy! You can also jump to recipe.
Loved it. Made a few changes, some minor like pinto beans instead of red, and a whole onion instead of 1/2 cup. Added some cayenne pepper for heat. The big change was using some Costco bacon crumbles, 3 generous handfuls. I doubled the tomato sauce because of this. This is my go to now. Thanks, Becky.
Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing, Mike!
Made this today, excellent chili, beautiful texture & taste. Just barely cover the
ground beef with water, so it evaporates more quickly for browning. This step really made a difference.
Thanks so much for sharing, Pat!
My first time making chili as a meal prep and this came out absolutely AMAZING I’ve had a lot of different kinds of chili and this was by far one of the best even my husband said it was really good and he’s never had chili before. I’ll defiantly be making this again.
Sounds like a success, Kayla!
I am looking forward to trying this chilli. Can I make it in a crockpot? If, so what would change?
Here is a crockpot chili recipe.Crockpot Chili
This is my go-to chili recipe and it is always a crowd pleaser! Thank you so much!!
That’s great to hear!
Excellent recipe! I should have made double as it was mostly devoured.
Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!
Just finished, been tasting as I go, delicious, can’t wait to share, went to Publix for extra containers.
So happy to hear, Ronnie!
This is the most incredible recipe! I have finally found my chili!
some similar chili recipe is here in Balkan made in Serbia, Bulgaria , Romania, some time with rice
How awesome!!! Thank you!
Please correct the spelling of black beans! Thank you.