This is the absolute best homemade chili recipe! It’s rich, hearty and so full of flavor! Perfect for a chilly fall evening or cold winter’s night. I know you and your family will love this recipe!
I’m so excited to share this chili recipe with you! I have been working on this recipe for quite a while and I think I nailed it!
This chili is very rich and hearty. (I put ½ pound of extra beef in this recipe. It was perfect! ) It is full of flavor from all the variety of great spices and it has just the right amount of spicy heat to give it a nice kick. I think you will love it!!
Let’s dive into the recipe so we can get you a pot of this delicious chili simmering on the stove. Please don’t let the long recipe ingredients scare you. There are a lot of spices in the recipe but you probably have most of them on hand.
Before we get started, I do want to mention a secret ingredient that’s in the chili that you might wonder about. It is cocoa powder. No, I haven’t lost my mind! Lol! Yes we are going to add a little chocolate to the chili. You gotta trust me on this. Cocoa powder adds richness to the chili and it really enhances the flavors of all the spices. Plus it helps to thicken the chili. It’s truly amazing. I promise your chili will not taste like chocolate and no one will ever know there is cocoa powder in the chili. It’s our little secret.
Ingredients that you will need ( Be sure to see the full printable recipe below this post.)
- Ground beef
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow (sweet) onion
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Jalapeño pepper
- Spices: chili powder, cocoa powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Diced tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Beef broth
- Worcestershire sauce
- Pinto beans
- Black beans or you can use dark kidney beans
- Chili beans
Toppings for Chili
Don’t forget the toppings. Delicious toppings just complete the whole chili-eating experience! (That’s my opinion)
Here are some of my favorite toppings
- Sour cream
- Shredded Cheddar cheese, freshly shredded is the best!
- Fresh diced tomatoes
- Fresh diced green onions or yellow onions
- Frito or tortilla chips
What to serve alongside chili
- a hot pan of cornbread is so delicious with chili! Check out my recipes here for cornbread. One is a southern buttermilk cornbread and a Mexican cornbread. Either one would be great with this chili.Southern Buttermild Cornbread Cheesy Mexican Cornbread
- A grilled cheese sandwich goes perfectly with chili
- Saltine crackers, Oyster crackers, or Ritz Crackers.
- You just can’t beat lots of Frito or tortilla chips with chili! Yum!
How to make The Best Chili Ever
- In a large heavy-duty soup pot, brown the ground beef. When the meat is slightly brown, add the bell pepper, onions, garlic and jalapeño pepper. Brown the meat until all the pink is gone and the vegetables are tender.
- Drain the excess fat from the meat. Add all the spices to the meat and vegetables and mix well.
- Next add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, and Worcheshire sauce. Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking or scorching.
- After 40 minutes of simmering, add the pinto beans, black beans, and chili beans. Continue simmering for another 20 minutes. By now your house is smelling so good!!
- Serve hot with all the delicious toppings and hot cornbread or grilled cheese sandwiches. Enjoy!
Can you cook chili in a crockpot?
Yes, you most certainly can. Just brown your ground beef and sauté the vegetables on top of the stove. After draining the excess fat off the meat, place the meat, vegetables, and all the other ingredients in the crockpot or slow cooker. Stir well and cook on medium heat for three to four hours, stirring occasionally. Cook on low heat if you have plenty of time or going to cook it while you go to work. 7 to 8 hours on low should be fine. I would add ¾ cup more beef broth if you are going to cook it on low for a longer period of time so it doesn’t dry out.
Can you freeze chili?
Absolutely! This chili freezes very well. You can freeze it in small containers for individual lunches or in large freezer Ziplock bags for another meal.
Great times to make a pot of chili
- Chili is always great on chilly fall evenings or on a cold winter night.
- Christmas Eve. I love chili on Christmas Eve!
- Game night or for a Super Bowl Party!
- Anytime you need to feed a crowd. Everyone will be begging for this recipe.
Be sure to check out my cookbook Deliciously Southern for a wonderful collection of tried and true Southern recipes.
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Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more delicious recipes!
The Best Chili Ever
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
This is the absolute best homemade chili recipe! It’s rich, hearty and full of flavor! Perfect for a chilly fall or cold winter’s night.
- 2 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large yellow sweet onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (optional but it really adds a delicious kick to the chili)
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- ½ tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcheshire sauce
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans or dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chili beans with sauce
Toppings and Condiments (optional)
- Sour cream
- Shredded Cheddar cheese
- Chopped green onions or diced yellow onions
- 1 fresh tomato, diced
- Frito or tortilla chips
- Lime wedges
- In a large heavy soup pot, brown ground beef over medium heat. When beef is slightly browned, add the red bell pepper, onions, garlic and jalapeño pepper. Cook ground beef until completely browned and the vegetables are tender. Drain the excess fat off the meat.
- Add chili powder, cocoa, sugar, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to the brown ground beef and sautéed vegetables. Mix well.
- Next add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- After the chili has simmered for 40 minutes, add the pinto beans, black beans and chili beans. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
- Serve hot with all your favorite toppings! Enjoy!
Do ahead and freeze tips: You can make this chili up several days ahead. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Reheat on low heat on the stove, in the microwave or if you have plenty of time, place it in the crockpot on medium heat and let it simmer for a few hours.
Note: You may need to add a little more beef broth or water to the chili. This recipe makes a big pot of chili so if you have leftovers it freezes very well for up to 3 months. I like to freeze the chili in freezer ziplock bags. To reheat, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat.