This hearty soup is the BEST Chili recipe ever, and its loaded with meat, peppers, beans and enough spices to keep you warm all Winter. Each spoonful is packed with a melody of flavors and a robust body that makes for one full, happy belly especially when served with this Cornbread. If you love chili like this, definitely try this Fajita Chili, White Chicken Chili, and Black Eyed Peas Chili!
The Most Flavorful BEST Chili Recipe Ever
New news: My family is headed Southwest sometime this year where the sun shines year round and my down coat can collect dust in a forgotten closet. Don’t get me wrong, I have such a strong love for Chicago and I will miss it dearly but, it’s time to turn a new leaf.
So, I’ve decided to soak in this last Winter the best way I know how: curled up under warm blankets with a hot bowl of chili. Yes, I know there will be plenty of delicious Texan chili in my future but this is different. This chili warms the soul and pads the hips for those brisk few months. Each spoonful is comforting, homey and oh-so tasty.
Let’s stir up a pot, tighten our fuzzy robes and curl up with my chili recipe!
In just under an hour I can have a homemade dinner the whole family will love!
How to Make The BEST Chili!
Chili is the ultimate one-pot meal: all you need is your favorite heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven and a big ‘ole wooden spoon. The ingredients are simple and the time spent stirring is therapeutic.
The best part of this recipe is how customizable it is. Chili is meant to be a concoction of your own creation. Experiment with heat level by using a poblano or a serrano rather than jalapeno. Play with the ratios of spices to fit your taste. Don’t like kidney beans? Use cannellini, black or even lentils! This recipe truly is up to you to make your own.
The ingredients that really make this recipe special are:
- Tomatoes in different forms
- Brown sugar
- Steak sauce
- Smoked paprika
- Worcestershire sauce
From diced tomatoes to crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, this adds a variety of flavors to the chili, as well as textures. The brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness and depth with the addition of molasses.
Steak sauce and worcestershire both a complexity of flavors to the chili and of course the spices paprika and cumin really amp up that chili powder in a unique way.
Use this recipe as a jumping off point to find your perfect chili. Get creative, get silly and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. I’d love to hear about any changes you’ve made in the comments!
Easy Chili Storage and Meal Planning
Still recovering from the holidays? Need some time to recoup? Meal prepping a week of dinner is the best way to save some money and make a little extra time in your day.
Based on your family size, double the recipe and once cooled, portion out the chili into airtight containers.
Tip: In the refrigerator, your chili will last 4-5 days. If you choose to freeze the chili for future consumption, it will last 4-6 months.
How to Make Vegan Chili
Have dietary restrictions? Trying to stick to those new year’s resolutions? I got you. To make this a plant-based recipe simply use vegetable stock rather than a meat-based stock.
Rather than using meat, try adding a root vegetable like sweet potatoes or double up on the beans and use several ones. There are even a few plant-based alternative “ground meat” like tofu options that you can use in place of the meat.
Classic Chili Toppings
Half the fun of a bowl of chili is getting to load it up with your favorite toppings! Here are a few of my favorites to get you started.
- Sliced Avocado
- Sour Cream
- Crush Tortilla Chips
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced Tomatoes
- Sliced Olives
Don’t be afraid to load it up baby!
Best Chili Ever
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef or ground chicken or ground turkey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 onion finely diced
- 1/2 bell pepper finely diced
- 1 tsp jalepeno finely diced (can go up to 2 tsps)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 15 oz crushed tomatoes 1 can
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 15.5 oz red kidney beans drained (1 can)
- 1 cup beef stock or chicken
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp steak sauce
- 2 tbsp chili powder can go up to 2 1/2 tbsp
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin can go up to 1 tsp
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes can go up to 1/2 tsp
- Add olive oil to a large dutch oven. Add meat and season with salt and pepper to taste and brown.
- Next add onions, peppers and jalapenos and saute until tender.
- Add garlic and stir in and cook for up to 1 minute.
- Next add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, kidney beans, and stock and stir together to combine.
- Stir in worcestershire, steak sauce, chili powder, onion powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, allspice and red pepper flakes then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a slight boil then reduce heat and continue to simmer uncovered for about 15-25 minutes tasting as you go along (closer to 15 min if you want more liquid and closer to 25 and up to 30 minutes if you want a thicker chili).
- Taste, adjust seasonings to final tastes and serve.