I’ve been making this hearty chili recipe for years. You only need one large pot to cook all the ingredients in, which saves a lot of time on dishes! This recipe makes a large amount, so whether you are making it for your family, a party, or a potluck, you are sure to please the masses!
As soon as football season hits, something registers in my brain that says, “Make all the comfort foods”. And before I know it, I’m whipping up chili and cornbread, apple crisp, and anything pumpkin flavored.
I LOVE fall. Where I live, it’s very short-lived, so I try to soak it up while I can! That means we’re hitting up the apple orchards, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and hiking trails to catch the incredible fall colors.
There’s something so comforting about a hearty dish like chili. It warms you up and fills you up thanks to the protein it’s packed with.
Plus, it seems to get better as the days go on. The flavors fuse together and make such a fantastic leftover option!
Looking for more comfort food ideas? Check out these 60 Chicken Casserole Dinner Recipes.
Why you’ll love this chili recipe
- It’s easy to make: it all comes together in one pot!
- It requires simple ingredients: canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and kidney beans. These ingredients are all low-cost.
- Make it fit your taste preferences: this recipe isn’t spicy and that’s on purpose. As a mother of three kiddos, I know they won’t eat it if it’s too spicy! But you certainly can make your chili spicy by chopping up 2-3 diced jalapenos to the dish. Make it even spicier by keeping the jalapeno seeds in the chili too!
Ingredients and Substitutions
What’s so lovely about chili, is that it’s malleable to your preferred taste. Can’t stand beans? Leave them out. Like the heat turned way up? Add some spicy diced peppers! Chili is pretty hard to mess up. And I promise, my step-by-step instructions will make it easy for you.
- Ground Beef – I prefer the 80/20 kind, but any ground beef will work. If you want less beef, you can use one pound of ground pork and one pound of ground beef. If you don’t like beef, you can substitute ground turkey! You’ve got options!
- Onions – I prefer white or yellow onions. If you’ve only got red onions (the purple-colored ones) use them! This chili will still turn out great.
- Garlic – I’m a huge fan of garlic. I feel like it really brings out the flavor of the rest of the dish. I use a full head of garlic in my chili. If you’re not much of a garlic person, add 4 cloves minced.
- Green Pepper – Green pepper adds some color and fun to the chili. If you don’t have one, no worries. This chili is awesome even without it!
- Chili Powder – I use two tablespoons in this recipe. Like I said above, if I have any hope of getting my kids to eat chili, I can’t have it too spicy. If I weren’t sharing with the kiddos, I may add another tablespoon to the pot. If you like spice, I recommend you add a bit more chili powder too!
- Oregano – I used fresh oregano when I made it this time, but usually I use the dried oregano spice. Use whichever one you have on hand! And as a reminder: 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
- Tomatoes – I like to add a mix of diced tomatoes and whole peeled tomatoes to this chili. The peeled tomatoes eventually soften enough to cut up with my wooden spoon as I mix the chili. You can also choose stewed tomatoes! This recipe calls for 4 cans total (56oz).
- Tomato Paste – You will need one can of tomato paste for this recipe. Then, I fill up the empty tomato paste can with water and add that to the pot. You may also substitute one can of tomato sauce.
- Kidney Beans – Add these towards the end so they don’t get too mushy.
- Salt, Pepper, and a Pinch of Sugar – Finally, you will add salt and pepper to taste. Adding a pinch of sugar helps to balance the heat and acidity of the chili.
How to make this chili
First, you’ll want to dice the green pepper and onions and mince the garlic. Separate the green pepper from the garlic and onion, as the next step requires that you add the garlic and onions to the beef while cooking the meat.
Add the 2 pounds of ground beef to a large pot. I prefer the Lodge Dutch Oven but any stockpot will work! Then add the minced garlic and diced onions. Cook the meat on the stove over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked.
You can tell the meat is cooked once there is no more pink in it. Then it’s time to add more ingredients!
Once the meat is cooked, add chili powder, oregano, diced green pepper, salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients until the meat is coated with the seasoning.
Next, you will add the tomato paste and fill the tomato paste can with water and add to the pot. Then add diced tomatoes and whole peeled tomatoes. Mix the ingredients until fully combined.
Turn the temperature on the stove to low-medium heat. Cover the pot and allow the chili to simmer for 40 minutes (or longer!). Chili actually tastes better the longer the flavors are able to meld together. Personally, I like chili the next day after the flavors have combined!
Finally, add the kidney beans to the chili and stir them in about 20 minutes before you’re ready to take the chili off the stovetop.
Scoop the chili into bowls and add any fixings you prefer (shredded cheese, jalapenos, crackers, chopped onions, sour cream, etc).
The Best One Pot Chili
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 medium white onions diced
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium green pepper diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 56 ounces diced tomatoes 2- 28 ounce cans
- 56 ounces whole peeled tomatoes 2- 28 ounce cans
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 6 ounces water
- 1 can kidney beans 15 ounces with the liquid
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine ground beef, onions, and garlic in a large greased stockpot over medium to medium-high stovetop heat.
- Cook and stir until the beef is browned and no longer pink. This will be about 7-10 minutes. Once cooked, drain the meat.
- Add in the chili powder, oregano, and green pepper. Mix together until the beef mixture is coated with the spices.
- Add the tomato paste. Fill the empty tomato paste cup with water and add to the stock pot. Then add the tomatoes. Mix all the ingredients, cover the pot, then reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 40 minutes. Make sure to occasionally stir the chili.
- After 40 minutes, add the kidney beans with the liquid. Stir the chili and allow to simmer with the cover off for another 20 to 30 minutes.
- Scoop the chili into bowls and add any extra fixings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos, diced green onions, crackers, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make chili in a crockpot/slow cooker?
Absolutely! Chili is well-suited for slow cooking. Simply brown any meat, sauté onions and garlic, and then combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.
Is Chili healthy?
Chili can be a nutritious meal, especially if you use lean meat. Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber. The vegetables add nutrients. However, the calorie and sodium content can vary depending on the ingredients used, so it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes and ingredients to keep it healthy.
How should I store the chili?
Allow any unused chili to cool down before transferring it to the fridge. It will last up to 4 days refrigerated.
Can you freeze chili?
Yes! I like to make a double batch of chili and freeze half of it to save for a time when I may not have as much time to make a meal. Allow the chili to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be kept in the freezer for several months. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
Pair this chili with its flavor life partner, buttermilk cornbread! This recipe is simple and tastes AH-MAZING! Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe