person holding a large bowl of chili

Easy Homemade Chili Recipe

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 22 cups 1x


Win the next chili cook off with this award winning, easy homemade chili recipe.  Make this classic comfort food in the crock pot or on the stovetop.  Packed full of ground beef, beans, and veggies, this healthy chili is perfect for a crowd and is slow simmered for the best flavor.



For the Chili

  • 2 1/4 pounds ground beef, 80% meat, 20% fat (1.02 kg)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (15 ml)
  • 3 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, no salt added (3 793g tins)
  • 2 pounds dried red kidney beans, quick soaked for 1 hour (907g)
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped (326g)
  • 3 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with chilies, no salt added (3 283g tins)
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced (226g)
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped (169g)
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (131g)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium spicy tomato juice (590 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (30 ml)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, if needed at the very end

For Garnish (Per Serving)

  • 1 tablespoon sour cream (15g)
  • 1 teaspoon green onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cheddar cheese, grated


Stovetop Version

  1. Quick soak the beans. Place the dried kidney beans in a 6-quart Dutch oven and cover with water.  Cover the pot with a lid and boil for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and let the pot sit on the element for 1 hour, then drain and rinse.  (I used Camelia brand dried red kidney beans.)
  2. Brown the ground beef.  Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned, chopping it into small pieces with a metal spatula.  Drain well to remove excess grease.
  3. Cook the veggies.  Saute the onion, mushroom, green pepper, and celery in the large pot with some of the ground beef grease.
  4. Add the other ingredients.  Pour in the three cans of diced tomatoes, three cans of diced tomatoes with chilies, and the soaked red kidney beans.  Add the browned ground beef, sauteed vegetables, vinegar, chili powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, and spicy tomato juice.  Stir until well combined.
  5. Cook.  Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer (medium low to start, then turn down to low) for three hours to meld the flavors.  Make sure to stir the chili occasionally so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  6. Serve.  Garnish each bowl with sour cream, chopped green onion, and cheddar cheese and serve with a wedge of homemade cornbread.

Crock-Pot Version

  1. Follow steps 1-3 from above, using the stovetop.
  2. Put the browned ground beef, sauteed veggies, and all the other ingredients in the crock-pot.  Mix well with a large wooden spoon.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-10 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.  Stir occasionally.
  4. Garnish each serving as in step 8 from above.


  • Reduce the chili powder to 2 tablespoons for mild chili.
  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this easy homemade chili recipe would be greatly appreciated.
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  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chili recipe easy, how to make chili

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