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I love a good and comforting chili recipe, especially during the colder months of the year, and this one will not disappoint. This particular recipe is filled with ground beef, lots of beans, a whole lot of veggies, and is cooked down into a thick and flavorful stew. Perfect with cornbread or Corn Casserole. Never need another Chili Recipe again! This is the most basic, family-friendly, veggie-filled, delicious, one-pot chili recipe there ever was!! Enjoy plain or with cheese, avocados, sour cream or any other topping you like.
Chili Recipe | The Best Chili
This recipe is a simple ‘chop and drop’ kind of recipe. You chop your veggies, add in your beef, season well. Dump in your cans of beans, cans of tomatoes and beef broth. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook as long as you can. Stir in some frozen corn for an added bonus and enjoy!
The best beans for this chili recipe
Because beans are so hearty and stand up so well to hours of cooking as well as all these spices, just about any kind of bean is fine. Use what you have! I used pinto and black beans.
The classic bean found in almost every chili recipe is the red kidney bean, but here are a few others that would be great substitutes:
- white beans
- garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- red beans
- white kidney beans (cannellini beans)
- butter beans
- pinto beans
- black beans
When cooking with any canned bean, be sure to drain and rinse well for the best results.
The two seasonings I use for this recipe include cumin and mild chili powder. Some recipes call for cayenne pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes or even cocoa powder.
I keep it simple (and mild!) with just two seasonings. If you’d like to add more heat or more depth of flavor, try some of the listed spices above.
How to Make Chili | Directions
Here are the step by step directions for making this simple Chili. Chop and drop type of recipes like this one are my favorite for a busy weeknight. For full recipe details scroll down to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe card.
Step 1: Sauté Veggies
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and zucchini until slightly softened, 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add Meat + Remaining Ingredients
Drop meat into the pot and break apart using a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is cooked thoroughly and brown. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 20 minutes but up to 3 hours. If you notice chili is getting too thick or is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add in an extra splash of water or beef stock. I love using a heavy-bottomed dutch oven for this recipe. It retains heat well and usually doesn’t burn.
Step 3: Top With Desired Toppings
Serve with desired toppings and/or cornbread.
How To Thicken Chili
If you cook chili long enough, you won’t need to thicken it at all. The longer it simmers, the thicker and more flavorful it will become. No need to use flour or cornstarch.
If you are wanting to thicken up the broth, try adding in one tablespoon of cornmeal to your chili recipe and simmering for an hour.
What To Serve With Chili
Man oh man, when I make this recipe, I love to load on the toppings! Here are some of our favorites:
- tortilla chips
- grated cheddar cheese
- avocado slices
- sour cream
- diced onion
- lime wedges
- shredded lettuce
- hot sauce (if that’s your thing)
More Chili Recipes to Love!
I hope you love this chili recipe and make it soon! Below is the printable recipe card. Enjoy, friends! 🙂
Best Chili Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 1 lb. ground beef 93% lean
- 2 cups beef stock
- 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes 1 can
- 15 oz. tomato sauce 1 can
- 15 oz. black beans (1 can) drained & rinsed
- 15 oz. pinto beans (1 can) drained & rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup frozen corn
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- any desired toppings grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocados, lime juice
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and zucchini until slightly softened, 5 minutes.
- Drop meat into the pot and break apart using a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is cooked thoroughly and browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 20 minutes but up to 3 hours. If you notice chili is getting too thick or is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add in an extra splash of water or beef stock.
- Serve with desired toppings and/or cornbread.