This is the BEST Chili Recipe! Made with bacon (and the option to omit bacon if needed) and ground beef and simmered on the stove for just 30 minutes, this is my family’s go-to cold weather comfort food.
It’s even better when paired with a side of buttermilk cornbread!
Something savory/cozy for you today because it’s Fall, which means cold weather and hearty comfort foods like this Best Chili Recipe!
Today’s the first day that actually feels like Fall here; it’s gray and cold and I stepped on a hundred crunchy leaves while walking the dogs this morning. I pulled out my favorite cozy sweatshirt (that still had a chocolate stain from the last time I wore it months ago, gross) from the closet and bought a pumpkin for the porch so Fall is here.
And with it comes comfort food. Don’t worry, plenty of sugar is in the future, but today let’s talk about savory. Let’s talk about chili.
This chili recipe (alternating weekly with my white chicken chili) is currently on regular dinner rotation in my household. It’s easy to make, incredibly filling, and the flavor is out of this world.
While I do include suggestions in the recipe in case for some reason you need to omit the bacon (coming from a household that never ate bacon, this is a tip I would’ve appreciated a decade ago), I really recommend including it for the best possible flavor. The bacon flavor takes what is a great chili recipe and really makes this the best chili recipe I’ve ever tried (and Zach agrees!).
Let’s get started.
How Do You Make Good Homemade Chili
- Start with bacon! Cook until crisp, remove to a paper-towel lined plate, and reserve a bit of the grease for cooking your veggies. The flavor that develops from this step elevates a great chili recipe to the best chili recipe.
- Cook your onion and pepper until soft, add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add your ground beef, once it’s mostly browned add all your seasonings and stir well!
- Add the remaining ingredients, give everything a good stir, and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes and until liquid is reduced.
The Best Chili Toppings:
- Sour cream
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese (currently obsessed with Tillamook’s thick shred cheese OMG)
- Corn chips (Fritos or crushed Tostitos are my favorite)
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Scallions/green onion
- Additional Bacon
Sour cream is an absolute must for any good chili recipe, I can’t enjoy chili without it anymore.
What Goes Well with Chili?
- Buttermilk Cornbread (a must!)
- Jalapeno Cornbread (if you like a little extra heat)
- Homemade Biscuits
Obviously, bread is my chili side-dishes of choice. Because this chili is so hearty and filling on its own, a slice of cornbread makes for a sufficient side for chili.
How to Make the Best Chili Recipe
The Best Chili Recipe
This is the BEST Chili Recipe! Made with bacon (and the option to omit if necessary) and ground beef and simmered on the stove for just 30 minutes, this is my family's go-to cold weather comfort food. It's even better when paired with a side of buttermilk cornbread!
- 5 strips uncooked bacon chopped*
- 1 large yellow onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 red pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
- 1 lb ground beef 455g
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder**
- 1 Tablespoon ancho chili powder**
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper***
- 1 1/4 cup beef broth 295ml
- 15 oz dark red kidney beans lightly rinsed and drained (425g)
- 15 oz black beans lightly rinsed and drained (425)
- 14.5 oz diced fire roasted tomatoes undrained (411g)
- 1 7- oz can fire roasted green chilis 198g
- 1/4 cup tomato paste 66g
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Preferred toppings particularly sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and corn chips
Place chopped (uncooked) bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until crisp and cooked through. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and drain all but 1 1/2 Tablespoons of grease.
Add onion and pepper and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add beef, breaking apart with a spatula as you cook. Once meat is partially (about 50%) browned, add sugar and all spices (chili powders, paprika, cumin, onion powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper) and stir well.
Add all remaining ingredients -- beef broth, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chilis, and Worcestershire sauce -- and your cooked bacon and stir well.
Bring to a boil and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 30 minutes to allow flavor to really develop.
Serve with preferred toppings (sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and corn chips are a must!)
*For best flavor, DO NOT OMIT THE BACON. However, as someone who spent 23 years not eating bacon I wanted to include tips for those of you who might have the same restrictions. if you wish to make this recipe without bacon you *can* do so by skipping the first step, heating 1 1/2 Tablespoons of oil over medium heat, and then beginning from step 2. On the other hand, if you want additional bacon for garnishing, cook it now and reserve.
**You can substitute one chili powder for the other and use just traditional chili powder or just ancho chili powder, but I personally like the blend of the two.
*** This gives the chili a mild spice, if you like more heat increase to 1/4 teaspoon for a moderate spice. Add additional cayenne pepper at your own risk!