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 cool weather comfort food.
It’s even better when paired with a side of buttermilk cornbread!
The Best Chili Recipe (Seriously!)
Something savory/cozy for you today because believe it or not Fall is just around the corner, which means cold weather and hearty comfort foods like this Best Chili Recipe!
This recipe is actually one that I shared last year, and since then I’ve made it probably 50 times. Not only am I completely obsessed with it, it’s also won over a dozen Chili Cook-offs! While I’ve never entered it into a cook-off myself, so many of you who have tried this chili recipe have commented or e-mailed me that it’s taken home first place and I don’t even know how to express how happy that makes me!
So yeah, I do feel a little bit extra proud of this chili cook-off champ recipe right here.
Not only does it taste amazing, it’s shockingly simple to make. Basic, no-fuss ingredients and just 30 minutes of simmering yield a complex and rich flavor that’s simply unparalleled.
This chili recipe (alternating weekly with my potato soup) is on regular dinner rotation for me as soon as the weather starts to dip below 70 degrees. It’s easy to make, incredibly filling, and the flavor is out of this world.
Let’s get started.
How To 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, cook until mostly browned (but not all the way cooked through).
- Add all your seasonings.
- Stir well, cooking beef through.
- Add the remaining ingredients (and your bacon from step 1!), give everything a good stir, and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes and until liquid is reduced.
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!).
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.
Let’s cook together! Follow me on my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 150 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
The Best Chili Recipe
- 5 strips uncooked bacon chopped¹
- 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 powder²
- 1 Tablespoon ancho chili powder²
- 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 pepper³
- 1 1/4 cup beef broth 295ml
- 15 oz can dark red kidney beans lightly rinsed and drained (425g)
- 15 oz can black beans lightly rinsed and drained (425)
- 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes undrained (411g)
- 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!)
I originally shared this chili recipe 10/05/2018. Post has been updated to include more notes, a video, and more helpful information 09/11/2019.