Knock out a flavorful dinner fast with this quick and easy chili recipe. As a chili connoisseur, I can tell you that while most chili is easy, it takes a while to put together. But not this recipe! This is the perfect recipe when you’re short on time.
Best Easy Chili Recipe
Most chili recipes, which you’ll see on my site, take a bit longer. But this one cuts right to the chase while still delivering one of the best easy chili recipes you’ll ever have. It’s easy, tastes great, and is quick too, so what are you waiting for?
Homemade Easy Chili Recipe
This homemade easy chili recipe is one that knocks them out every time. You can make it any time and it tastes as though you spent hours on it.
Easy Chili Ingredients
- Olive oil – For sautéing the onions.
- Ground beef – Grab that 90% lean for a solid chili base.
- Diced tomatoes – A can of the petite diced will do.
- Red kidney beans – Chili has gotta have beans.
- Tomato sauce – Gives your chili more body.
- Tomato paste – This one also adds more texture and taste too.
- Beef broth – Adds meatiness and balances the texture.
- Brown sugar – For just a hint of sweetness.
- Seasonings – You’ll need chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and if you want an extra spicy chili recipe, add cayenne pepper too.
- Toppings – Take your pick of sour cream, red onion, shredded cheddar, and cilantro to throw on top of your finished chili when serving.
How do you Make an Easy Chili from Scratch?
To make a simple chili recipe start by grabbing a big soup pot, heat it to medium-high heat and put in the olive oil, getting it nice and hot. Then the onions go in – cook them about 5 minutes. Add the beef and break it apart while cooking, about 7 minutes until it’s brown. Now the flavors all go in with cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne if you want that spice. After that, add the broth, the tomatoes (with juices), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Mix well and then let this chili come to a low boil over medium-high heat. Then put it down to low or medium-low and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After that, let it rest 10 minutes before serving with all of those glorious toppings.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Easy Chili Every Time
- Brown your beef. It gives your chili more depth in flavor and it’s such a simple thing to do to elevate it rather than just dumping everything in a pot.
- Take the time to let the onions get translucent. It’s about 5 minutes, but I know I get impatient sometimes too. Just chill.
- Add peppers if you like. Sure, go for it, just cook them with the onions.
- Use whatever toppings you like. I just put them all out for everyone to grab what they like.
What ingredients can you add to chili?
Tomato paste in particular adds a zesty touch while improving texture, and brown sugar rounds out the flavors to balance the spicy and savory tastes.
What ingredient makes chili taste like chili?
Chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder are the big three spices you need to give chili its notorious flavor.
What is the most important ingredient in chili?
Chili powder has to be the most important ingredient. You really can’t call it chili without it.
What is the best secret ingredient for chili?
Brown sugar is what is used in this recipe which gives it a little extra something that brings all the flavors together in harmony.
What ingredient makes chili better?
Brown sugar is the one that will round out the tastes of your chili. It really gives it that elevated taste that takes it to cookoff-winning status.
How can I make my chili more flavorful?
It’s all in that secret ingredient of brown sugar. This creates more balance among the spicy and savory tastes.
What does tomato paste do for chili?
It’s thick and zesty which adds to both the taste and texture, making it ideal for any type of chili.
Do I need tomato paste for chili?
It won’t kill you if you don’t put it in, but it will make your chili better, especially with a quicker recipe like this since it creates more of a zesty taste while giving it a good texture.
What is the best thing to add to chili?
Brown sugar is the best secret ingredient to add to chili. It balances the other flavors out for a taste that no one can seem to pinpoint which takes your chili to the ultimate level.
What can you not put in chili?
Don’t put stale spices or use water. Make sure your spices from the spice rack aren’t past their prime and use beef broth instead to give it the right boost of flavor.
How to Cook a Simple Chili?
Cooking a simple chili only requires your stovetop and a large pot. In about 40 minutes, it will be ready to eat!
What goes well with Homemade Chili?
Cornbread, baked potatoes (heck, put it ON those potatoes!), fries, mac n’ cheese, grilled cheese, BBQ, potato salad, coleslaw, garlic bread, rice, noodles, or even chips and queso.
How to store Homemade Chili?
Cool your chili first, then put it in an airtight container in the fridge.
How long does Homemade Chili last?
You can stash it in your fridge for up to 4 days, if it makes it that long. If you have someone like me around, it will be gone fast.
Can you freeze Homemade Chili?
Oh man, chili is a beauty to freeze for another day! Make sure it’s properly container and it will keep for 4 to 6 months.
How to reheat Homemade Chili?
From frozen, you’ll have to thaw it in the fridge overnight first, but after that, just warm it up on your stovetop, low and slow!
Watch How To Make Easy Chili (Video)
Easy Chili Recipe
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 1 lb ground beef (90% lean)
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, spicy!)
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 16 oz can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 small tub sour cream (optional topping)
- 1/2 cups red onion (optional topping)
- 1 small bag shredded cheddar cheese (optional topping)
- 1 bunch cilantro (chopped) (optional topping)
- Place a large soup pot on the stove over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Let the olive oil heat for 2 minutes, then add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent occasionally stirring.
- Next, add the lean ground beef to the pot and cook while breaking apart into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 7 minutes until the beef is browned, stirring every couple minutes.
- Next, add the chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne and stir until evenly combined. Then add in the beef broth, diced tomatoes (with juice), beans (drained), and tomato sauce. Stir until mixed thoroughly.
- Bring your chili to a low boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat to low to medium-low and gently simmer uncovered for 30 minutes while occasionally stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
- Remove pot from heat and let the chili rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with your preference of toppings such as shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onions, hot sauce.