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Ready for a hearty meal that slams your palate with a bounty of robust chili flavors? Then my homemade chili recipe is the one for you! For dinner, parties, or that chili cook-off in your town, you’ll knock them out with this delicious recipe!

Best homemade chili recipe

Best Homemade Chili Recipe

Nothing beats chili made from scratch. It reigns supreme above all! And the secret ingredients are something you already have in your kitchen, I know it!

Easy Homemade Chili Recipe

This homemade chili is an easy way to win big at the cook-off, or at your own home backyard BBQ or gathering. It only takes 20 minutes to prep and the rest is letting that chili come together and simmer for the perfect flavors.

homemade chili ingredients

Homemade Chili Ingredients

  • Ground beef – Use the 90/10 to get the best ratio.
  • Yellow onion – You’ll finely chop this one up.
  • Garlic – Give the cloves a fine mincing.
  • Diced tomatoes – You’ll need 2 cans of these babies, the ones with the green chilies.
  • Tomato sauce – And 3 cans of this stuff too.
  • Ketchup – Cha-ching! This is the secret ingredient, replacing tomato paste for a zippy, zingy flavor.
  • Beef broth – Because water doesn’t give it more flavor but this does!
  • Beans – You’ll want a can each of dark red kidney beans and light red ones, both drained and rinsed.
  • Brown sugar – Oh this is how you balance the savory tastes to give it that extra winning flavor everyone is gonna dig into!
  • Chili Seasonings – Grab your chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, and salt and pepper. If you want spicy, grab that cayenne pepper too.
  • Chili Toppings – You gotta have those toppings for everyone to load up their bowls of chili the way they like with sour cream, red onion, shredded cheddar, and cilantro.

Easy homemade chili recipe

How do you Make Homemade Chili from Scratch?

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add your onions and sauté for 4 minutes, followed by the garlic for an additional minute. Now the beef goes in – cook that until it’s browned, then drain away the fat. Once drained, you’ll add the diced tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, ketchup, beef broth, brown sugar, and seasonings. Stir to combine, then bring it to a low boil. After it boils, drop the heat down to low to medium-low. Then let it simmer to let the flavors blossom. Be sure to let it rest for about 10 minutes before you serve it!

How do you make homemade chili from scratch

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Homemade Chilli Every Time

  • Drain that beef. If you leave the fat, it will create an oily texture that interferes with the chili.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic first. When making chili, this will give them the best flavor, though keep an eye on things – you don’t want them browned or burnt.
  • Yes, you can make it spicy. Make it as hot as you want it with cayenne pepper. Remember, a little goes a long way!

What goes well with homemade chili

What ingredients can you add to chili?

As far as flavor goes, make sure you add ketchup (when not using tomato paste) and brown sugar. Those two things right there really make for a well-rounded and winning flavor.

What is the best secret ingredient for chili?

In this chili recipe, the best secret ingredients are ketchup and brown sugar. Ketchup adds sweetness and a nice zing while the brown sugar contrasts the savory tastes for balanced flavor in every bite.

What is the most important ingredient in chili?

Chili powder is one essential ingredient you shouldn’t forget when making chili. It helps lend that signature taste that everyone loves about this dish.

What is the best secret ingredient for homemade chili

What ingredient makes chili taste like chili?

The array of seasonings that include chili powder, ground cumin, and paprika make it taste like chili. Additionally, adding sauteed onions and garlic also complete that savory spectrum.

What ingredient makes chili better?

Seasonings and a balancing of sweet and savory tastes are what make chili better. Make sure you have that chili powder, cumin, and paprika as well as brown sugar and ketchup, all of which will come together for incredible flavor.

How can I make my chili more flavorful?

Follow this recipe, and remember that adding a bit of sweetness like with the brown sugar and ketchup here will create a contrast of flavors that makes it the kind of chili that brings everyone back for more.

How long does homemade chili last

What does tomato paste do for chili?

Tomato paste contributes to the texture as well as flavor. It provides a bit of a zingy, tangy taste that brings out the best in chili.

Do I need tomato paste for chili?

Not if you have ketchup. In this recipe, ketchup is used in the same way, lending a familiar flavor that no one can place while boosting the zippy taste and enriching texture too.

What is the best thing to add to chili?

Brown sugar is by far one of the best things. With so many savory components, the flavors become even better with a little sweetness thrown in for good measure and balance.

What can you not put in chili?

Don’t ever put raw meat into chili. It should always be cooked first. Even though chili simmers for a long time, long enough to cook raw meats, you won’t get the best flavor by chucking it in your chili pot raw.

What ingredient makes homemade chili better

How to Cook a Homemade Chili

Homemade chili is all done in one pot on your stovetop. So that’s some easy clean-up right there, and a big hearty mess of chili for the crew too!

How can I make homemade chili more flavorful

What goes well with Homemade Chili?

Maybe a better question would be what doesn’t go with homemade chili, but hey, you can do it your way with rice, noodles, baked potatoes, BBQ, nachos, cornbread, bread sticks, grilled cheese, fries (either regular or sweet potato), coleslaw, or even onion rings.

Making homemade chili from scratch

How to store Homemade Chili?

Homemade chili needs to be stored in the fridge. However, it first needs to cool before you can tuck it in there.

How long does Homemade Chili last?

In airtight containers, you can keep your chili in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If you have a lot of leftovers, the freezer can help you keep from wasting it.

homemade chili recipe at home

Can you freeze Homemade Chili?

Yeah, homemade chili is one of the most awesome things to have stashed in your freezer. You should polish it off within 3 months though for the best flavors.

How to reheat Homemade Chili?

Just warm it up on the stovetop! Your chili will be good to go!

Watch How To Make Homemade Chili (Video)

Traditional Homemade Chili Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 453
This traditional homemade chili recipe is one of my favorite chili recipes! This is always a family favorite that has everyone coming back for seconds. The secret is in the perfectly blended balance of spices and flavors.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 2 lb ground beef (I use 90/10)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 15 oz can light red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, spicy!)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)
  • sour cream (optional topping)
  • red onion (optional topping)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional topping)
  • cilantro (chopped) (optional topping)


  • On a stove top heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.
  • Next add chopped onions and saute for 4 minutes, then add garlic and saute for an additional 1 minute. Add beef and cook while stirring consistently to break meat into small pieces with wooden spoon. Cook until the beef has browned while stirring to keep it from burning. Once the beef is browned, drain any fat.
  • Next, add diced tomatoes, drained beans, tomato sauce, ketchup, beef broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, brown sugar, and cayenne to the pot and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine all ingredients evenly.
  • Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to low to medium-low and gently simmer for 30 minutes uncovered while occasionally stirring.
  • 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.

Calories: 453kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 763mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1351IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 5mg

More homemade chili recipes:

Chuck 'The Chili Guy' Miller

Hey I'm Chuck "The Chili Guy" Miller. Chili is my passion so I have expertly crafted my list of tried and true award worthy chili recipes that will warm your soul. My gift to you from one chili connoisseur to another. - Chuck

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