Ground beef chili with garnish
Beef Dinner International

The Perfect Ground Beef Chili Recipe for Any Occasion

This ground beef chili recipe is a classic dish that never fails to warm our hearts and satisfy our taste buds. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal on a chilly winter evening or a crowd-pleasing dish for a weekend gathering, an easy homemade chili recipe is just what you need. With simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can whip up a delicious pot of chili that will leave everyone reaching out for seconds.

Choosing Ingredients for Homemade Ground Beef Chili Recipe

First and foremost, let’s talk about the star of the show – the meat. Lean ground beef is the most common choice, but feel free to get creative and mix it up with ground turkey or even ground chicken.

Ingredients for ground beef chili recipe

Beans. Pinto or red kidney beans are the perfect partners for a chili recipe. They are available in cans and are ready to mix with the rest of the ingredients. You can also get the beans raw, which you must prep before cooking. This includes soaking them in water for at least a couple of hours and boiling them to be ready for any dish that you have, in this case, the homemade chili recipe.

The remaining ingredients are minced garlic, onions, tomatoes, salt, ground black pepper, spices, and toppings.  You can add more vegetables like bell peppers, and carrots. We will have them all in this post.

Experiment with different types of meat, or even make it vegetarian by omitting the meat altogether.

What makes this easy homemade chili recipe even better is its versatility. You can customize it by adding your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers or corn. For a twist, throw in some chocolate or a splash of beer during the cooking process – it might sound unusual, but trust us, it adds an extra layer of richness to the dish.

How to Cook Ground Beef Chili

Sautee ground beef

Start by sauteeing minced garlic and chopped onions in a large pot or skillet. 

Sauteeing garlic and onions

When the onions are translucent, and the aroma starts to invade your kitchen, add the meat and brown them. Make sure to break them up into small chunks as they cook. This process will help release their flavors and enhance the taste of the dish.

Adding ground beef with sauteed garlic and onions

Add the spices

Next, it’s time to add the spices. The classic chili spices include chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and ground black pepper. Feel free to adjust the amounts based on your heat tolerance and personal taste preferences. Stir the spices into the mixture, allowing them to toast for a minute or two. This step will help deepen the flavors and create a robust base for your chili.

Add choice vegetables, sauces and beans

Now, it’s time to add the remaining ingredients. I used this order when adding them to the pot: fresh vegetables such as diced carrots and bell peppers, beans, and tomato sauce – with an interval of a couple of minutes in between. I also include tomato paste to add thickness and richness to the chili.

Adding green and red bell peppers to ground beef chili.

For the beans, some popular options include kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Don’t forget to rinse and drain the beans to remove excess sodium.

Adding kidney beans to ground beef chili

Simmer the chili beans

When everything is combined, reduce to medium heat, bring the chili to a simmer, and let it cook for at least 30 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better the flavors will meld together. Some chili lovers prefer to let it simmer for several hours, even up to a whole day for maximum taste and tenderness. A slow cooker would be a good choice if you prefer simmering your chili beans for hours.

Cooking ground beef chili to perfection

Toppings for chili beans

When it comes to chili toppings, the possibilities are endless. Traditional choices include shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced onions, and chopped cilantro. You can also get creative by adding avocado slices, crushed tortilla chips, corn chips, a squeeze of lime, or sliced green onions. Oh, one of my favorite toppings is chopped jalapeno peppers. 

Ground beef chili with garnish

With these steps in mind, you can create a delicious pot of homemade chili that will impress your taste buds and satisfy your cravings. So next time you’re craving a warm and comforting meal, grab your apron and give this chili recipe a try. Mild and flavorful or hot and spicy, homemade chili is sure to become a go-to recipe in your kitchen.

You may also want to try more ground beef recipes from Feastful Fork.

Storing and Freezing Chili

What happens when you cook a big batch of chili and can’t eat it all in one sitting? The solution lies in proper storing and freezing techniques, which will help you enjoy your delicious homemade chili for several weeks. Following are the tips for storing leftover chili beans.

To start, it’s essential to allow your chili to cool completely before transferring it to a storage container. This is because placing hot or warm food directly into the fridge or freezer can raise its internal temperature, potentially causing bacterial growth. So, let your chili sit out at room temperature for about an hour until it cools down.

Once it has cooled, divide your chili into portions that suit your needs. This step is particularly useful if you prefer to have chili as a quick and convenient meal option throughout the week.

Separate the chili into airtight containers, freezer bags, or any freezer-safe container making sure to leave enough headspace for expansion during freezing.

Labeling your containers with the date is for easy organization in the freezer. Chili is best consumed within three to four months of freezing. I suggest you make a note of the date to ensure you don’t keep it for too long.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen chili, there are a few recommended thawing and reheating methods. The safest way to thaw it is by transferring the container to the fridge a day before you plan to eat it. This slow thawing process will maintain the flavor and texture of your dish.

Reheating chilled ground beef chili

If you’re pressed for time and need to thaw your chili more quickly, the microwave method is suitable. Place the frozen chili in a microwave-safe dish and defrost it at a low temperature. Stir occasionally to ensure even thawing. Then, you can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Whichever method you choose, stir occasionally to prevent scorching or uneven heating. If using the stovetop, add a small amount of water or broth to keep the chili from sticking to the pan.

For an extra boost of flavor, consider adding fresh toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, or chopped cilantro right before serving. A side of warm cornbread or tortilla chips makes an excellent accompaniment to complete the meal.

Additional Cooking Tips:

  • Use a wooden spoon in cooking to refrain from mushing the beans.
  • Add one tsp garlic powder with the rest of the spices if you prefer that garlic taste.
  • Add a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar before the final simmering process for a bit of sweetness.
  • Serve with lime wedges on the side.
  • Use cups of water instead of beef broth and add one beef bullion to the mix.
  • This dish can be cooked in a slow cooker, if you wish.

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Ground beef chili with garnish

The Perfect Ground Beef Chili Recipe for Any Occasion

  • Author: Magida
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: cooking
  • Cuisine: International


A classic recipe that never fails to warm our hearts and satisfy our taste buds. A comforting meal on a chilly winter evening or a crowd-pleasing dish for a weekend gathering.


  • 500g ground lean beef
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large red, white or yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup each of red and green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 240g can diced tomatoes
  • 2 429g can kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • toppings: sour cream or yogurt, shredded cheese, green onion, chopped parsley (optional)


  1. In a sauce pot, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Sautee garlic and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add ground beef and cook while stirring until the juices come out.
  4. Add sweet paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir.
  5. Add diced carrots and bell peppers and stir twice.
  6. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, and beef broth, and tomato paste.
  7. Bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally for that perfect blend.
  8. Top with your favorite garnishings like sour cream, yogurt, shredded cheese, chopped greens (parsley or coriander)

Keywords: ground beef chili recipe

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