Seriously the Best Chili Recipe (5 Star Beef Chili!)

He best chili recipe you will eat is right here! Our Classic Beef Chili is made with ground beef, beans, diced tomatoes, homemade chili seasoning, and our secret ingredient: a little maple syrup.

4 bowls of beef chili with Fritos on top.

Many of you have made this chili recipe. and has OVER 1,000 5-star reviews. It’s hands down our most popular chili recipe on Fit Foodie Finds and we can’t wait for you to make it.

If you are looking for a 5 star awarded chili recipe -> this is it! We’ve won several chili baking contests with this time-tested recipe and it really is the best. the best chili recipe ever.

Cook ground beef in a large pot with onion, garlic, beans, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and our secret ingredient -> a little maple syrup.

Made with classic chili ingredients

There is a huge debacle on the internet about whether or not classic chili has beans in it. In my opinion, the best chili recipe is a base of ground beef, tomato, spices, and BEANS. I love the amount of fiber-rich beans added to this dish and I promise you won’t regret adding them.

  • Ground meat: The star of the show here is the ground beef. I’ll give you a secret, the fat in your meat is important! We’re big fans of 80-85% fat because that little bit of fat adds a lot of flavor. If you go thinner, you risk compromising flavor and texture.
  • Tomatoes: One of the reasons I love chili is because it is made with tomato products. Thick, creamy and so delicious. This recipe calls for 3 different types: tomato sauce (gives this recipe a delicious tomato flavor), diced tomatoes (adds great texture), tomato puree (helps thicken and intensify the flavors)
  • Beans: While some traditional beef chilis don’t call for beans, we like to up the ante a bit in the nutrition department and include 2 different variations to make this the most epic chili bean recipe. Pinto beans and kidney beans add texture and fiber to this chili beef recipe.
  • Chili Seasoning: Do yourself a favor and make your own chili seasoning. I promise you the taste is better AND there is no added junk. Try our Homemade Chili Seasoning and keep a batch in your cabinet at all times.

homemade ingredients for chili seasoning

  • chilli powder
  • Garlic powder
  • ground cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper

#1 Secret Ingredient for THE BEST CHILI RECIPE

Every chile needs a a bit of sugar in some way to bring out all the savory flavors of the chili seasoning. Our classic chili recipe requires a bit of Maple syrup. It’s warm, unrefined, and utterly charming.

Don’t have maple? Swap it up with some brown sugar or even a little honey.

beef and onions in a pot.

chili 101

What is the best secret ingredient for chili?

The best secret ingredient for chili is a bit of sugar. Whether you use white sugar, brown sugar, or my favorite, maple syrup, a little sugar will bring out all the savory spices in your chili.

Does traditional chili have beans?

Traditionally, chili used to be served without beans, but in my opinion, it’s so much better with beans!

How to make chili tastier?

To make the chili more flavorful, we suggest using more of the homemade chili seasoning. We always recommend making your own spice mix at home because you can really control the flavor that way. Other ways to add more flavor include: more salt, more heat (diced jalapeno, hot sauce, or green chiles), or adding a jar of sauce.

What are good chili dressings?

Good toppings for chili include shredded cheese, green onion, sour cream or Greek yogurt, Fritos, tortilla chips, and chives.

How do you make chili spicy?

How do you make chili spicy? To make this beef chili spicy, you can add a few tablespoons of diced jalapeños, poblano peppers, or green chilies. You can even add a few tablespoons of hot sauce.

What can I use instead of ground beef in chili?

Ohhhh, if necessary! Yes, both ground chicken and turkey work for this recipe. We’ve even made this chili recipe with a plant-based soil to make it vegetarian.

Recommended Cookware

stockpot of the best chili recipe.


One great thing about the chili is that it is so versatile! You can really use any ground meat (or no ground meat at all). All bean variations are available and if you like it spicy, add some vinegar-based hot sauce or diced jalapenos.

You can also make this recipe in the crockpot or Instant Pot.

  • Slow Cooker Instructions: partially cook meat on the stove. Next, transfer all the ingredients to your slow cooker and mix. Cook over low heat for about 4 hours. Check out our slow cooker chili recipe.
  • Instant Jackpot Addresses: Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot and mix. Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Check out our Instant Pot chili recipe.

ideas to decorate

In my opinion, chili is not chili without the ingredients! I’ll share what we eat our bowl of chili with and a few other ideas.

  • Grated cheese
  • chips – tortilla or French fries
  • Green onions
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • chives
  • hot sauce
bowl of beef chili with cheese on top.

Leftover Chili Ideas

Do you have leftovers? Here are some ideas on how to repurpose this recipe:

Chili Baked Potatoes: Top a baked potato or baked sweet potato with leftover chili and shredded cheese.

Chili Nachos: Are you a fan of nachos like us? Place a bag of tortilla chips on a baking sheet. Then, top with leftover chili, shredded cheddar cheese, and other nacho toppings.

Chili Macaroni and Cheese: There is nothing better than combining 2 of your favorite things in 1 dish. That is exactly what we did in our Chili Mac and Cheese recipe.

How do I store beef chili?

Store beef chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To reheat: Place several servings of beef chili back in the pot and heat over medium heat until boiling or place 1 serving of chili in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

big jones the dutch

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the dutch

This is hands down our favorite Dutch oven. It is a 6.75 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven that is very high quality and beautiful.

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Can I freeze this chili recipe?

Beef Chili is the perfect chili recipe to freeze! We wrote a whole post on how to freeze soup and it works the exact same way for chili.

  1. Let your chili con carne cool completely.
  2. Then, transfer to an airtight container or a gallon-size freezer-safe bag.
  3. Remove as much air as possible and seal.
  4. Freeze up to 3 months.

We recommend freezing in a gallon-size freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe storage container. Be sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing.

To defrost + reheat: Let thaw overnight in the fridge. Then transfer back to a large pot and heat over medium/low heat.

bowl of beef chili with Fritos and shredded cheese.
Three bowls of the best chile, served with tortilla chips.

The best chili recipe

The best chili recipe you’ll ever eat is here! Our beef chili is made with ground beef, beans, diced tomatoes, and a homemade chili seasoning.

Homework:fifteen minutes

Cook:30 minutes

Total:Four. Five minutes

Fat 14

carbohydrates 38

Protein 24


  • 1 pound Ground meat we use 15% fat
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 15 ounces can of pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounces can beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounces tomato sauce can
  • 1 15 ounces can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground pepper
  • 1 cup meat broth chicken broth or water works too

optional coverages

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • fried
  • green onion


  • First, heat a large pot over medium/high heat.

  • Next, add the ground beef, yellow onion, and minced garlic and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until the meat is completely browned.

  • Next, add pinto beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and maple syrup to the pot and stir to combine.

  • Add the spices and 1 cup of the broth and stir to combine.

  • Bring the beef chile to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken.

  • Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Tips and Notes

  • Nutrition information is for 6 servings and does not include toppings.

Nutritional information

Calories: 367kcal Carbohydrates: 38gram Protein: 24gram Fat: 14gram Fiber: elevengram Sugar: elevengram

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