Easy Recipe Chili – The Best Homemade Chili Recipe

Published on December 8, 2020 by Lauren

What is better in the winter than a good Homemade Chili Recipe?  From super bowl parties to chili cook-offs… chili is woven into the fabric of American winter culture.  And for good reason; it’s AWESOME and there are so many variations.

Homemade chili recipe

And if you’ve been searching for a good “standard” type chili that everyone will like, look no further!  This is it.  And it’s EASY!  My mom cut this recipe out of a newspaper in the early ’90s, and it’s been our ‘family chili’ recipe ever since.  There might be a few ingredients you are not used to seeing in chili, like cinnamon and chocolate chips (a Cincinnati chili influence), but trust me – they work!

This recipe is very similar to my Crockpot Chili Recipe, but there are minor differences and this homemade chili recipe is designed to be made on the stovetop. Which means it can be ready to eat sooner.

And like I said – this is easy.

Chopping the onions is probably the hardest part.

One of the most important steps is to cook the onions as the ground beef cooks. Add a bit of salt at this step to soften the onions.

After the onions are soft and the beef is cooked, add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Drain the beef, and then add everything else except for the kidney beans and simmer for an hour or so. And yeah – even add those chocolate chips and cinnamon (you will thank me).

Then add the kidney beans and cook for another half hour. Top with cheese, serve cornbread or whatever you’d like!

Homemade chili recipe

Homemade Chili Recipe

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Lauren Greutman


  • 2 lbs. hamburger or turkey
  • 1 can of red kidney beans rinsed (15 oz)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 oz
  • 1 can of water 28 oz
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional - depends on how spicy you want it
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate chips


  • Over medium heat, cook ground meat in a large pan with the minced onion until browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Drain the meat.
  • In a large sauce pan or stock pot over medium heat, add meat (with the onions and garlic) and mix with all other remaining ingredients except the kidney beans.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until you've reached the desired thickness (or if using a slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours).
  • Add kidney beans and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Top with shredded cheese & sour cream and serve with a side of cornbread.

Interested in a similar Crockpot-friendly version? Here’s my Crockpot Chili Recipe that is even easier!

BONUS: Here are 3 more Slow Cooker Chili Recipes that are all different! I’ve got your Traditional Chili, an Amazing white Chicken Chili, and an Awesome Black Bean Chili!

I have so many other great recipes, so make sure that you check them out here.

Have you grabbed my freezer meal plans, yet? I might be biased but I think they are pretty amazing! They have saved our dinner hour for years now. Check them out!

Homemade chili recipe




  • I’m new in the kitchen and so far, this is my favorite chili recipe. It’s the best balance between mild and spicy, and sweet and savory.

    Two things I would recommend are:
    1) use 20 oz. water for a thicker chili.
    2) add 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter.

    I cooked the chili in a Staub cocotte (French oven) with a lid that has raised spikes, that creates condensation, thereby adding more water to the chili. This is why I suggest starting-off using less water (20 oz.).

    The touch of cinnamon and chocolate chips really does make a subtle difference. Thanks!

  • I used a Dutch Oven to cook the meat and onions. After draining, I added the ingredients to it and simmered in a 275 degree oven. I think chili gets better the longer it cooks, so I simmered 2 hours, and 1 more hour with the beans. For tomatoes, I used a 28 oz can of whole peeled ‘no salt added’ and crushed them with my hands. I included the optional cayenne pepper, and served sour cream, cheese, and crackers on the side. I really enjoyed it, and yes I was thankful for the chocolate and cinnamon! It reminded me of a great combo that was very common when I grew up in Iowa. Sounds odd, but it is delicious. They serve a big cinnamon roll with your bowl of chili. Try it, you will love it. Thanks, Tim.

  • Hi Lauren, not sure you know this but your recipes are ruined by all the adverts on your recipe page. I count 8 including your own just on your chilli recipe alone. Shame as it makes me not want to follow your blog.

  • I made this recipe as per instructions. It was delicious.!!! I would definitely make it again. My wife loved it. Thanks Lauren

  • I made this twice, the first time with the cinnamon and chocolate; the second time without.

    The first time everyone noticed and disliked the cinnamon, so I skip it.

    I also throw in a can of stewed tomatoes and Serve with salad and bread.

  • This is the chilli recipe I will always use. I made a few changes. I omitted the cayenne pepper, used diced can tomatoes and 3/4 can of tomatoe paste to help thicken. I used red onion and red and orange peppers.
    Lauren thank you for sharing.

  • I made this as directed except I didn’t have chocolate chips do that got left out. I used a can of mixed beans (pinto and kidney) and it was delicious! My husband said I “outdid” myself! Thank you!

  • This was pretty scrumptious and I cannot believe I forgot to add the cinnamon! I served with chopped green onion and cheddar and sour cream.. it’s uncanny how much my son ate. He really liked it as we all did!

  • My family loves this recipe. We do no onions with garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. Everyone ravs! I will keep this recipe forever! Thank you!!

  • This is REMARKABLE chili! Anyone who omits the cinnamon or chocolate chips is missing the boat. This recipe is my new “go to” set of instructions to whip up a batch of chili. I can’t imagine that I could make a better batch following any other recipes. Amazing!

  • I made this tonight and my kids loved it! The only thing different I did was use a 14oz can of stewed Mexican flavored tomatoes. And then the regular 14oz can of tomato sauce. It was so yummy! I only summered it for a hour and it was thick and delicious! Thank you!

  • I have made the chili from this recipe 5or6 times my friends and family can’t get enough I have do the recipe times 6 to make enough outstanding chili recipe

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