Easy Chili Recipe

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This easy chili recipe is the perfect warm meal on a chilly day! It’s a classic, delicious one pot soup that comes together SO quickly and is one whole family will love!
A large pot of cooked chili soup, looking down from above
Chili is such a versatile dish – one that is a staple around here, especially during the fall & winter months! Since it is so versatile, there are soooooo many different ways to make it. But this particular easy chili recipe is our family classic and my personal favorite – that’s because it’s my mom’s! This is how she has always made chili and not surprisingly, it’s how I’ve always made chili too!
LOVE how easy it is to make! It’s nothing fancy, but it sure is tasty! Plus, it’s a one pot meal, which really cuts down on dishes. And it freezes great as well – so it’s perfect for making big batches of or incorporating into a batch freezer cooking day!

Making Chili

The only “work” involved in this easy chili recipe is really just cooking the meat and then opening cans! It’s so easy! In fact, this would be a great recipe for teaching kids to make!

The basic ingredients you’ll need are ground beef, onion, chili powder, a bunch of canned goods (tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans), and a large pot to cook it all in. The onions and ground beef cook first, then you dump everything else in and let it all simmer. SO easy! 
A collage showing chili ingredients and chili cooking
There’s a little active cooking and stirring time needed while you brown the beef. But otherwise, this isn’t something you need to toil over at the stove – which is another reason chili is such an easy recipe.

Chili Variations 

This particular chili recipe is definitely a little more on the soup side than a really thick hot dog topping. In fact, sometimes we actually call it “chili soup”. The liquid comes from all the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce in the recipe. So, one variation is to use one can less of the tomatoes and/or tomato sauce. Here’s some other variations you can consider:

  • Ground Turkey: You can easily sub out the ground beef for ground turkey if you’d like a non-red meat meal!
  • Vegetarian Chili: Leave out the meat altogether and double the amount of beans. With this option, I’d recommend choosing at least two different types of beans – like kidney and pinto.
  • Additional Veggies: Many chili recipes call for green bell pepper. It’s not something we personally enjoy in chili, but if you like green peppers, you could definitely add those. You could also add more onion and even celery. In fact, you can sometimes find diced or stewed tomatoes that come with peppers and celery too. So, that’s a great option! Carrots, chopped zucchini, and/or chopped mushrooms could all make good vegetable additions too.
  • Spicier Chili: This chili recipe is very mild as is. In fact, some may want to add more chili powder to it (along with salt & pepper to taste). If a spicier chili is more you’re flavor, you can try adding some cayenne powder or red pepper flakes. You can also add a dash of hot sauce or even a can or two of diced jalapeños!

Variations is one of the beauties of an easy recipe like this – there are MANY things you can change, depending on your personal tastes and ingredients on hand! I’ve often used different types of diced or stewed tomatoes (fire roasted, with garlic, with jalapeños, with celery & peppers, etc). You can also use different beans – chili beans, plain pinto beans, a mix of beans, etc.  Chili Soup in a gray metal pot, sitting on a red checked linen

More Easy Soup Recipes: 

If you’re looking for even more easy & delicious soup recipes, here’s a few other favorites around our house:

Easy Chili Recipe 

Here’s the simple printable recipe for our classic, easy chili! If you give it a try, please give it a rating! ENJOY! 

A large pot of cooked chili soup, looking down from above
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Easy Chili Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Dish
Keyword: One Pot, Soup
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 4 16oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 15oz cans tomato sauce
  • 4 15.5oz cans kidney beans drained
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Put olive oil in a large pot and start cooking the onions, stirring occasionally.
  • After about 5 minutes, add the ground beef. Make sure to break into small pieces. Cook until browned.
  • Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve warm & enjoy!
Making this recipe? Share your creation!Post on Instagram - Mention @MomEndeavors or tag #momendeavors!

*This post originally appeared in January 2011. Post & photos have been updated since then! 🙂

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!

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5 Responses

  1. Oooh, just had my husband's chili for dinner tonight – it's such a great choice for this time of year, isn't it? Yours looks much simpler than his but then again, I'd rather make a simpler and less involved chili! 😉 It's his one signature dish so he tends to go overboard.

    Thanks for sharing @ Tasty Tuesday!

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