This fast, flavorful and easy Beef Chili Recipe is ready in 30 minutes! Add your favorite toppings to create a meal your family will love.Comfort food season is still in full swing, and this Beef Chili Recipe is perfect for warming up on a chilly day. Bonus: This meal allows us to use tortilla chips as utensils (swoon) – does it get any better? Grab a bag of chips, choose your favorite garnishes (all of them if you’re me), and let’s make Chili!
I am a huge fan of a one-pot meal. Lasagna Soup, Beef Stew and Chili are three one-pot recipes that make regular appearances during the fall and winter months. My kids will usually always eat them, and they can be adapted based on what I have in my fridge and pantry. Let’s talk about how to make chili, and remember – you can make an infinite number of changes to this base recipe to create your perfect chili.
Beef Chili Recipe
- Ground beef: Use your favorite brand. I prefer a lean or grass-fed variety, but you can choose any type that you like. You can also swap the ground beef for ground turkey or vegetarian “meat” crumbles.
- Tomatoes: This is a tomato based chili, and I use a combination of tomato sauce and fire roasted crushed tomatoes.
- Vegetables: Sauteed onion, garlic and diced green chiles lend a savory flavor to the chili. In addition to those you can also add chopped bell peppers, celery or corn. Picking and choosing what you prefer.
- Beans: Canned beans add texture and heartiness to this chili. You can add 2 cans of beans, 1 can of beans or no beans. Kidney beans, black beans or pinto beans are my favorite varieties for chili. I choose beans that are NOT seasoned since I add the chili seasoning separately. If your beans are already seasoned for chili, you can reduce the chili powder in the recipe.
- Toppings: Here is where you get to have fun. Pick and choose from cheese, sour cream, green onions, avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips, jalapenos, diced onion, chopped tomato and more!
The beauty of this recipe is that it comes together in one pot in 30 minutes! You can serve it immediately, or refrigerate leftovers for several days. Although there are very few rules for this recipe, the one area I will not sway is toppings. The toppings are what take chili over the top. Choose one, a few, or ALL the toppings. Set out all the toppings and let everyone build their own perfect bowl of chili (my kids love this).
Healthy Beef Chili Recipe
A few simple swaps and additions can turn this into a Healthy Beef Chili Recipe:
- Use lean or grass-fed organic ground beef or lean ground turkey. You can even reduce the amount of meat to 3/4 lb.
- Increase the veggies! Add some extra veggies: bell peppers, corn, celery and carrots would all work great in here.
- Use low sodium or no salt added tomato products and beans.
- Take it easy with the toppings. Chips, cheese, avocado and sour cream can easily add a lot of fat and calories – choose wisely.
TIP: If you have someone in your family who doesn’t love chili (especially kids), I have found that adding pasta, and turning it into chili-mac is a surefire way to get them to eat it. Once the chili is done, bring it to a boil, add a few handfuls of short pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender. Add water as needed, as the pasta will absorb some of the liquid.
I absolutely love rustic and unfussy meals like this. This is the type of food that warms you from the inside out. Put on your coziest sweats, wrap your hands around a bowl of piping hot chili, and prepare to enter a state of comfort-food bliss.
Beef Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef I use lean
- ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons chili powder seasoning or more to taste
- 4 tablespoons diced green chiles from a can
- One 15-oz can tomato sauce
- One cup fire roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
- Two 15-oz cans beans, drained I used kidney beans and pinto beans
- Toppings: chips, sour cream, cheese, green onions, cilantro, jalapenos, avocado
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and beef to a large pot over medium heat. Saute, breaking up with the meat, until is browned and almost cooked through. If there is an excessive amount of grease, you can drain it off. Add onions and garlic to beef, cook for another 5 minutes, until the onions have softened.
- Add chili powder, green chiles, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and beans. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add 1-2 cups of water (depending on how thin you want it), simmer partially covered for 10-15 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more chili powder according to your taste preferences. Serve hot with desired toppings.
I often add a cup or two of chopped bell pepper. I add it to the pot along with the onions.
You can also add corn (fresh, frozen or canned) during the last few minutes of cook time.
This post originally appeared on Real Housemoms where I am a contributor.