Classic Chili recipe that is full of flavor and is hearty and comforting! This is a chili recipe that has beans, ground beef, onions and garlic in a richly seasoned tomato base.
If you want to make quick work of your chili, check out this recipe for Instant Pot Chili. If you like it spicy, really spicy, check out this recipe for Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili. Or if you want a chicken chili give this White Chicken Chili Recipe a try!
This recipe for Classic Chili is full of traditional chili flavors like onion, celery, garlic, ground beef, tomato, chili beans, and chili spice. However, I do add a pinch of ground clove and ground allspice. It adds a note that makes you say “what is that?”, but it is not strong enough that you can put you finger on the flavor. It just adds an extra layer of flavor and warmth.
Classic Chili Can Be Made Ahead
This is definitely a recipe that you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for a busy night. The flavors will develop as it sits in the fridge and you end up with super flavorful chili. You can keep it for up to 4 days and then reheat on the stove top to serve. You may need to add a few splashes of water to loosen it up a bit, as it will thicken in the fridge.
Make the Recipe for Classic Chili Your Own
Since chili is kind of a dump and stir type of soup it is really easy to change up the flavor to suit your family. Here are a few things to make this recipe your own:
- Use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
- Add a little spice and use spicy chili beans
- For extra spice add a pinch of cayenne or extra red pepper flakes.
- For extra extra spice add a chopped jalapeno when you saute the onions.
- Try using black beans instead of northern beans.
- Add 1 cup of chopped green peppers for a veggie heavy version of this chili.
- For a vegetarian version add a veggie crumble in place of the ground beef.
- Another vegetarian option would be to omit the beef all together and add an extra can of beans.
Classic Chili for Dinner
We keep this dinner pretty classic at our house, like the names says. I serve up ice cold milk, saltine crackers, and my recipe for Best Ever Cornbread. Another great way to serve Classic Chili is to put out a buffet of toppings for people to choose from:
- Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
- Shredded Cheese
- Chopped Green Onions
- Corn Bread
- Saltine Crackers
Classic Chili Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef 80/20 or 85/15
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 4 oz can chopped green chilies
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 15 oz can chili beans in sauce
- 15 oz can northern beans drained
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp (heaping) chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- pinch of ground allspice
- pinch of ground clove
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- In a large pot over medium high heat saute the garlic, celery, and onions for 5 minutes,stirring often.
- Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling, for 5 minutes until cooked thru.
- Turn the heat to medium low and add the green chilies, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, both beans, sugar, and all the spices and seasonings. Stir to combine.
- Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.
- This recipe can be made ahead and reheated on the stove top. You may need to add a little water to loosen it up.