Classic Chili

I love chili all throughout the year, but especially during the cold weather months. I make chili a variety of different ways, however, my Classic Chili recipe is quick and easy and perfect for a weeknight meal. My recipe for Classic Chili takes about 30 minutes to make and is versatile – you can choose to kick up the heat, or not. I love the fact I can choose the to make this spicy or not as my toddler is able to enjoy this meal along with us.

I love to plop a few candied jalapeños, freshly grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, and crackers in this chili – but any of your favorite chili toppers will work perfectly. In the region of the MidWest where I grew up, we also ate peanut butter sandwiches or peanut butter on soup crackers with our chili. However, outside of that particular region of the US, NO ONE I’ve met or talked to was brought up with this particular combination to pair with their chili. Try it, though. It’s super yummy – although my husband thinks I am so weird for it. Let me know if I’m not alone. 😉

Chili can be made up to 3 days ahead, and I recommend ALWAYS making chili a day in advance for the best flavor. It gives time for all of the spices and juices to muddle together and leftover chili is the best. This is great news for those of us looking for a make-ahead meal. This chili also freezes great for up to 3 months.

Classic Chili

Recipe by The Work From Home ChefDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


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My recipe for Classic Chili is a an easy week-night meal that the entire family can enjoy. The heat in this recipe can easily be controlled without compromising the chili’s robust flavor.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth

  • 1 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes, diced

  • 1 16oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce


  • Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Place the ground beef in the pot and break apart with wooden spoon. Cook until the beef is browned, stirring frequently, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne – if using. Stir until combined.
  • Add the beef broth, tomatoes, drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  • Bring the chili to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the chili rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.


  • Chili can be made up to 3 days in advance or stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • This recipe was inspired by The Wholesome Dish “The Best Classic Chili Recipe” and I made a few minor changes to make it my own.


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