Classic Chili Recipe is the best comfort food made in a Dutch Oven! Loaded with ground beef, beans, and vegetables, this homemade hearty meal is perfect to feed a hungry crowd.
What can be better for a cold winter night than a bowl of homemade beef chili, topped with sour cream, sharp cheddar, and avocados! This is a hearty meal for the whole family.
Made just with few ingredients, this recipe has a rich flavor with a bit of a spicy kick. Plus, it’s so easy to make!
- Onion. Because we sear onion until it’s caramelized, it will give a delicious sweet flavor.
- Red Bell Pepper. Provides sweetness to the meal.
- Chili Powder. The main seasoning for the classic chili.
- Smoked Paprika. Will provide additional smokey flavor.
- Crushed Tomatoes. I like to use fire roasted crushed tomatoes for additional flavor.
- Kidney Beans. You really can use any beans you have on hand. Although, kidney beans are my favorite for this recipe.
- Beef Broth. Provides richness.
- Sweet Corn. This is a must ingredient in the chili! It will make the whole dish lighter and fresher!
Table of contents
How to make this recipe
Preheat the Dutch Oven on medium/high heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped onion and brown it until caramelized for about 10-15 minutes.
Then add chopped red bell pepper and cook for 5 more minutes until it’s softened.
Now, we can add 1 lb ground beef and cook until it’s cooked through. Make sure there are no red juices left.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
When the meat is cooked, add the rest of the ingredients, except the corn (2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 28 oz crushed tomatoes, 28 oz kidney beans, and 2 cups beef broth). Season with salt and pepper, stir and bring to boil.
When the chili starts boiling reduce the heat to low, cover with the lid and simmer for 1 hour.
In an hour, remove the lid and let it cook uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the chili gets thicker in consistency.
Add 15 oz sweet corn about 5 minutes before the chili is done and stir. We just want the corn to warm up.
My favorite toppings for chili are sour cream, shredded yellow sharp cheddar, and avocado. It will provide sharp and sour flavors and a creamy texture. You can also add some tortilla chips, jalapeno, fresh chopped cilantro, or hot sauce.
Tips for Best Results
Bell Pepper. This ingredient is optional, but I think that red bell pepper adds a touch of sweetness to the dish. You also can use green bell pepper.
Beans. I like to add kidney beans to this recipe. If you want, you can use black, pinto, or cannellini beans.
Seasoning. Chili powder is the main seasoning in this recipe. Smoked paprika is optional but it provides a beautiful smokey flavor. So, I will highly suggest that you use it too. If you like your chili a bit spicier, you can add ½ teaspoon chipotle red pepper powder.
Tomatoes. If you don’t have crushed tomatoes on hand, diced tomatoes will work just fine. But I would highly suggest to use a fire roasted variety.
Additions and Substitutions
Vegetables. Feel free to add more vegetables to the dish, like carrots, celery, zucchini, kale, Swiss chard, or even mushrooms.
Meat. The classic chili is made with ground beef. Although, I often like to substitute it with sausage, ground turkey or chicken.
Broth. If you are substituting the meat with turkey or chicken, you can also use chicken broth/stock in this recipe (like my Homemade Chicken Stock).
Storage and Reheating
How to store. If you have any leftovers, transfer them to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
Reheat. You can reheat it in a Dutch Oven or any pot/sauce pan over medium heat.
Freezing. This recipe is perfect for meal prepping and freezing. After it’s cooled off, transfer to an air-tight freezer friendly container and you can freeze it for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, transfer it to a fridge a night before to thaw, then reheat as instructed above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! After you sear the vegetables and meat, add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high manual pressure for 20 minutes.
While kidney beans are more popular for a classic chili, I like to mix them up and add some pinto beans.
If it has too much liquid, you can just cook it without a lid to evaporate excess water.
You can substitute with meat with 2 cups of lentils or quinoa. Although, it won’t be a classic chili anymore.
MORE COMFORT MEALS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
- Instant Pot Barley Soup
- Pasta with Meat Sauce
- Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs
- Chicken Stew Recipe
- Old Fashioned Goulash Recipe
Classic Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef 85%
- 1 onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 28 oz kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups beef broth
- 15 oz sweet corn drained
- Preheat the Dutch Oven on medium/high heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped onion and brown it until caramelized for about 10-15 minutes.
- Then add chopped red bell pepper and cook for 5 more minutes until it’s softened.
- Now, we can add 1 lb ground beef and cook until it’s cooked through. Make sure there ae no red juices left. Then add 2 tbsp chili powder and 1 tsp smoked paprika and cook for a few more minutes.
- When the meat is cooked, add the rest of the ingredients, except the corn (28 oz crushed tomatoes, 28 oz kidney beans, and 2 cups beef broth). Season with salt and pepper, stir and bring to boil.
- When the chili starts boiling reduce the heat to low, cover with the lid and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
- In an hour, remove the lid, stir again, and let it cook uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the chili gets thicker in consistency.
- Add 15 oz sweet corn about 5 minutes before the chili is done and stir. We just want the corn to warm up.
- Top with your favorite toppings and serve!
Update Notes: This post was originally published in 2020, but was republished with new step by step instructions, tips, and FAQs in December of 2021.