Easy Homemade Chili

bowl of chili with toppings mixed on on top of green linen with silver spoon in bowl.

This Easy Homemade Chili is loaded with hearty ground beef, different kinds of beans, and comes together so quickly! It’s simple, delicious and the best cozy comfort food.

This recipe was originally published in December 2017 – I’ve since updated the content and the photos. Enjoy! 

I feel like I’m going to be punished for the title of this because in all honesty, it should be “Mama’s Homemade Chili”. This recipe was entirely curated by my dear mother. I made a few adjustments but 95 percent of it came from her. It is hearty, spicy, comforting in a bowl of goodness.

Let me give you a little backstory. This chili is THE BEST. The recipe has been in our family for years.

ladle of freshly made chili in a dutch oven.

Every year when the leaves begin to fall and the weather turns cool, my Mom goes on a canning spree and she sends us at least 4 mason jars full of this deliciousness. I love eating this on a cold winter’s night bundled up under a blanket. It’s comfort food at its best – warm, creamy and made with love.

Why This Chili is MY Personal Favorite

Okay y’all, so this chili is definitely my favorite. But, I have to admit – I am a little biased. Not only is this my Mom’s recipe, but this is also the meal we served at me and Ben’s wedding!

At our wedding, we wanted to keep everything very simple. So we sent out this chili recipe to our closest family members and asked for them to bring a crockpot full of chili for our reception dinner. That’s it. We had chili and cornbread as our meal. It worked out great because that night was SO cold and it truly warmed our souls as we broke bread and ate together. 

Haylie and Ben getting served chili at their wedding.

Can we just give a shout out to my amazing family?! Like, who even says “Hi can you please bring a crockpot full of chili? K thanks love you!” My family is amazing to say the least. 

But really, I can stop bragging on my family for a second to actually tell you about the chili itself. 

This meal is SO hearty, packed full of fiber and protein. Different varieties of beans, (aka dark red and light red kidney beanies and chili beans), different types of tomatoes (stewed + petite diced), fresh veggies (onion + garlic), and the ever popular Rotel <3 (aka tomatoes + green chiles). 

plain chili in grey bowl with green linen underneath.

This recipe is ridiculously easy. All you have to do is cook the beef (or omit the beef and make it vegetarian!) and then add in the cans of everything. Cook it on the stove top for an hour or so, or if you’re in a rush, leave it in the crockpot on low for a few hours!

Creamy, simple, packed full of fiber, protein and nutrients. How could you say no to this recipe? 

Best Tips for Making Homemade Chili

My Mom’s original recipe called for a packet of chili seasoning mix. There is nothing wrong with using this. SUPER EASY AND QUICK. However, I had all of the spices on hand and I wanted to try and create my own spice mix – especially since we like ours extra spicy! 

side view of garnished bowl of chili on top of linen with silver spoon sticking out.

You can absolutely adjust the spices in this spice mix – it is a little on the spicy side for kiddos. Feel free to omit the cayenne pepper if desired.

Here are the cast of characters: chili powder (duh), cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne and pepper. I ended up adding more and more of these spices even after adding in the original amounts so my advice to you is to truly continue tasting as you cook and adjust the spices as needed. I can’t stress this step enough. Some prefer it less spicy, some prefer it more spicy. I ended up adding much more cayenne, chili and paprika. Oh and also salt. But it’s completely up to you!

Favorite Toppings for Chili:

My favorite way to eat it is piled high with cheese, sour cream and green onions which provide a great crunch. Avocado is also a great topper for this. If you’re going the healthy route, you can sub greek yogurt in for the sour cream and omit the cheese.

overhead shot of bowl of chili with garnishes, cornbread on the side as well as wooden bowl of green onions.

Also, can we talk about the real MVP that has to go along with this meal? CORNBREAD! 

In the South, cornbread and chili go together like PB&J. Or biscuits and gravy. You can’t have one without the other.


close up of chili in bowl with spoon inside bowl with garnishes mixed in. And I’m not talking about the homemade kind….while homemade is the best ever, sometimes you just gotta grab a box of Jiffy and a stick of butter and relish in the simple greatness that is boxed cornbread. So sweet, so buttery, so moist. Crumble it up in the chili and you might as well stick a fork in me. I’m done.

If you’re going my route, I like to top mine with sour cream, cheese, green onions, cornbread and a little bit of Texas Pete hot sauce. Yup! 

chili in bowl with garnishes mixed in with hand holding spoon in bowl.

Make sure to crumble at least one piece of cornbread into the chili and also have one on the side for extra dipping purposes.

Find the recipe below. Thanks for bringing this recipe into my life, mama. If you’re reading this (which you probably are), I love you!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few more you might like: 

Skillet Chili Cornbread Casserole 

Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 3 votes

Easy Homemade Chili

A warm, hearty, homemade comfort meal filled with protein and fiber. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword delicious chili, easy chili, easy homemade chili
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cans light red kidney beans
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cans dark red kidney beans
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can chili beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10 oz) can rotel

Homemade Chili Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (omit if you want it less spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. To make your life easier, go ahead and open ALL of the cans (and make sure NOT to drain them) and set them aside.

  2. Add oil to a large pot or dutch oven and cook onion and until fragrant and translucent (2-3 minutes). Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

  3. Add in the ground beef and mix in well. Cook until done. Add in the homemade chili seasoning and mix to combine.

  4. Add in cans of beans and tomatoes - once again, make sure NOT to drain any of the liquid from the can - this is very important in making sure your chili doesn't turn out dry. 

  5. Cook on the stovetop on medium/low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Make sure to stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick!

  6. Remember to taste and add more seasoning if needed.

  7. Top with cornbread, sour cream, cheese, green onions, or just eat it plain! Whatever floats your boat - just make sure you serve it hot! 

Recipe Notes

You can omit the beef if you're vegetarian. You can omit the beef and the dairy toppings if you're vegan. 

Remember, if you do make your own to TASTE as you go and adjust seasoning as needed. I added much more chili powder and cayenne and even salt to make my extra spicy. Don't like spiciness? Be sure to omit the cayenne!

If you want cornbread, I recommend using Jiffy! It's quick and easy. 

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    Good recipe, Haylie! Our family recipe is very similar, and there’s nothing like a bowl of chili on a cold evening. I like that you have nutrition facts. Great website!

    1. It definitely should work in a crockpot! Just be sure to cook the onion/garlic/beef first in another pan and then keep it add in all of the ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low! That’s what I would do! 🙂 Chili is good any time…no matter the weather!! 😉

  2. 5 stars
    We have cooked this a hundred times! Sometimes we go with ground turkey or chicken and change up the beans but it’s always amazing!

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