The Best Easy Chili Recipe from Scratch


the best easy chili recipe

Here in Des Moines, Iowa… Chili season has arrived.  It was 65 degrees and sunny just a week a go before Halloween.  Now just a week later the highs are going to be 35 degrees for the next week!  Chili season is in full effect, and that part of winter I welcome.  It is great to make ahead for weekend meals and is always a great Sunday dinner as well.  This recipe is my favorite chili recipe that I have developed and it is soooo easy, you cannot mess it up.  Give this recipe a shot and you might agree that its the best easy chili recipe you have ever tried.

What Makes a Great Chili?

I like a chili that is meaty, tangy, spicy, all balanced with a rich sauce in the background that makes every bite delicious.  Give it a shot….. if you find a better easy chili recipe than this… leave me a note in my comments section below and I will give it a try myself!

If you want the exact chili recipe I use, then scroll down to the bottom.  First, I want to share my thoughts and beliefs about Chili.  A highly debated subject in some circles of the world… like Texas. In Texas, Chili is a stew with no beans.  Maybe not even vegetables?  Either way, I say most beans and vegetables are welcome in my Chili.  Next, its all about the meat.  I like a blend of several ground meats.  In this recipe we are using ground beef, ground pork, and sweet pork sausage.  I think using two to three types of meat really adds a depth of flavor to the Chili and it is just plain fun to experiment.  Feel free to substitute ground veal, chicken, or turkey for any of these meats.  I do prefer ground meat vs chopped meat for Chili. I just like the texture better.

Other things that make this Chili different from some of the other recipes I find out there, is the combination of spices and the use of chicken stock to develop the rich flavors of this Chili.  To me, Chicken stock works great for Chili.  It does not dominate the flavor profile, unlike Beef Stock which does sometimes take over the flavor of the dish.  The other must have spices I like in Chili, besides common Chili Powder,  are Smoked Paprika, Mexican Oregano, Ground Cumin, and Turmeric.   Emphasis on “Smoked” in the Paprika.  Common Paprika sometimes does not have that undertone of flavor, which is the difference maker.  Turmeric and Mexican Oregano are also spices you will not always find in Chili recipes.  Mexican Oregano adds an herby earthiness to the Chili and Turmeric gives it this background tang that is hard to describe.  The Chili is just plain better when all of these things come together.

Lets Make a Big Ass Batch of Chili

Here are the basic steps for my process of making awesome chili.  If you like things less spicy, just cut the amount of ancho chili powder and jalapeños in half and then add more back in after you taste the final product.  I am not shooting to kill anyone with spiciness, but I do like things on the hot side.  Just note that if you are freezing this for later, it will mellow out over time.  Let me know in the comments below how you like this Chili! The recipe below makes a big pot of chili… I recommend a 12 quart pot.

If you are looking for another spank’n good bowl of love, check out my Chicken Noodle Soup … it cures anything that hits you!  Over the top flavor for a chicken soup.

Thanks for reading – Keegan

the best easy chili recipe
5 from 2 votes

The Best Easy Chili Recipe from Scratch

This is Keegan's go to Chili for the entire winter.  Make a big batch of this and freeze leftovers for many awesome weeknight meals.  The comforting feeling this Chili gives you is for real folks. 

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, texmex
Keyword Chili, Easy Chili, Homemade Chili
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12
Author Keegan


Ground Meats

  • 2 lbs Ground Chuck 85/15 or 85/20
  • 1 lb Mild sweet pork sausage
  • 1 lb Ground Pork


  • 3 white onions of medium size Chopped
  • 3 green peppers Chopped
  • 2 Jalapenos Add less depending on desired spiciness
  • 5 Celery Stalks Finely diced
  • 5 Medium Cloves of garlic minced

Dry Spices

  • 10 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder Start with 6 and then add more if desired
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 5 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 28 oz cans of Diced Tomatos
  • 1 28 oz can of tomato puree
  • 1 7 oz Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 32 oz Box Chicken Stock
  • 28 oz of Water
  • 2 14 oz medium chili beans - medium spice or Pinto Beans or Black Beans

Optional Fixins

  • 2 tablespoons Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon Sour Cream


  1. Put a large pot, I use a 12 quart pot, on medium heat.  Add a few table spoons of olive oil. 

  2. Add the onions, celery, and jalapeno.  Saute for 10 minutes or until translucent. Save the green pepper for later.  

  3. Turn up the heat to medium high and add all of the ground meats.  Add Salt and Pepper.  Stir occasionally until browned throughout. 

  4. Add the garlic and all of the dry spices that are not already in the pot.  Stir in the spices.  Immediately add the tomato paste and stir in rigorously. 

  5. Then add all of the wet ingredients.  Start with the chicken stock and water first, then add all of the others. 

  6. Add the green peppers to the pot 

  7. Bring up to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally. 

  8. Ladle any excess fat that has risen to the surface off the top.  Taste the chili to adjust the spice and salt level if needed. 

  9. Serve with any fixin's you typically like.  I love cilantro, so that is my go to herb for chili to give it some brightness. 


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3 thoughts on “The Best Easy Chili Recipe from Scratch

  1. Try adding a couple tablespoons on sugar and a lot more cumin- you may just thank me.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for posting this. This post just maybe saved me a complete meltdown…I just did a frantic search on the interweb because I added 1/2T (!) turmeric instead of cumin in my little batch of chili and was afraid I’d ruined it! You have put my mind at ease, even though I’ve used a LOT more turmeric in what is pry 1/4 of the size of your recipe…
    So far, it tastes OK.
    Sure wish I had found your chili recipe before I started, bookmarking it to make next time the weather (or the Super Bowl) calls for chili!

    1. right on…. I do like the tumeric… adds something to it. this is still the recipe I use when I make chili… then add a bit of heat/spice as needed if my wife will let me!

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Contact Keegan

Hi, my name is Keegan Lare. I love to create delicious grilled and smoked food, bursting with bold flavors. I also love to see my friends and family try something tasty and new. It is in this spirit that I created Seared & Smoked. Leave me a message and i’ll get back to you as soon as I can.