Chili is a classic comfort food that's perfect for colder weather or when you're in need of a warm and satisfying meal. Whether you're a fan of a spicy or mild flavor, this BEST-EVER chili recipe will surely satisfy your taste buds.
This recipe is loaded with ground beef, beans, vegetables, and spices, making it a hearty and filling meal that's perfect for a cozy night in or a family gathering. The combination of flavors and textures in this chili recipe creates a delicious balance of savory, spicy, and slightly sweet notes that will leave you wanting more.
It's also a great dish to make ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer for an easy and quick meal later on. So let's get started and learn how to make the BEST EVER chili recipe that will become a staple in your recipe collection.
In addition to being easy on the cost, this dish requires few specialty ingredients. Let's delve in!
You only need a few staples from your cupboard plus some fresh meat and vegetables to make the finest chili ever.
- The smokey flavor of bacon is a perfect complement to the chili. If you want to avoid nitrites, choose the uncured option.
- The ideal fat content for ground beef is between 80% and 90%.
- Beef broth: You could make the chili with water, but that's not the secret ingredient. Try to choose a low-sodium beef broth of decent quality.
- Dried spices: I add smoked paprika for a hint of campfire flavor in addition to the standard chili powder and cumin.
- Tomatoes: You can use fire-roasted tomatoes or any other type of canned tomatoes in their juices.
- Beans: I went with the tried-and-true black and red kidney beans from a can, but feel free to use any bean you choose in place of those.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CHILI
In this dish, the flavors are built up in stages. Ok, here's what you're supposed to do.
- Fry up some bacon. I want my bacon nice and golden and crispy.
- Ground beef should be browned. Steer clear of greasy leftovers by cooking the meat in the bacon fat.
- Put in the greens. Cook for a while so the vegetables can soften and blend with the beef.
- Roast the seasonings. Include them to bring out the best in the meat and vegetables.
- Toss in some tomatoes and beans. Then, thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Chili is best when simmered for at least 30 minutes to bring out its full flavor.
CAN YOU MAKE CHILI AHEAD OF TIME?
Indeed, you are aware of this. A number of suggestions for preparing ahead of time are provided below.
- The day before making chili, cut the vegetables and combine the dry ingredients.
- Prepare larger batches of your dried chili spice blend and use a measuring spoon to measure out the exact amount you need.
- The next day, leftover chili is the best. Prepare a large batch on the weekend and have it for lunch and dinner all week long.
WHAT DO YOU PUT ON TOP OF CHILI?
This traditional chili complements a wide variety of toppings. Some of my favorites are listed here.
- Cheese. Shredded cheddar, cotija, or feta are all good options.
- Green onions, sweet or yellow onion pieces, or red onion slices are all great additions to chili. If you find the bite of diced red onion to be too much, you can soften it by putting it under running water and then patting it dry.
- Spices: If you like things on the spicy side, try adding some chopped fresh or pickled jalapenos.
- Sauce acidic. The smooth creaminess complements the spicy heat perfectly.
- Parsley or cilantro: Whether used whole or minced, the leaves add a pleasant herbal punch.
WAYS TO SERVE
Usually, I just eat it as is, without any fancy plating. But here are some other preparations.
- Serve it over a heartier grain like quinoa, rice, or cauliflower rice.
- Put a serving size amount into a bowl and serve as a starter or side dish. Ideal for get-togethers, celebrations, and, of course, the Super Bowl!
STORING AND REHEATING LEFTOVERS
Meal planning will be a breeze with all the chili you can freeze.
- Put the cooled chili in an airtight jar and keep it in the fridge for up to five days.
- To freeze, put the food in a freezer-safe bag or container and keep it there for up to two months.
- Reheat Here's what you should do: Thaw the chili in the refrigerator or microwave. You may either reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. If the chili gets too thick, you can thin it up with some water or beef stock.
BEST EVER CHILI RECIPE
- 4 strips bacon, sliced ½-inch thick
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon paprika, or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce can) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, you can use diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce can) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- Optional garnish: avocado, red onion, shredded cheese or sour cream
- Heat a large pot on medium heat, add the sliced bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally and scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat if bacon is browning too quickly.
- Add the onion, and bell pepper to the pot, stirring frequently. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
- Add the ground beef, breaking into small pieces with a spatula, until cooked through. Strain off any accumulated liquid and fat from the pot.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the tomato paste, and dried spices, and cook until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes with juices, drained beans, beef broth, and bay leaf. Give it a stir.
- Increase the heat to high until the chili comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
- To serve, remove bay leaf. Ladle servings into individual bowls. Garnish with avocado, red onion, cheese, cilantro or any other toppings.
- Serving Size: This recipe makes 9 cups, enough for 6 good-sized servings.
- To Store: Place cooled chili in an airtight container and store for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
- To Freeze: Use a freezer-safe bag or airtight container and store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- To Reheat: Thaw frozen chili overnight in the fridge. Then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, until warmed through. If the chili thickens too much for your taste, add a splash of water or beef broth.
- To control the amount of salt in your chili, choose unsalted beef broth, beans, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Bacon can be tricky to slice. To make it easier, place your bacon in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm it up.
- Want to spice this up even more? Add 1¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper!
- Make sure to use a large pot, to accomodate all these ingredients. My favorite is the beautiful Le Creuset dutch oven you see pictured.