Easy Loaded Chili

This easy loaded chili is quick to make and then gets spooned into bowls and topped with sour cream, cheddar, bacon and green onions! This is my go-to chili recipe!

It was Sunday night, 10:53 pm to be exact, and my girls couldn’t sleep. One would think it’s Christmas Eve, they were that excited for Halloween. I remember those days… the smell of all that candy in my pillowcase… sorting candy bars, smarties and those black and orange wrapped candies that would inevitably end up in the trash. Just to throw it all back in my sack and resort it in a half hour after I watched The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Life was good.

On Halloween night, dinner can be daunting (or haunting? 😉 ). I don’t wanna dirty a ton of dishes… or make a huge production. What I want is easy, filling and hot. I usually make one of two things, sloppy Joes or chili.

Easy Loaded Chili l SimplyScratch.com

How would I describe this chili?… Well, it’s chili. That’s exactly what chili should taste like. It’s hearty and super easy and could possibly be the recipe that makes you toss out all of your other chili recipes for good!

I promise it’s that good.

Easy Loaded Chili l SimplyScratch.com

All you need is beans, meat, onion, sauce, spices, and then the toppings of course! Simple, easy and the best chili you’ll ever make! Didn’t I already mention that?

As you can see, I like to use two cans pinto and one can kidney beans. You could definitely do all three cans kidney beans, or two cans kidney and one can pinto or all pinto for that matter. You could also soak the dry beans overnight if you oppose the can variety. It’s just whatever you prefer.

Drain the beans and rinse them well.

Next, dice up a large onion. It’s probably gonna seem like a ton-o-onion… but it cooks down and you won’t even notice it. Promise.

Some could use olive oil… I like bacon grease. I’m a freak… and I’m completely aware and totally okay with it.

Sauté the diced onion in the bacon fat until they are soft and translucent. Don’t brown them up or anything crazy like that. Once the onions are soft, add in the 2 pounds of ground beef, chuck, round or sirloin… doesn’t really matter. I usually use whatever is on sale that day.

Once the meat is all browned and cooked through… drain off most of the fat and pour in the giant (29 oz) can of tomato sauce. I also add a little water to the empty can and swirl it around to catch any extra sauce and add that in as well.

Add in the drained and rinsed beans…


Stir and simmer for 20 minutes then serve when it’s piping hot!

This is really good chili, but even gooood chili needs some toppings. Am I right… or am I right?

Easy Loaded Chili l SimplyScratch.com

Sour cream, cheddar, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacon and green onions. Hallelujah!!!

Easy Loaded Chili l SimplyScratch.com

Years ago, when I first made this chili, I was confuse as to why it was so effortless to make. My whole life I thought chili took hours simmering away on the stove top. I honestly thought it was an all day affair because that’s what it tastes like. It only takes…wait for it… 45 minutes tops!

Oh! And did I tell you?… it’s the best dang easy loaded chili around!


Enjoy! And if you give this Easy Loaded Chili recipe a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

Easy Loaded Chili l SimplyScratch.com

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 


Quick and Easy "Loaded" Chili

This easy loaded chili is quick to make and then gets spooned into bowls and topped with sour cream, cheddar, bacon and green onions! This is my go-to chili recipe!

Yield: 6-8 servings (depending)

Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Total Time: 35 to 40 minutes


1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil

2 pounds ground beef chuck

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 large (29 oz) or 2 (15 ounces) can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon sugar

2-3 shakes of cayenne pepper

1-2 shakes of celery salt


a dollop sour cream

shredded cheddar cheese

4-6 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 green onions, sliced


Heat the bacon fat or olive oil in a large (5 or 6 quart) dutch oven over medium heat.

Sauté diced onions until they are soft and translucent (not browned). Then add in the two pounds of ground beef and cook thoroughly.

Next add the tomato sauce, I also add a little water to the empty can and swirl it around to catch any extra sauce and add that in as well. Then add the beans and the spices and seasonings. Stir and let simmer over medium-low for 20 to 30 minutes (the longer the better!).

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a little cheddar and crumbled bacon pieces than sprinkle with sliced green onions. Enjoy!

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25 Responses to “Easy Loaded Chili”

  1. #
    PoetessWug — November 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Ummmmmm! I can't wait to try this!! :-]

  2. #
    Kath — November 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Stunning photos!

  3. #
    Aarthi — November 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    yummy yummy..Perfect for a cold rainy day..Which is perfect now ..

  4. #
    Bev Weidner (Bev Cooks) — November 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I. Might. Die. Right. Now.

  5. #
    Lauren's Latest — November 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Loaded chili is the only way to have chili. Amen.

  6. #
    Andrea the Kitchen Witch — November 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I LOVE CHILI!!! This looks amazing! I've never used tomato sauce in mine, usually I do whole or diced tomatoes. I'll defiantly try the sauce next time. Which could be tomorrow, we're supposed to get a blizzard tomorrow & chili would be awesome to feast upon during a snow storm 🙂

  7. #
    SavithaRaj's Spice Land — November 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I am grabbing them ;-)…

  8. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — November 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Oh I love the shot with the rainbow of spices! Spuds perfect for the cold night we will be facing…

  9. #
    Natalie — November 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Wow looks great! Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods.

  10. #
    Pretend Chef — November 2, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Chili is perfect for the weather that's in the forecast. Crave worthy especially with the saltines.

  11. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — November 2, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I love how thick and hearty this chili is! It was perfect for Halloween night!

  12. #
    JavelinWarrior — November 2, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Chili is one of my favorite fall foods – something about the spice and all those lovely toppings 🙂 Your pictures are gorgeous!

  13. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — November 2, 2011 at 5:08 am

    I love. love, love that you start with bacon grease! A girl after my own heart. Your chili looks so filling and delicious!

  14. #
    kita — November 4, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Im super pumped to know Im not the only one who makes a big batch of chili around this time of year. Last year we sat on the porch handing out candy with our big bowls of chili in hand. This year we didn't hand out candy, but there's a big batch of chili in the fridge, just in case.

  15. #
    RavieNomNoms — November 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I love chili, I actually just made some white chili the other day. This looks great!

  16. #
    Alexa — November 17, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I just made half of this recipe tonight…simply scratch? More like simply amazing! It was absolutely delicious and I can't wait for my lunch tomorrow!

  17. #
    Anonymous — January 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Delicious! I used black beans and northern beans and only had 1 lb of hamburger. This is my new "go to!" thanks for sharing!

  18. #
    Jen J — January 16, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Tonight was my first time making chili ever and…….there is no need to find another recipe!! I can't believe how absolutely simple this was to make while still BURSTING with flavor. (My husband is getting his second helping right now!) Thanks for adding this recipe to my greatest hits collection!

  19. #
    Becca Sims — April 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    My husband and I made this for the first time last night. We used ground turkey breast instead of beef though. We also added some diced red and green bell pepper, red onion, and jalapeno. It was simply delicious. Love all of your recipes!

  20. #
    Sarah — October 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Just made this…it’s delish!! Everyone loves it! Served it with some sweet potato tortilla chips. So good!

  21. #
    Morgan — December 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I made this for the first time for a group of fraternity boys that hadn’t gone home for winter break yet. I hoped it would last long enough for everyone to get some but it didn’t. Between 3 of the 6 boys left at the house the whole pan was gone. I even got begged to make it again the next night which I did. The second night more of the boys got to enjoy it. Thank you for this amazing recipe! Can’t wait to make more from your website

  22. #
    Easy Recipes — April 25, 2014 at 3:35 am

    i love this recipe. its easy steps in making one, its chili flavor. oh this is so delicious.!


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