In this quick and flavorful Easy Beef Chili Recipe, sautéed ground beef and onions simmer with beans in a perfectly chili-spiced tomato sauce. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, grated sharp cheddar cheese and sliced green onions – we like Fritos or corn chips too! Serves 6 in under an hour.
Making chili is basically effortless.
My whole life I thought chili took hours simmering away on the stove top. Only because it tastes like it does. In reality, all you need is a few ingredients and about 45 minutes. That is why this my go-to beef chili recipe. Not only is it super easy to make but it’s also hearty, filling and so comforting. I can only hope that it becomes your go-to recipe as well.
To Make This Easy Beef Chili Recipe You Will Need:
- extra light olive oil or olive oil spray
- yellow onion
- lean ground beef
- chili powder
- celery salt
- tomato sauce
- pinto beans
- light or dark red kidney beans
- optional toppings like; plain nonfat greek yogurt, sour cream, green onions and extra sharp cheddar cheese.
Spray a dutch oven or deep sided pot with olive oil spray before adding in 1 medium diced yellow onion with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir and sauté for 5 minutes.
Once the onions have softened, add in the 1-1/2 pounds of lean ground beef. I use either 92/8 or 90/10 lean to fat ratio.
When the ground beef is no longer pink, drain off all the fat and discard. Then measure and add in 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and a few shakes of celery salt and cayenne pepper to the cooked beef.
Stir and cook for a minute, to open up those spices.
To this add in 2 (15 ounce) cans of tomato sauce. I also add a little water to each empty can, swirl it around to catch any extra sauce clinging to the inside of the can and add that in as well.
Next add in 2 cans (drained and rinsed) pinto beans and 1 can red kidney beans, also drained and rinsed. Along with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Adding the sugar offsets the acidity of the tomato sauce.
Stir well to combine.
Then cover and simmer on medium-low to low for 20 to 30 minutes or until hot.
This is the BEST chili, but every chili recipe needs some toppings. Am I right?
Optional Beef Chili Toppings:
- sour cream or plain nonfat greek yogurt
- shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- sliced green onions
- hot sauce
- tortilla chips or fritos
- diced avocado
How To Freeze Chili And Reheat Later:
- COOL: make sure the chili is completely cool before freezing. Never place hot or very warm items in the freezer (or fridge!) as it can thaw and negatively affect the nearby food.
- PORTION: when cool, divide chili into portions. Whether it’s a single serving, two or four, portion the cooled chili into either freezer safe bags or air-tight containers. I prefer using freezer safe bags and removing as much air as possible, this helps with storing.
- FLATTEN: once portioned, lay flat on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Like in this post.
- STORE: stack the flat frozen chili portions vertically or horizontally saving so much freezer space. Store chili in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- REHEAT: I prefer to thaw frozen chili overnight in the fridge. However you can soak in a sink of lukewarm water for 20 to 30 minutes – flip every so often and change out the water at least once or twice. You can also defrost in the microwave until thawed. Lastly, add thawed chili to saucepan or dutch oven and heat until thoroughly heated throughout.
For More Chili Recipes Click Here!
Enjoy! And if you give this Easy Beef Chili Recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!
Easy Beef Chili Recipe
- olive oil spray
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1½ pounds ground beef, I like to use 90% lean / 10% fat
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 shakes cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 2 shakes celery salt, (optional)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans (light or dark), drained and rinsed
- 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- sour cream or plain non-fat greek yogurt, optional see notes
- shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, optional see notes
- sliced green onions, optional see notes
- hot sauce, optional see notes
- fritos corn chips or tortilla chips, optional see notes
- diced avocado, optional see notes
- Spray the bottom of a dutch oven with olive oil. Add the diced onions with a small pinch of kosher salt and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add in the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it up into crumbles. Cook fully until no longer pink. Drain and discard fat in the bottom of the pot.
- Measure and add in the chili powder, cumin, celery salt and cayenne. Stir to combine.
- Next add the tomato sauce. I also add a little water to the nearly empty can and swirl it around to catch any extra sauce and add that in as well.
- Add the beans, salt and sugar. Stir, cover and simmer over medium-low for 20 to 30 minutes or until hot.
- Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings.
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THANK YOU in advance for your support!
Ummmmmm! I can't wait to try this!! :-]
yummy yummy..Perfect for a cold rainy day..Which is perfect now ..
I. Might. Die. Right. Now.
Loaded chili is the only way to have chili. Amen.
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 🙂
I am grabbing them ;-)…
Oh I love the shot with the rainbow of spices! Spuds perfect for the cold night we will be facing…
Wow looks great! Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods.
Chili is perfect for the weather that's in the forecast. Crave worthy especially with the saltines.
I love how thick and hearty this chili is! It was perfect for Halloween night!
Chili is one of my favorite fall foods – something about the spice and all those lovely toppings 🙂 Your pictures are gorgeous!
I love. love, love that you start with bacon grease! A girl after my own heart. Your chili looks so filling and delicious!
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.
I love chili, I actually just made some white chili the other day. This looks great!
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!
Delicious! I used black beans and northern beans and only had 1 lb of hamburger. This is my new "go to!" thanks for sharing!
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!
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!
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Just made this…it’s delish!! Everyone loves it! Served it with some sweet potato tortilla chips. So good!
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
i love this recipe. its easy steps in making one, its chili flavor. oh this is so delicious.!
This is my go to chili! Thanks so much for giving us a quick chili that is bursting with flavor! 5 stars!
Thank YOU, Jolie! I’m so glad you like the recipe!!
Looks good but I wouldn’t call it loaded. MORE BEANS! 🙂
Don’t care for pinto beans. Can I do 2 kidney and 1 pinto?