Chili is a hearty and flavorful dish that has deep roots in American cuisine, particularly in the Southwest. Whether served as a comforting meal on a cold day or enjoyed at a backyard cookout, chili is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual tastes. With its combination of tender meat, beans, tomatoes, and spices, chili is a favorite among people of all ages. In this guide, we’ll explore how to make a delicious pot of chili from scratch, covering everything from selecting the right ingredients to mastering the perfect balance of flavors.

Video instructions available below 👇


For the Chili:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey, chicken, or pork)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, diced avocado, cilantro, or hot sauce


  • Cook the Meat and Aromatics:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned and no longer pink. Use a spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks.
    • Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and bell pepper (if using) to the pot. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and fragrant.
  • Add the Tomatoes and Beans:
    • Stir in the diced tomatoes (with their juices), kidney beans, and black beans. If using whole tomatoes, you can break them up with a spoon or spatula.
    • Pour in the beef broth and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  • Season the Chili:
    • Add the chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir well to evenly distribute the spices throughout the chili.
  • Simmer the Chili:
    • Bring the chili to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover the pot and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
    • For deeper flavor, you can simmer the chili for up to 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once the chili is cooked to your liking and has thickened to your desired consistency, ladle it into bowls. Serve hot with your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, diced avocado, cilantro, or hot sauce.

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