top down image of a bowl of chili
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Best Beef Chili

A classic recipe for Beef Chili, loaded with beans, spices and loads of delicious flavour!  The addition of bacon makes this dish especially tasty! Serve with cornbread, buns, rice or over a baked potato.  SO delicious.

This classic chili recipe is a staple in our home and has been served countless times over the years. It’s just one of those classic dinners that everyone loves. It’s hearty, healthy and so versatile!

top down image of a bowl of chili. the pot sits on a wooden table

Big Batch Cooking is Great for Meal Planning!

I especially love this beef chili recipe because it makes a huge batch, so I can serve half for dinner one night, and freeze the rest for later which comes in handy on those weeknights when you don’t know what to make for dinner!  It’s also a great recipe option if you’re serving a big crowd of people (feeds 8 – 10).

a close up of a pot of chili

Bacon Makes Everything Better!

This recipe is loaded with ground beef, spices and beans, but it also has a secret ingredient, bacon! Bacon adds SO much amazing flavour. Having said that, if you don’t want to add the bacon or you just don’t have any around (which happens to me often), you don’t have to…this chili is delicious without it as well!

top down image of a bowl of chili

Our Favourite

Chili Recipe Ideas

Chili is so versatile and can be served with SO many things.  Here are some delicious ideas:

  • Serve with fresh buns or a freshly baked mozzarella quick bread or cornbread.
  • Make a pot of rice to go with this chili.
  • Tasty toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, green onion, avocado, sour cream.
  • Top baked potatoes with chili.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or put on nachos.
  • Use it as a side dish to steak or burgers. It’s great with hot dogs too!
  • Take it camping!
a close up of a pot of chili

Baked Potatoes + Chili = Best Meal Idea Ever

It’s true! Have you ever had a baked potato loaded with beef chili and all the fixings?! It’s so so good. This is also a great way to use up leftover chili.

Chili with Baked Potatoes

Beef Chili Recipe Tips

  • Beef: Lean ground beef works best for this chili. You can use regular ground beef, just make sure to drain the excess fat.
  • Can I use other ground meat? Yes! Ground turkey or chicken is delicious in this recipe too. You can also use a mixture of beef/chicken/turkey.
  • Beans: Any beans work well in this chili: red kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, mixed beans, even a can of brown beans.
  • Bacon: As I mentioned above, bacon makes this chili extra flavourful. But if you just don’t have any, or don’t want to add it, you don’t have to. This chili is still delicious!
  • Broth/Wine: You can use beef broth instead of wine. Or a mixture of both.
  • Make ahead tip! This chili is even better after it has sat for a day in the refrigerator, which makes it a great make-ahead recipe!
  • Freezing: This chili freezes well. Store it in an airtight container and freeze for 3 months.
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Best Beef Chili

A classic recipe for Beef Chili, loaded with beans, spices and loads of delicious flavour!  The addition of bacon makes this chili especially tasty! Serve with cornbread, buns, rice or over a baked potato.  SO delicious.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Stovetop

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon (chopped)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 (5.5 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine or beef broth (or a mixture of both)
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes including the tomato sauce
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans beans (kidney beans, chick peas, or brown beans)

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef with the chopped onion, peppers and garlic.
  2. Add the bacon and cook. Drain off the fat, if necessary.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cook and stir continually for 1 minute.
  4. Add the wine (or broth), tomatoes and beans.
  5. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  6. After 1 hour, remove the lid and cook for 30 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and serve!

Keywords: beef chili, best beef chili, chili recipe

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Best Beef Chili

This post was originally published in January 2011.  I just updated the photos!  Same great recipe, just with new drool-worthy images.

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3 Comments

  1. Love those bowls! I must ask where they came from??!!

    We made chili too, although meatless with lentils. Still yum.

    I love this blog!!

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