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Easy Homemade Chili

Stephanie loves trying out new recipes and sharing family favorites!

Homemade Chili Recipe for When You Don't Have all Day

Want to make easy homemade chili, but don't have all day to wait for the crockpot? Believe me, it is so easy to make a hearty dinner for the family, and this recipe will take 20 minutes or less. I love one pan cooking that is simple and quick.

Nothing says "comfort food" like chili, in my opinion. Its filling, high in fiber, and can be adjusted to taste quite easily. Homemade chili is a popular dish for tailgate parties and potluck gatherings.

Cooking for family need not be a chore! At our home, chili is a favorite dinner dish that everyone enjoys. I like to dish it up "straight" in a bowl, topped with shredded cheese, chopped onions and a little cilantro (or corn chips as shown above). My children eat baked potatoes topped with chili. You can even make chili dogs - simply prepare your hot dog and bun as usual, then add 1/4 cup of chili on top.

Trust me - this homemade chili recipe is another cheap, fast and easy dinner that you can be proud to serve. Banish the idea of fast food right now. You'll only need a few ingredients at the grocery store.

Delicious easy homemade chili

Delicious easy homemade chili

Cook Time for Easy Homemade Chili

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

15 min

20 min

6-8 servings

What do you think of this Easy Homemade Chili Recipe?

Easy Homemade Chili Ingredients

We'll start with the basic recipe; there are additional suggested alternatives for a vegetarian chili or chicken chili recipe below.

Easy Homemade Chili:

  • 1 pound ground beef or sirloin
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans (drained)
  • 1 packet chili seasoning (my favorite brand is McCormick's)


  1. Brown ground beef or sirloin with chopped onion until no pink remains
  2. Drain beef
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, stir well, and bring to a boil, stirring consistently
  4. Turn down heat to low and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes

Serve immediately with shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped onions, corn chips and/or chopped fresh cilantro, if you like. You can also employ another one of my tricks. I finish making the chili, then I transfer it to my crockpot/slow cooker. Keep it on low for 1-2 hours and your guests will have a piping hot dish!

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Make Your Own Chili Seasoning

My classic homemade chili recipe is all about the easy (if you've ever watched or read any of Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking shows/books, you'll know what I mean).

However, there may be times when you don't have a chili seasoning packet, or simply want to make your own. Kudos to you!

Here's a tasty recipe for chili spices:

  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. seasoned salt
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. oregano

Mix all ingredients together; store for up to 3 months in a plastic bag. Makes 1/4 c. (enough for a double recipe of the easy homemade chili).

Variations on the Classic Chili Recipe

So, if you want to think beyond the bowl, easy homemade chili can be served on baked potatoes, over hot dogs, or even corn dogs).

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We've used the chili in a delicious nacho recipe: simply spoon 3/4 cup chili over tortilla chips, and top with 1/2 cup each of shredded cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese. Broil for 5 minutes.

But let's say that beef isn't your thing.

Or perhaps you don't like black beans.

Fortunately, you can change up this recipe to suit a vegetarian palate. Alternatively, you can create a tasty white chicken chili.

You are limited only by your imagination!

Vegetarian Chili Alternative

Don't eat meat? Never fear, you can easily convert the classic easy homemade chili recipe.

Simply replace the beef with 1 can each (15 oz) of kidney beans and garbanzo beans. Don't forget to also include the can of black beans.

Mix all the ingredients together and allow to simmer over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes.

If you like the texture and taste of veggie burger, you can include 1/2 pound of vegetarian burger crumbles in the mix. Feel free to experiment here, as well.

Love vegetables? Include 1/2 c. chopped celery and 1 can of corn!

Chicken Chili in a Crockpot

Chicken Chili Alternative

Chicken chili is a great dish to cook up when you have left over chicken, or if you just prefer white meat.

With this variation, you'll need to make a few additional revisions to the original homemade chili recipe. In place of the beef, include these ingredients, too, and replace the black beans with the white beans:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound diced, cooked chicken meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 (18.75 oz.) can tomatillos, drained and chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (7 ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white beans

Don't forget - you'll also need the seasoning packet, can of tomatoes, onion and can of chilies.

New Directions:

  1. Heat oil, and cook onion and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add broth, tomatillos, tomatoes, chilies, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add chicken and beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir up Homemade Chili Today

Don't sweat it! Easy homemade chili is a breeze. It takes little time and even less money. You can feed a family of 6 for less than $3 per person. And even better.... dinner can be on the table within 20 minutes. That's a comforting thought for me!

Please let me know if you have your own chili recipes, or suggested tweaks to the ones included here.

Here's to good, hearty and healthy eating!

© 2009 Stephanie Marshall


daisyjae from Canada on July 13, 2014:

These look like great recipes! my kids love chili and I've never tried it with chicken. I will try your recipe!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 30, 2012:

Thanks 2patricias - in fact, I think I will make this chili tonight! Have a great weekend, Steph

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on September 30, 2012:

This does look easy, and I like the inclusion of a vegetarian alternative.

I am adding this to my Recipe Index for HubPages (under Mexican Food).

mflemons from Boston on April 06, 2012:

well done! I love chili

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on February 18, 2012:

Yum! Chili in the crockpot! So delicious on its own, or served over baked potatoes or hotdogs. I agree about the oregano - I always have some in the spice cabinet. Enjoy your hearty chili tomorrow. Best, Steph

stessily on February 18, 2012:

Steph, An excellent collection of easy, homemade chili recipes!

I'll be making chili tomorrow; it's going to simmer in the crockpot for several hours so it'll be piping hot at dinner time.

Your homemade chili seasoning recipe is close to mine, as it features oregano. For me oregano is a standard ingredient, with the distinctive flavour which it imparts.

Thanks for sharing.

Kind regards, Stessily

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on November 04, 2010:

Seriously - this chili recipe is sooo easy, people that are "not much of a cook" can easily impress. Enjoy! :-)

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on November 04, 2010:

Now you've done it! I'll be chili tonight for sure. I'm not much of a cook but even I can do this one I think and I love chili. Thanks!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2010:

Wow Gordon, the crushed cumin sounds fabulous! I will have to try that next time we make chili. The weather is changing and its time to pull out the cooking pot. Cheers, Steph

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on October 04, 2010:

Fantastic recipe ideas. You are right - it is truly such a versatile dish. I love to add cumin to it. For a serving for four people, I take one tsp of cumin seeds and lightly toast them in a dry pan before crushing them with a pestle and mortar and adding them to the pot. A glass of red wine also makes for a tasty addition... ;)

Mpages from USA on June 29, 2010:

I love chili and this recipe is very delicious

Leenie Pooh on March 23, 2010:

Okay, you'll probably hate me for this one, but I like to use Amy's Organics canned chili and add my own veggies to it. I like your ideas though. I can use them to add variety to my canned chili :)

thaninja from America on October 20, 2009:

God I love chili....mmmm. Going to use this recipe tonight.

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on September 28, 2009:

Chili is my all time personal winter favorite-- gonna make up a big vat of this one -- some to eat now and some to freeze for later:-)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 26, 2009:

Hi BlueGreenBull, yesterday I made this chili about 2 hours before my guests arrived. I did it in the pan, then transferred it to a slow cooker to keep it warm (on low). The flavors really intensified.

BlueGreenBull on September 26, 2009:

Good recipes! I like my chili made low and slow - in the crockpot that it.

You just can't beat homemade chili in a crockpot. Dump all the ingredients in and let it cook for 8 hours until perfection :)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 25, 2009:

Hi JillofallTrades, my kids complain about spicy food, and this chili recipe isn't too bad. For those that like more heat, add jalapenos and Tabasco. Otherwise, its quite tolerable fore mere mortals. :) Steph

jill of alltrades from Philippines on September 25, 2009:

Although I'm not fond of spicy food (they make me cry!), my husband and daughter love them. I think I will try making this for them. It looks yummy and simple to make.

Thank you for sharing.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 25, 2009:

Busy is my middle name! Nothing like a hearty chili dish that you can make before the first 1/2 hour of the evening news is done.

Nancy's Niche on September 25, 2009:

I love vegetarian chili and your quick recipes are just what a busy woman needs. Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 25, 2009:

You are always welcome, Tara! ;-)

Tara on September 25, 2009:

Okay...make room for more...we're coming to visit :D

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 25, 2009:

Thanks Carmen - recipe hubs are usually pretty popular. I love sharing good ones like this chili recipe. Cheers, Steph

Carmen Borthwick from Maple Ridge, B.C. on September 25, 2009:

Good hub, I love chili. I'm going to start posting more recipes, too. Thanks

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 25, 2009:

@Robie - yep, I'm making chili tonight for my potluck party. Bring on fall!

@Philipo - recipe hubs are some of my favorite. Enjoy!

@one2get2no - delicious and easy... yum....

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on September 25, 2009:

Yum-- Chili is one of my favorites -- and now that the weather is getting colder, yum-- I want some. Thanks for this easy homemade chili recipe. Can't wait to try it.

Philipo from Nigeria on September 25, 2009:

This is inviting. Feel like eating it now. Thanks for sharing.

Philip Cooper from Olney on September 24, 2009:


Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 24, 2009:

Pull up a chair - there is plenty!

june688 on September 24, 2009:

I like it and want to eat.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 24, 2009:

Yes, absolutely! I forgot to add that adults often like their chili spicier than kids! Adobo is a great spice and would really enhance the flavor, as well as a dried chili. Best to you, Steph

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on September 24, 2009:

Hey, Steph. One of the things that I like to add is Adobo. It goes well with chili as a finisher. Also, because I like my chili spicy, I add at least one dried chili. But of course I can't go crazy if children are going to be eating it as well. If I make it too spicy, I end up being the only one that's eating :D Thanks!

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