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Classic Chili

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 1 hour 50 min.


12 servings (3 quarts)

Updated: Dec. 01, 2022
Mom's homemade chili recipe was the best! She knew just the right ingredients to put her 'stamp' on it. I could eat it with my eyes closed and know it was hers. It amazed me that she could put it together in so little time. —Marjorie Carey, Alamosa, Colorado
Classic Chili Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Tortilla chips, optional


  1. In a Dutch oven or large soup kettle, saute green pepper, onions and celery in oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned; drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add kidney beans. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. If desired, serve with tortilla chips.
If Cooking for Two: Freeze in serving-size portions.

Homemade Chili Tips

What is the best secret ingredient for chili?

When it comes to secret ingredients for chili, it all depends on what flavors you like. Some popular secret additions include peanut butter, cornmeal and chocolate, though not all at the same time. Check out some more secret ingredients for chili.

How do you make chili more flavorful?

Our favorite way to boost a chili recipe's flavor is to "bloom" the spices by gently toasting them in a skillet until they're fragrant before adding them to the chili. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes! Here are even more ways to make chili more flavorful.

Is it OK to let chili simmer all day?

Letting your chili simmer is the right way to go. On average, it takes about 2 hours for beef to really break down. However, if you want to cook your chili for longer, we recommend going with a slow cooker chili recipe. Research contributed by Caroline Stanko, Associate Digital Editor.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 259 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 708mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 20g protein.

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