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Firehouse Chili

As one of the cooks at the firehouse, I used to prepare meals for 10 men. This chili recipe was among their favorites. —Richard Clements, San Dimas, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    16 servings (4 quarts)


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cans (28 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  • In a Dutch oven, heat canola oil over medium heat. Brown beef in batches, crumbling meat, until no longer pink; drain and set aside. Add onions and green pepper; cook until tender. Return meat to Dutch oven. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until flavors are blended, about 1-1/2 hours.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fat, a type that helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels, and low in saturated fat, which can increase blood cholesterol. Olive oil would also taste great in this recipe and has the same healthy-fat properties.
  • Lean ground turkey (93% lean) contains 53% less fat and 38% less saturated fat than regular ground turkey (85% lean). It works great in casseroles, tacos and other dishes that use crumbled meat. Higher-fat meat works better for burgers or meatloaf.
  • These are our best chili recipes of all time.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 354 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 657mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 8g fiber), 31g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch.


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    Average Rating:
    • cynandtom
      Oct 19, 2020

      The only changes I made were using some ground pork that I had on hand (a 3 to 1 beef/pork ratio), and adding chopped jalapeño because we like ours a little more on the spicy side. Absolutely delicious, I will be rotating with my own Chili.

    • muffbear74
      May 9, 2019

      I quartered the recipe since I was only making it for 2 of us. It was easy to put together and I liked the taste - just the right amount of heat for me. I will keep this recipe in mind inext time I have to make chili for a crowd.

    • Quisp1967
      Mar 3, 2019

      This is one of the better chili recipes we have tried. Not too spicy. Great flavor. Just to experiment, I may swap one of the cans of tomatoes for a can of tomato soup. Overall, this recipe is very good.

    • jenniferny
      Feb 28, 2019

      Canola oil, why does everyone use canola oil?? Unless canola oil is organic, it is highly contaminated with Roundup/Glyphosate which is a known carcinogen!!! Otherwise is it a good recipe!!

    • sallydavison
      Feb 28, 2019

      This is a favorite go-to chili since I always get lots of compliments. It is meaty, hardy and delicious! It always comes out great!

    • Jennifer
      Feb 9, 2019

      Great recipe, adapts to alternate ingredients and spices beautifully.

    • airjett
      Oct 21, 2018

      This smells and tastes just like Hormel canned chili, not good.

    • Penni E.
      Oct 21, 2018

      The general recipe was good, but was too bland for my family's taste. We had to double all the seasonings....we loved it however, after we spruced it up.

    • katlaydee3
      Oct 10, 2018

      Delicious! This recipe was somewhat confusing because I have the original magazine which lists 3 cans 28 oz stewed tomatoes, cut up; rather than the 3- 14 1/2 oz cans listed here on the website. Well, I went back and forth and decided to go with the larger cans and I am very glad that I did as it came out perfectly! I have no idea if the error was in the magazine or on the website, but my recommendation is to go with the 28 oz size.

    • Tan Jan
      Feb 18, 2018

      I made this for supper this evening. This is def. my new chili recipe. I did not have kidney beans and used chick peas instead, was really good.Also if you own a smoker...cook it with lid off. 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees. OH my....delicious!!!!!