Try this easy stovetop chili recipe with ground beef! It’s quick and easy to make or can simmer for hours. This award-winning chili recipe will become one of your family favorites.
This recipe was originally posted on 11/7/19 and has been updated to add details and tips to make this recipe easy to make. No changes were made to the ingredients.
Why isn’t chili called soup or stew? Chili is chili and that’s just the way it goes. There are probably as many homemade chili recipes as there are the people who make it. Once you make this easy stovetop Chili Recipe, it will become one of your favorite chili recipes!
Why we love Stove Top Chili
Variation. Easy to make to satisfy the pickiest eaters at your table. We’ll show you how to spice it up or keep it mild. Don’t love beans? Leave them out or make our No-Bean Chili Recipe.
Crowd-Pleaser. This recipe will feed a crowd so get out your largest pot. I’ve won chili cook-off contests with this recipe so it’s tried and true.
Quick and Easy. This recipe can be made in a hurry so perfect for a weeknight meal. Or, let it simmer for hours. It’s ready when you are!
Stove Top Chili Ingredients
- Ground Beef. We use ground sirloin most of the time. If you get a lean ground beef you don’t even have to drain it.
- Stewed tomatoes. These tomatoes are cooked before canning. They often have added sugar making them sweeter than other varieties of canned tomatoes.
- Tomato juice. I look for the canned tomato juice “not from concentrate” because I believe the flavor tastes more like fresh tomatoes. You can use homemade tomato juice or what you have available.
- Onion. Yellow or white onions work best with this easy chili recipe.
- Green Bell Pepper. Believe it or not, just one bell pepper makes a difference in this recipe.
- Ketchup. This ingredient adds a sweetness to our chili soup so we don’t have to add additional sugar to balance the savory spices.
- Yellow mustard. This is our secret ingredient for this award-winning chili recipe. I’ve tried using Dijon or another variety and it just doesn’t work. Plain yellow mustard is the key. Even if you don’t care for yellow mustard, don’t leave it out.
- Beans. I swear if we could all agree on chili with or without beans we could solve world peace. I’ll give you options for varieties. Read on.
- Chili Powder to taste. We use a lot of chili powder in this recipe because it makes such a large batch.
- Salt and pepper. Brings out the flavor of the sweet ingredients as well as balances the recipe.
What is the difference between Chile and Chili Powder?
Chili Powder is actually a blend of dried chile pepper and other spices such as oregano, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, peppercorn, coriander, and cayenne according to Southern Living.
It’s different according to the brand you buy. There’s also a big difference between Mexican Chili Powder and Indian Chili Powder. I learned that the hard way!
Chile Powder is pure dried chile peppers even though the type of chile peppers can be different. They’re often sold under the name of the chile such as Ancho, Guajillo, Chipotle, Jalapeno, among others.
What’s the difference between dark red chili powder and light red chili powder.
The PepperScale states that dark chili powder often contains more of the chili pepper (like ancho) with a darker color and the spices are often roasted for longer periods.
This leads to a seasoning blend that’s often earthier, smokier, sweeter, and spicier than the lighter powder.
What kinds of beans go in chili?
We prefer using Mrs. Grimes®️ Hot Chili Beans. They’re pinto beans in a spiced sauce. You can use another canned bean or prepare dried beans.
Kidney Beans are probably the most used bean in chili. They’re dark red and a firm bean so they will not get overly soft (or mushy) when cooked. We also love black beans in our stove top chili recipes. My suggestion is to use the variety or varieties of beans you like to eat.
How to make Chili on the stove
First step: Brown the ground beef, diced onion, and mustard together in batches using a large pot. Drain off excess fat if necessary.
Second step: While the beef mixture cooks, chop up the stewed tomatoes. You can either crush them of cut them into chunks. We use a food processor for this.
Third step: Add the remaining ingredients to the ground meat mixture. We bring our stovetop chili to a low boil over medium heat and then turn it down to a low simmer until we serve it. How long does it take to cook on the stove depends on the time that you have. You can heat it through and serve it or let it simmer on low for several hours.
- Cheese is #1 in my family. We shred fresh cheddar cheese. It melts beautifully. Colby or Pepper Jack would be delicious too.
- Saltine Soup Crackers add a nice crunch to this easy stovetop chili recipe. My kids love goldfish crackers.
- Sour Cream. A little creamy sour cream will balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Jalapeno peppers either cooked right in the chili or added served as a topping can spice it up.
- BBQ Corn chips or tortilla chips are a fun way to get the kiddos to eat this hearty chili.
Some more Award-winning Chili recipes!
Hostess Tips & Variations for The Best Chili Recipe:
- This is a thick beef chili recipe. You can use a combination of ground beef varieties or mix it up by using ground pork or sausage. Use lean ground turkey or ground chicken for a healthier option.
- If you like a thinner chili, you can add more tomato juice.
- We don’t skimp on the chili powder and we like pure red chili powder, not a pre-mixed chili seasoning. We test it by taste but also for a deep red color.
- It’s best to add your spices throughout the entire cooking process instead of all at once. Adding spice and letting it cook into the chili will tell you if you need more but will also keep you from adding too much.
- Spice it up. If you like spicy chili, add cayenne pepper in stages while the chili simmers. If you like it mild but others want the heat, a good option would be to serve it with hot sauce.
- We chop up the stewed tomatoes to remove the large pieces in a food processor. You can make it as chunky as you want.
- Allow the chili to simmer until you can no longer detect any flavor from the cans. 30 minutes to several hours, whatever time you have.
- Heat the chili over medium-high heat and then immediately lower the temp to a simmer on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
- Make this great recipe ahead of time and refrigerate it in an airtight container or in the big pot you cooked it in covered with the lid. The next day put it in a crock pot and turn it to low. You’ll have a delicious chili dinner that the whole family will love.
- You can put your favorite chili toppings in small serving containers so they’ll be ready when you are too.
- Freeze chili in reclosable bags or airtight containers. Leave space at the top for expansion.
- Stove top Chili freezes great! I fill zip-lock bags and lay them flat to freeze. Using a cookie sheet works well. Once frozen you can remove the pan and keep them flat or store them vertically. It’s a great way to save freezer space.
What to make with leftover chili?
- Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Chili Cheese Bean Dip
- Smokey Chili Bites
- Chili Cheese Fries
- Keto Air Fryer Jicama Fries (Chili Cheese Fries)
- Chili Mac Skillet
I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.
There aren’t any contests now. I make this stovetop chili recipe and we all eat it. It makes such a large batch that I put some in my freezer. It’s like money in the bank. When I don’t want to cook I know I have some chili just waiting for me.