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Easy Stovetop Chili Recipe (with Ground Beef)

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.

A center brown bowl heaped with chili that\'s garnished with cheddar cheese. The chili sits in front of the second bowl of chili and jars of cheese and soup crackers.

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!

Top-down photo of two bowls of chili topped with shredded cheese in brown bowls next to small jars of cheese and soup crackers, and a spoon sitting on a slate tile.

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.

  Favorite Toppings

  • 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!

While I believe that this is the Best Chili EVER, I have to admit that John’s Chili No-Beans recipe and the Instant Pot Chili Con Carne recipes are amazing.

If you’re looking for something a little less traditional, Lamb Chili, Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili, or Green Chili, or our Pork and Tomatillo Stew recipes might be right up your alley.

three-quarter view of a bowl of chilli topped with shredded cheese in front of small jars of soup crackers and shredded cheese. Small soup crackers are scattered around the bowl.

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.

Chili is a complete meal but when I cook something savory I like to complement it with something sweet. A great muffin, homemade apple sauce, or skillet cornbread are my go-to’s.

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.

Side view of a brown bowl heaped with chili. Shredded cheese garnish the chili. Crackers and more cheese sit in jars in the background.

Easy Stovetop Ground Beef Chili Recipe

Author: Hostess At Heart
Stovetop Chili Recipe is an easy ground beef chili recipe that will feed a crowd. Make it mild or spicy. It'll become your family's favorite.
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword: Best Chili, Chili recipe
Servings: 32 servings


  • 6 lbs ground beef
  • 3 quarts stewed tomatoes 6-9 cans**
  • 2 quarts tomato juice
  • 30 oz Mrs Grimes Hot Chili Beans (2 cans)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 7 oz ketchup 1/2 bottle
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup Chili Powder to taste or more if you like spice


  • In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown hamburger with onion and yellow mustard. Brown in batches if necessary. Drain excess grease.
  • Combine meat and all of the remaining ingredients in a large stockpot or a crockpot.
  • Simmer until all flavors are combined, stirring occasionally.


  • **I process the stewed tomatoes to remove the large pieces.
  • I allow my chili to simmer until I can no longer detect any flavor from the cans. 30 minutes to several hours, whatever time you have.
  • This chili can be simmered for several hours on top of the stove or in a slow cooker.
  • Chili may be frozen in reclosable bags or airtight containers.


Calories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 18gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 574mgPotassium: 770mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1564IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

What to make with leftover chili?

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.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later and follow me on Pinterest for more delicious recipes like this one!

Sideview of a bowl of stovetop chili recipe garnished with freshly shredded cheddar cheese.
4.78 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating


Sunday 12th of January 2020

ha! Your secret ingredient was a variation on the one we use! I've always used hot mustard powder--- but I remembered your recipe when I was out yesterday for our game day dinner. I must admit---- yours was so good. We didn't have even one bowl left today for leftovers! Going to keep this for the future!

Julie Menghini

Monday 13th of January 2020

Mustard powder? How interesting! I'm glad that our recipe worked for you!


Thursday 21st of November 2019

1. Chili does not have beans. 2. Ketchup is never an acceptable ingredient for anything. It's a condiment and should never be used in cooking --especially in chili.


Sunday 24th of November 2019

Tex is right if you were talking about Texas Chili which you are not. In Texas this would be classified as Meat sauce and served over spaghetti. We put no tomato products and no beans in our chili. Typically we don’t use ground beef small cubes of steak or roast and it is thickened with masa and is loaded with cumin. But... we are not talking about Texas chili we are talking about the Best Chili outside of Texas. Outside of Texas, chili is just a dish you cook for football games but in Texas it is our National Dish.

Julie Menghini

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

Wow, Tex I'm glad that I don't have these food rules. I could probably drive you crazy with some of my creations! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll find something you enjoy.

Dolores Miranda

Saturday 16th of November 2019

I absolutely love chili and this recipe sounds amazing!Definitely will give it a try!

Julie Menghini

Sunday 17th of November 2019

Thank you Dolores! I just made another batch this week!

Shelby P.

Saturday 16th of November 2019

So excited to make this! I’ve been looking for a new chili recipe.

Julie Menghini

Sunday 17th of November 2019

We love this one Shelby! I just made a big batch this week and put it in quart containers for the freezer. I love having it on cold nights for dinner.

Jennifer A Stewart

Monday 23rd of October 2017

I have heard of putting chocolate in the chili but never mustard! I am a huge fan of that vinegar-y tang of mustard so I can only imagine how good it tastes in chili!


Saturday 12th of November 2022

@Julie Menghini, mustard has vinegar which tenderizes the meat. I slather my meats that I’m smoking in it, I use it in chili and sloppy joe!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 24th of October 2017

Thank you, Jennifer! Believe it or not, it isn't tangy. I can't even say what it does but it does....

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