Make this Hearty Beef Chili for game day or for any gathering. This hearty chili is a delicious stick-to-your-ribs meal that will fill you up for hours!
We love our chili. Whether it’s Sweet Potato Turkey Chili, Green Chicken Chili Soup, or a 3-Bean Pumpkin Chili, I’ve gotcha covered. All the different taste profiles for you to choose from for your bowl of comfort!
Are you a fan of chili WITH beans or without? We are in the BEAN camp, and while I love all the beans, I especially love pinto beans. They are just so versatile, and make a star appearance in so many of my recipes, including my Easy Refried Beans and my Shrimp Tostadas with Avocado.
Reasons to love this chili
- It’s simple to make. This chili really is simple and fairly quick to make. Most of the time is spent letting it simmer, so you can make a side dish for your dinner too!
- This chili is filling. As you can see on the nutrition calculation, you’re getting loads of protein and chili in a single serving (due to the beans and the beef). One bowl is plenty for most people!
- It’s a little bit spicy. The spiciness is at a medium level. Not mild and not super spicy. You can also tailor it to your taste buds which is nice.
- There aren’t big chunks of tomato. While I love tomatoes, I appreciate how smooth the broth is in this chili. I used crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes (salsa-style) so there aren’t large chunks. The kids will love that fact too!
- Leftovers are delicious. I think the leftovers are even better than eating this freshly cooked. Which is why you could make it on a Sunday and eat it all week long!
- Veggies – You’ll need a medium yellow onion, a couple of large jalapeños, and a few garlic cloves. I included the seeds from one jalapeño and scraped out the seeds of the second one. Just the right amount of heat for us, but feel free to remove all seeds from both jalapeños.
- Meat – I used both ground beef AND some bacon for this chili to give it an extra amount of heartiness. The bacon adds great flavor!
- Tomatoes – Some tomato paste, and both crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes were used. If you can find the “salsa style” diced tomatoes, use those! The pieces of tomatoes are smaller and I really like using them. You could also just use all crushed tomatoes as well. The fire-roasted variety is the only thing I buy now, and adds just a little bit of extra flavor and heat.
- Beans – My favorite type of bean is pinto, so that’s what I used. You could substitute YOUR favorite bean as well. Make sure you rinse and drain them.
- Seasonings – Use a good amount of chili powder and ground cumin for an extra smokey flavor. These are my go-to spices for anything chili!
How to make Hearty Beef Chili
Sauté veggies. Heat a stock pot to medium high heat and add olive oil. Then add the chopped onions and jalapeños, and cook a few minutes.
Brown Beef. Add the ground beef and seasonings (chili powder, ground cumin, salt, and pepper) and cook until beef is browned, stirring frequently.
Add bacon. Par-cook the bacon in the microwave or oven. Chop and add to the beef and veggie mixture and continue cooking.
Add remaining ingredients. Then add the remaining ingredients to the pot – the tomato paste, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, and pinto beans.
Simmer. Bring chili to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 30 more minutes, or until chili is slightly thickened and piping hot.
Serve. Serve soup with saltine crackers, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Enjoy!
While you may not enjoy piling the toppings on like I to, I must say that’s it my favorite way to eat chili. Gimme all the saltines and cheese and sour cream! I like it thick and full of all the tasty things!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can definitely make a mild chili by 1) omitting the jalapeño seeds (or all parts of the pepper), 2) using less chili powder and ground cumin, and 3) using mild versions of the canned tomatoes (instead of fire-roasted).
You can leave the beans out of the chili, but I recommend leaving them in. If you omit them, you may need to use less tomatoes as well.
The sugar balances the acidity from all the tomatoes. I think it adds the perfect hint of sweetness to the spicy ingredients as well.
To make this chili in the instant pot, simple use sauté function to cook veggies and meat and then add everything to the pot. Pressure cook for 9-10 minutes.
To make it in a slow cooker, sauté veggies and brown meat on the stove top. Add to slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low all day long or on high for about four hours.
I happen to LOVE all the toppings in chili, so I highly recommend them! However, you can omit them from the chili or use less.
Other ways to serve beef chili
Besides the toppings I’ve mentioned, I recommend adding a few things to your meal, especially if you have big eaters!
- Serve it with bread. Try my Chewy French Bread or my latest Overnight Sourdough Bread
- Make a batch of the best Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread!
- Add a side salad with my delicious Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)
Hearty Beef Chili
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion – chopped
- 2 large jalapenos – diced (with or without seeds)
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 3 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
- 6 servings bacon – cooked and crumbled
- 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup lower-sodium beef broth
- 30 oz. fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 30 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I use salsa-style) – or use crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 45 oz. pinto beans – rinsed and strained
- cheddar cheese, sour cream, and saltine crackers – to serve
- Sauté veggies. Heat a stock pot to medium high heat and add olive oil. Then add the chopped onions and jalapeños, and cook a few minutes.
- Brown Beef. Add the ground beef and seasonings (chili powder, ground cumin, salt, and pepper) and cook until beef is browned, stirring frequently.
- Add bacon. Par-cook the bacon in the microwave or oven. Chop it up and add to the beef and veggie mixture and continue cooking.
- Add remaining ingredients. Then add the remaining ingredients to the pot – the tomato paste, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, and pinto beans.
- Simmer. Bring chili to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 30 more minutes, or until chili is slightly thickened and piping hot.
- Serve. Serve soup with saltine crackers, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Enjoy!