The Best Homemade Chili

mains recipes Oct 26, 2019

Last week, we experienced our first real fall “cold front” (tamper your expectations, it is Austin after all), so I used this as an excuse to whip up all of my cold weather favorites. And what screams cozy more than a heaping bowl of chili, with ALL the toppings, of course?!

While I love the fun spins on chili these days – turkey, white, pumpkin, and more – I always find myself returning to my old family recipe. Ground beef, veggies and spices are all you need to create this hearty and healthy version that makes ample, so it also serves as your meal prep for the week.

And for those like myself who are currently cooking for one (sometimes two when Sam joins), this recipes also freezes incredibly well. With a batch left over, you’ll have a comforting, easy meal on hand whenever the craving or need hits.

When it comes to purchasing ground beef for this recipe (and in general), I can’t stress enough the importance of picking organic and grass fed. Not only are the animals humanely raised, but they’re likewise never exposed to hormones, pesticides or antibiotics.

The nutrient profile of this variety is much richer in Omega 3s and lower in Omega 6s (which we want to limit our intake of). Plus, it’s loaded with vitamin B12, B3 and B6 and higher in bioavailable iron, selenium and zinc.

Personally, I’ve struggled with anemia for years, so I have to actively include more iron-rich foods into my diet, grass fed beef being one of the most potent sources. So this chili is a dish I love to whip up when I’m feeling a little tired and need an iron boost. But it’s just so flavorful and delicious that I don’t really need an excuse!

As for the vegetables, various types of tomatoes are key to any good chili. Not only do they add great richness and texture, but they’re also a powerhouse of nutrients. Specifically, these veggies are packed with antioxidants, including high levels of lycopene that protect the skin from sun damage. Lycopene is a phytochemical that creates tomatoes’ red color and actually becomes even more potent when cooked.

Tomatoes are likewise shown to improve heart health and ward off cancer — even more reason to include them in all of your stews and soups this fall!

While I love a good creative spin on chili, especially my mom’s white chili (which I’ll share soon  ), sometimes you just can’t go wrong with a classic. This recipe has been my family’s go-to for years, and for good reason.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy dish to warm you up in this cooler weather or need a crowd-pleasing recipe to serve at your football watch party, this won’t disappoint. And hopefully this easy, nutritious chili will be your new family favorite as well!


 YIELDS8 Servings
 PREP TIME10 mins COOK TIME45 mins TOTAL TIME55 mins


  •  2 lbs ground beef
  •  2 cups onion, chopped
  •  2 red bell peppers, chopped
  •  4 garlic cloves, minced
  •  3 tbsp chili powder
  •  1 tbsp cumin
  •  2 tsp dried oregano
  •  1 tsp dried basil
  •  ½ tsp crushed red pepper (more to taste)
  •  1 tsp ground black pepper
  •  2 tsp salt
  •  2  (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  •  2  (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  •  1  (6 oz) can tomato paste
  •  2 cans kidney beans
1. In a large pot or dutch oven, add ground beef over medium heat. Sear until all red disappears, leaving some nice-sized chunks.
2. Add onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, oregano, basil, red pepper, cumin and black pepper. Stir until well incorporated and veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste. Mix well.
4. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 40 minutes. Add beans.
5. Serve or make ahead (it tastes even better the next day). Enjoy!

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