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Simple Chili Recipe

February 10, 2024

Beefy, porky, beany and most of all EASY, the Monday night blahs are no match for this super hearty, super delicious chili recipe.


homemade simple chili in a bowl topped with cheddar cheese and green onion

Quite Simply a Simple Chili Recipe

Homemade chili doesn’t have to be a whole thing. Sometimes it’s fun to go over the top—if you’re looking to do that, may we suggest you hop on over to our award-winning chili recipe. There’s also our White Bean Chicken Chili recipe if you’re looking for another tasty chili, but without the beef. But sometimes you just want to eat chili ASAP. Beefy and full of spices and beans, too, this chili recipe will get you there quick and is quite delicious despite being substantially easier than most chili recipes. You can adjust the heat, too—if you want spicy chili, double the jalapeño. If you need it to be mild, stick with just one and be sure to carefully remove the seeds. Lean beef and pork mean that this chili recipe is loaded with protein and, of course, low carb too. If you’re not worried about carbs, though, whip up a batch of cornbread while the chili simmers—you can thank us later.

ground beef and pork, veggies, spices, kidney beans, canned tomatoes and chicken stock on the counter to make simple chili

What Is the Best Secret Ingredient for Chili?

Easy. The best chili recipe ever is one that gets enough time on the stove. That’s why, even though this chili recipe is super simple—mostly pantry ingredients, and not much prep time at all—it still requires about 45 minutes of simmering on the stove. There’s simply no way around the deep and wonderful way that all of the chili ingredients come together when they have time over heat to meld into each other. We’re not asking much effort with this one, so just give it time and you’ll be richly rewarded! Plus, like we said above, use that simmer time to make some cornbread and take your chili dinner to the next level.

ground beef and pork, onion, peppers, jalapeño and garlic in a pot
ground beef and pork, onion, peppers, jalapeño and garlic being cooked in a pot

The Best, Simplest Beef Chili Ingredients

If you’re the kind of smarty who keeps ground meat in the freezer and some canned stuff and spices in the cupboard, you just might have all of these ingredients on hand already! And even if you’re not, these are easy-to-find, inexpensive things that you can probably remember to grab even if you leave your grocery list at home. Here’s everything you’ll need to make our simple chili recipe:

  • Meat: Ground beef and ground pork.

  • Veggies: onion, bell peppers, fresh garlic, jalapeños.

  • Spices: garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar.

  • Kidney beans.

  • Canned tomatoes.

  • Chicken or beef stock.

ingredients for a simple chili recipe in a pot on the counter
homemade simple chili in a pot on the counter

How To Make the Easiest Chili Ever

Yeah, start-to-finish this chili recipe will take about an hour. But most of that time is totally inactive time, meaning you can use it to get other stuff done or play with your kids or watch TV or seriously, make that cornbread. Here’s how easy this chili recipe is to make:

  1. Cook the ground meats with the onion, peppers, jalapeño and garlic.

  2. Add the spices, beans, stock and tomatoes.

  3. Bring the chili to a boil!

  4. Stir constantly for about five minutes, to give everything a chance to mix together.

  5. Simmer for about half an hour, until the chili tastes perfect.

  6. Dig in!

a pot of homemade chili in a on the counter

The Best Chili Toppings

Chili night excitement is sort of like baked potato night excitement in our homes—it’s all about the toppings! What are your favorite chili toppings? Our absolute favorite, go-to chili toppings are:

  • Cheese! Cheddar is classic, but we sometimes put out shredded mozzarella, too.

  • Sour cream. Full-fat, real-deal sour cream please and no subs!

  • Scallions.

  • Avocado. Because we love it, and it makes us feel like we’re fitting in something green (almost unheard of on chili night).

homemade simple chili in a bowl topped with cheddar cheese and green onion

Can I Make It Ahead? How To Store and Freeze This Easy Chili Recipe.

Yep! This chili will keep well in the fridge for a few days and you can definitely freeze it if you’d like to! It’ll keep in the freezer for up to three months, but the kidney beans may lose a bit of their texture. This chili recipe is also one of our favorites for making for friends—hellooo meal trains!

homemade chili recipe in a bowl topped with cheddar cheese and green onion

Tools You’ll Need:

More Chili Recipes to Try

homemade simple chili in a bowl topped with cheddar cheese and green onion

Winter Weather Is No Match for This Cozy Chili Recipe

Stick-to-your-ribs comfort is what this chili recipe is all about. We hope you try it and we hope you love it! When you do, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Simple Chili Recipe

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 539


  • 1 lb Ground beef, 90/10
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 large Jalapeño, seeded and minced or 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Chili powder, mild
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 (13.5 oz) cans kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 (28 oz) can Diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups stock (chicken or beef)
  • Grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese, optional
  • Sour cream, optional
  • Green onions, chopped, optional


  1. In a large stock pot set over medium-high heat, combine the ground beef, ground pork, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic. Cook, breaking up the meat until browned and the onions and peppers are beginning to soften, about 5-7 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, kidney beans, tomatoes and stock. Turn the heat up to high and bring the chili to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring almost-constantly, for 5 minutes. If the chili splatters, turn the heat down a bit and stir more slowly. This will help reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavors.

  3. Turn the heat to low. Simmer the chili, uncovered, for another 25 minutes. Let the finished chili sit for 10 minutes before serving.

  4. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream and green onions.

NOTE: This chili will keep well in the fridge for a few days and you can definitely freeze it if you’d like to! It’ll keep in the freezer for up to three months, but the kidney beans may lose a bit of their texture. Simply thaw it out in the fridge and gently warm it in a pot on the stove.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories539
  • Protein43 g
  • Carbohydrates35 g
  • Total Fat22 g
  • Dietary Fiber16 g
  • Cholesterol94 mg
  • sodium1825 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Simple Chili Recipe

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Austin

    What is the serving size for the caloric values listed?

    we don't have a yield measurement for this one but 1/6 of the pot of soup is what the calories listed are for.

  • Kay

    Does your recipe book contain instructions about how much liquid you add to the instant pot in the recipe?

    Hi Kay, we haven't tested this recipe in the instant pot.

  • Ayisha

    This came together really quick and was so tasty. I had half a can of chipotle chilis in adobo left over from another recipe so I added it into the pot. It definitely kicked up the heat a and added some smokiness (always a good thing). I also added a 6oz can of tomato sauce and 2 table spoons of ketchup. My husband and my 7 year old loved it. This will be my go to chili recipe from now on.

    Thanks Ayisha, so happy you loved it! Love that it became your go to.

  • Katie

    This recipe was so simple and so delicious! I added in a few carrots and celery at the start too, along with cheese and green onions at the end. Thanks for the great eats. 😃

    Thank you Katie, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Dot

    Simple and delicious! I served it with a combination of toppings and everyone enjoyed adding their own choices, especially the nacho crunchiness. Thanks!

    That's so great Dot! We ware so happy everyone enjoyed it! Thank you for trying it out!

  • Jenn

    This is SO good and really was so simple!

    So glad you enjoyed it!