Beef Chili


Beef Chili – a thick and chunky beef chili that is full of beans and tons of flavor. Great for chili winter nights!

Beef Chili - a thick and chunky beef chili that is full of beans and tons of flavor. Great for chili winter nights!

This winter has gotten away from me.  It has been so mild here, just like in many parts of the country.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining by any stretch!  I just haven’t had the chance to make as many soups as I wanted to this year.  I am going to have to save them for next year, or for later this week when it decides to get chilly again.  It is hard to take 50’s after you have had 70’s for a full week.  This beef chili would be perfect for those chilly nights that are still to come!

Beef Chili - a thick and chunky beef chili that is full of beans and tons of flavor. Great for chili winter nights!

We have a debate in our house.  I don’t like beans, but my husband likes beans in his chili.  I happily make two pots, so we can each have our way.  But he tells me that chili is not chili if it doesn’t have beans.  Then it is just a bowl of meat sauce.  I disagree!  I do agree that MOST people like beans in their chili, but I don’t think beans are the defining factor.  What do you think? I made 2 pots of this beef chili, one full of beans and one without so we were all happy.  And serving it with corn muffins is a must!

Beef Chili

Yields 8

Thick and chunky beef chili

15 minPrep Time

75 minCook Time

1 hr, 30 Total Time

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  • 2 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 Tbls cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (15 oz) can kidney beans
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnishes
  • Avocado
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Red onion
  • Lime wedges


  1. In a large heavy duty pot heat the oil. Over medium heat add onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium - high, add 1 pound of ground beef. Brown the beef, breaking it up. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the other 1 pound of ground beef. Break up the meat, and cook until no longer pink. Stir in the beans, tomato sauce, and tomato puree. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, and cook for another 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the chili sticks to the bottom of the pan, add 1/2 cup of water, and continue to simmer. Add salt to taste. Serve with desired garnishes.


Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

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  1. Your dish looks inviting and irresistible. Yummy! =)

  2. I’m anti-bean in chili. It’s just not right!

    This looks DIVINE!!!

  3. Texas chili doesn’t have beans in it; that I do know. I’m not from Texas, so give me beans. :)

    This does look fantastic though.

  4. Hi Erin, I’ll take beans in my chili, you could leave the meat out,lol! This crazy weather is hard to get used to, warm, cold, rain, sun, I think the plants must be very confused;-)

  5. That looks a lot like my chili…and I HATE beans. They do not belong in chili or anything else. Definitely on your side, too. This 50 degree weather can go away after all the 70s last week. I’m ready for more 70s. Have a good day! Emily

  6. I like beans in my chili but I wouldn’t turn one down if it doesn’t have it. I still have yet to make traditional chili (only white chili) and yours says yummy all the way. :)

  7. I’m with your hubs! I’ve gotta have beans in my chili. :) I love the texture!

  8. I am loving your Beef Chili..great photo and mouthwatering, Erin! I might try these soon for my family gatherings!

  9. Nothing better than a nice bowl of chili, especially on a cold day!

  10. We love beans in chili, pinto, kidney, whatever… Just lots of them.

    Your chili looks amazing!

  11. I was just thinking of making chili! My ground beef is in the fridge, defrosting!

  12. Ah, the classic bean-no bean argument. I’m pro-bean, myself, but I can see the argument for leaving them out. Regardless, your chili is gorgeous and perfect for the end of winter.

  13. I’m on the fence with beans, depends on which bean we’re talking here! With that being said, no bean chili for me! This sounds incredible! Looks like you could use some tortilla chips as the spoon – totally my style! :)

  14. No beans for me. I love beans but not in chili.

  15. Haha! I haven’t gotten to the point of making two pots of chili – my husband loves them so I just put one can in. It’s few enough that I can pick around. Love this!

  16. Yummy! I love beff chili, it’s my favorite!!!

  17. yum! I definitely like beans in my chili, but the standout should be the meat whether it is beef, turkey, or chicken. I think vegetarian chili with a ton of beans is good too. I love all chili :)

  18. Mmmmm ♥ Chili! I’ll take it with the beans or without. Love it either way :)

  19. I hear ya on the weather…it’s currently 83º…more like summer than the first day of spring! Definitely not chili weather…but it may be by next week :) I haven’t been putting beans in my chili for a couple years…they’re not my favorite…and no one has complained about missing them! Your recipe looks yummy!

  20. I don’t think I have eaten a chili without beans in it before (maybe because I’m cheap and I like to stretch the meat out). I wouldn’t call a chili without beans a meat sauce because it will be spiced like chili.. to me a meat sauce is taste like spaghetti sauce. Actually I probably have had plain meat only chili on something like a chili dog. I wouldn’t want beans falling off the hot dog. I say, you’re a good wife for making it two ways. :)

  21. Haha! I don’t eat beans so often but for chili I don’t mind having them in it just as one of ingredients… otherwise you are eating mainly meat… just how you like it. =D But it doesn’t mean I don’t eat your version. 😉 I agree 50F and low 60F are cold for me… and I still eat more winter food than spring food actually. Great recipe!

  22. Erin this looks delicious and your photos are SO colorful and bright! I love it! My theory is YUM either way! With or without beans – it’s terrific!

  23. my kids love chili almost anytime of the year, and it’s raining here today so it would be a great dish to eat wish I could have a bowl of yours..too tired to cook tonight but I’ll keep this for the future :)

  24. Beans or no beans, that is the question 😉 I’ve read that most chili aficionados scoff at beans in chili, but there are many regional variations, etc. etc. Looks great, Erin – we had chili the other night – we’ve been “freezing” with temps in the 50s!

  25. I believe chili is originally made without beans, although I must agree with your hubby…I LOVE the beans!! Your chili looks scrumptious!! :)

  26. Looks delicious. I recently made chili and commented myself on the great bean debate. Fortunately both of us are pro-bean but I think the chili purists would say they don’t belong.

  27. Although I am veg I can appreciate a good looking chilli 😀
    Great recipe!

    Choc Chip Uru

  28. I keep trying to comment but my internet keeps timing out :( Anyway, I love that we have the same disagreement. My husband says no beans, I say yes. In the end, we usually do the same thing, split it up so everyone is happy. I could totally go for a bowl of your chili right now! I also love that you topped it with a lime!

  29. That has to be the prettiest bowl of chili I’ve ever seen! Love the flavors too :)

  30. I have learned that Texas chili has no beans, so I think you’re on safe ground 😉

  31. I adore a great chili recipe.

  32. My husband doesn’t want the beans either, but I love ’em! I think your chili looks fab!

  33. For my chili world? ????? NO BEANS. I prefer the meat to be non ground as well.

  34. We are a pretty strictly no-beans family, but we love chili!


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