Quick and Easy Chili Recipe

This is such a flavor-filled quick and easy chili recipe! It’s the perfect meal for Fall and Winter days when you’re craving something hearty and warm!

You know what goes amazingly well with this recipe? My Golden, Sweet & Fluffy Cornbread recipe!

full pot of chili in a large red handled pot

An Easy Stovetop Chili Recipe for Busy Weeknights

Chili season is officially upon us, friends! And I couldn’t be happier about it. Chili doesn’t just mean big flavor and a hearty and warming bowl of goodness. It signifies crunchy and colorful leaves, the approach of the holidays, crisp evening air, and time spent huddled around the kitchen table with loved ones. And for how silly easy this chili is to make, it sure does pack in the flavor and satisfaction elements!

My Favorite Chili Topping Ideas

I love topping a bowl of chili with some cheese, oyster crackers, and sour cream. But you could also add a little hot sauce, crushed tortilla chips, cornbread, or sliced green onion, and it would be divine. One of my favorite things is to get a slice of homemade cornbread and crumble it on top of my chili. I mix it in and then each spoonful has chili and cornbread in it – SO GOOD.

cooked chili in red pot ready to serve

Tips & Tricks for Making the Perfect Chili:

How to Customize This Chili Recipe:

The best thing about chili is it’s totally customizable! You can add any other veggies or spices you love, or take out things you don’t like, too. It’s really up to the cook, but common chili ingredients (other than the ones listed in this recipe) include: carrots, celery, corn, black beans, bell pepper, and all kinds of savory spices.

Have fun with it, and add what you like! You can also use different ground meat, too, like chicken, turkey, or bison, if you prefer.

How Long to Cook Chili on the Stove:

You can let chili simmer for a while to let the flavors continue to mingle. Anything much longer than an hour, though, will make it really thick, so you may need to add more liquid if it’s too thick for your liking. I recommend simmering this recipe for 20 minutes on the stovetop.

bowl of chili with a little cheese and a few crackers on top

Can You Use Water Instead of Stock?

You certainly can if you don’t have beef or chicken stock, but it won’t contribute the savory flavor that stock does. If you just need to add a little liquid to make it a somewhat thinner consistency, mixing in a splash of water would be a great idea.

How to Adjust the Thickness of Your Chili

This is also totally up to your personal preference! If you like it thick, then let it simmer for longer, but if you prefer a soupier consistency, don’t simmer it for so long, or add a bit more liquid.

This Chili is an Amazing Freezer Meal Idea!

This chili is also a wonderful freezer meal for you to make and save for a later (preferably chilly) date. You can also easily double the recipe in a giant pot to bring to a party or to serve to a large group! The options are endless, and you really can’t mess it up. Isn’t that just the best thing about chili?

chili in two bowls being served from large dutch oven

How to Make Homemade Chili:

  1. Brown the ground beef over medium-high to high heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and add the onions (and jalapenos if using). Add the garlic.
  3. Add the cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, all of the beans, and the beef or chicken stock.
  5. Adjust the spices to taste.
  6. Simmer until the mixture thickens slightly.
  7. Serve hot with toppings of your choice.

How easy is that? Just a few simple steps, some cooking time, and a whole lot of deliciousness in the end. I love making chili because it’s easy and full of flavor.

over head view of homemade chili ready to eat


Quick and Easy Chili Recipe

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x


This is such a flavor-filled quick and easy chili recipe! It’s the perfect meal for Fall and Winter days when you’re craving something hearty and warm!



  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos, finely chopped, optional
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (about 8 cloves), minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounce)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounce)
  • 1 can dark kidney beans (15 ounce), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can light kidney beans (15 ounce), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans (15 ounce), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Optional toppings:

  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce
  • Oyster crackers
  • Cornbread
  • Crushed tortilla chips


  1. In a large dutch oven or heavy stock pot, brown the ground beef over medium-high to high heat for 5 minutes. Don’t be afraid to let the beef sit on the bottom of the pot and get really brown. The brown, charred meat is great for this recipe.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and add the onions (and jalapenos if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir to combine, and let the spices cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, all of the beans, and the beef or chicken stock. Stir to combine, scraping up any meat bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Adjust the spices to taste.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium so that the mixture simmers. Simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 20 minutes.
  8. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve hot with toppings of your choice.


  • You can make this recipe ahead of time. Skip the simmering stage, and put it in the fridge after it cools a bit. Just bring it back up to heat and simmer 10-or-so minutes before serving. It’s excellent as leftovers.
  • This recipes freezes very well.
  • You can use whatever beans you like in this recipe.
  • You can double this recipe in a very large pot to feed a crowd.
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626.5 Fat: 21.3g Cholesterol: 90.4mg Sodium: 1,533.2mg Carbohydrates: 66.1g Sugars: 8.4g Protein: 44.1g Vitamin A: 153.7µg Vitamin C: 13.9mg

Keywords: chili, chili recipe, ground beef chili, easy chili, homemade chili, best chili recipe,

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beef chili served and ready to eat pot of homemade chili with beans

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Needed a quickie tonight and this was perfect! The leftovers are already in the freezer for a lazy night! Thanks for another keeper recipe!!!!!! PS….I love to eat it with lots of cheese and sour cream plopped on top.

I made this with your cornbread recipe and it was super good! I love your recipes.

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.