The best beef chili ever

Here comes the sausage and beef chili in a weeknight! Our chili recipe just takes 40 minutes to complete. Many other recipes require simmering for at least an hour, and occasionally considerably longer. But after a hard day at work, it can be difficult to get dinner ready. Follow this recipe but simmer it for a longer period of time at a lower heat if you have the time and desire a thicker chili that develops flavors over a low and slow heat.

Advance planning

One of those foods that becomes better the next day is braised beef chili. The shelf life of leftovers is three to five days.

Do it twice

You must feed a sizable crowd. It’s simple to double this recipe (or triple).

Spice is king

Everyone agrees that a good sausage and beef chili has a nuanced flavor that is influenced by a variety of ingredients. Cooks use a variety of spices, ranging from mustard powder to cinnamon, in their chili. But we’ll almost always use these four: paprika, cumin, dried oregano, and chili powder.

Beef can be substituted

Ground turkey or chicken works great in place of the beef in this recipe if you enjoy the robust flavor of beef chili but are wanting to consume less red meat. We also have vegetarian chili available if that’s more your style.

To bean or not to bean?

In Texas, the use of calories beef chili with beans is very contentious. Texas chili lacks beans but is still rather amazing. But because we and the rest of the nation appear to enjoy beans, we’re all for it! In this recipe, we use kidney beans, but black, pinto, and even white beans work. (People love our White Chicken Chili.)

What can I serve alongside chili?

Chili is one of those recipes that may be enhanced by building nearly a DIY chili bar, or it can be kept straightforward with just a few toppings. The following are some of the toppings that the Delish test kitchen enjoys using: avocado or guacamole, sour cream, chives or scallions, pickled onions, shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, crumbled tortilla chips or saltines, cooked bacon, and cornbread. And don’t limit yourself to toppings. Spaghetti tastes great with chili; yep, we’re talking about Cincinnati Chili.

What are the finest chili-making secrets?

The original chili recipe calls for chili powder and tomato paste, which provides umami and sweetness. Here are some things you can add to your chili to kick it up a notch:

Chili needs regular chili powder from your local grocery shop, but you may also spice it up with various kinds. Chipotle brings smoke. Ancho adds a small amount of heat without overpowering.

Pour beer into the meat and vegetable combination once the spices have been added, and boil until at least half of the beer has been reduced. (Reducing takes away the harsher alcohol flavor, leaving only the deliciously yeasty beer flavor!). Light to dark lagers of any color work.

While the chili simmers, add Worcestershire, soy sauce, fish sauce, liquid smoke, dark cacao powder, or espresso powder. Each of these hidden elements should only be used in small amounts because they add a lot of perspective. Key is to keep them as background information.

What consistency should chili have?

Chili should be thick, almost stew-like – not soupy.  

What should I do if my chili is too thin?

In order to thicken soupy chili, whisk in a little cornstarch, flour, or cornmeal before bringing to a boil and simmering for a few seconds. Alternately, decide to cook the chili for an extended period of time to gradually thicken and develop flavor.

My chili was overdone and is now overly thick. Now what should I do?

The chili is completely recoverable as long as it is not scorched (see below if it is). Add water a little at a time if you like the flavor and seasoning. Use chicken or beef broth if the chili is thick but flavorful.

What do I do now that the chili has scorched to the bottom of the pan?

Get the unburned chili out of the pot as soon as possible to prevent it from absorbing the charred flavor. Take a different, clean pot, skim out the unburned chili, and then discard the charred bits. Continue to boil in the new pot while taking care to add a little extra liquid if the chili has become overly thick (see above). Remove the burned pieces and start soaking the pot.

Should I cover the chili? 

NO, don’t cover the pot while making chili that cooks more quickly, like this recipe! Leaving the lid off is essential if we want the liquid in the chili to diminish. To prevent the liquid from evaporating too quickly while the chili simmers for a longer period of time, it could be a good idea to partially cover the pot.


1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 large white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 1/2 lb. ground beef

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, drained

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes


Shredded cheddar

Sour cream

Thinly sliced green onions


  1. Heat oil in a big pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and simmer for 5 minutes, or until tender. After another minute or so of tossing and cooking, add tomato paste and heat until aromatic. When the ground beef is no longer pink, add it. Return to heat after removing fat.
  2. Along with a sufficient amount of salt and pepper, add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne (if using). Bring the chili to a boil before adding the kidney beans and crushed tomatoes. 20 minutes of simmering at reduced heat. If required, season with additional salt and pepper.
  3. Top with cheddar, sour cream, and green onions after ladling into bowls.

Leave a Comment