Our Favorite Chili

At the first sign of fall weather this month I added chili to our menu for the coming week. This dish is one that we look forward to as soon as it starts to get cooler out and we usually make it at least once a month during the fall and winter.

I made this chili as one of the dishes for a fall dinner party we had 3 years ago and it was a major hit. Whenever I make it for friends or family I get asked for the recipe so I thought I would finally share!

The great thing about chili is you really can’t mess it up and it is super easy to make it your own. Adjust the seasoning, add extra veggies or swap out the beef for a different protein (or skip it all together and go vegetarian).

So while you can definitely use this recipe as a base to create you own, this is the combo that we really love and always look forward to. I hope you love it too!

Our Favorite Chili

Servings: Approx. 8

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours


  • 1.5lb Ground Beef (or substitute ground turkey)
  • 30oz can Pinto Beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 30oz can Kidney Beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 64oz Tomato Juice
  • 15oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 15oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, 1/4 inch dice
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/3 tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • Cayenne Pepper (I rarely add this to ours but if you like a little heat, go for it!)
  • Toppings:
  • Green onion
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream


  1. Brown the ground beef and transfer to a stock pot once cooked (season with a tad bit of salt and pepper while cooking)
  2. In the same pan used to cook the ground beef, cook the onion, bell pepper and garlic until softened and aromatic (about 5-10 minutes). Then stir in the seasonings and add mixture to the stock pot.
  3. While the beef or veggies are cooking you can add the beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the stock pot. Add about 1/2 the tomato juice to start with, and add it throughout cooking to reach the desired consistency.
  4. Stir all ingredients together and let simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Toward the end (last 30 minutes or so) I prefer to cook it uncovered to allow it to thicken a bit. The longer it cooks the better it will be, it’s let’s the flavors really blend together. (It’s even better the next day- save the extra tomato juice to add the the pot when you reheat it).
  5. Adjust the seasonings as needed. I start off with what is listed above but depending on the flavor of the veggies I will add a bit more of certain seasonings (usually more chili powder and a tad more sugar if the tomatoes are too bitter)

*Note: You can also cook the chili in the crockpot for about 4-6 hours.

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