How To Make Homemade Chili (Easy Weeknight Dinner Idea!)

Want to learn how to make homemade chili?  This easy homemade chili recipe is full of satisfying meat, beans, and veggies, and will be the last chili recipe you’ll ever need.  It makes a great weeknight dinner and meal prep and is only 235 calories (15g protein, 2g fiber, 5g carbs).

Want to learn how to make delicious Homemade Chili? I’ve got some good news for you. Not just news, but a recipe, too. One that is easy to follow and always yields mouthwatering results. │A Sweet Pea Chef

By now, you probably know I like to keep it simple with my recipes. Same goes for my homemade chili. Chili in itself is not a complicated dish to physically make, but it is complex when it comes to flavors.

Just the thought of a big bowl of spicy, hearty homemade chili warms me up, and makes me dream of those cold winter nights when I’d curl up in front of the TV with a bowl of piping hot chili and some freshly baked cornbread.

An overhead image of a cutting board on a kitchen counter with sliced red and green bell peppers for the Homemade Chili

Just because you’re following a clean eating plan doesn’t mean chili is off limits to you! Follow this easy homemade chili recipe, which is made with whole, healthy chili ingredients. Serve it with these homemade corn tortillas and enjoy your completely clean easy weeknight dinner.

A close up image of a spoon stirring ground beef and garlic in a large skillet for the Homemade Chili.HOW TO COOK HOMEMADE CHILI WITHOUT BEANS

No beans about it, you can easily cook homemade chili without beans. Even though I love beans in my chili, if you prefer your chili meatier or just hate beans, you’re not alone.  In fact, I make this chili without beans for Dustin since he hates beans.

P.S. If you’re looking for a good recipe for chili without beans, try my Texas Chili recipe, too.

WHAT’S THE BEST MEAT TO USE IN HOMEMADE CHILI?

Ever wondered what is the best meat to use in homemade chili?  While making homemade chili isn’t rocket science, there’s definitely some science behind making truly great chili. This certainly applies when you’re choosing what meat to use in your chili recipe.

An overhead image of a large skillet with browned ground beef, bell peppers, garlic and spices for the Homemade Chili.

Traditionally, chili is made with either beef or pork. You can use ground meat or whole cuts, depending on your preferences.  Here are some of my favorite meats to use in homemade chili:

  • Ground Beef
  • Beef Chuck
  • Brisket
  • Buffalo/Bison

My usual choice is to go with 85/15 grass-fed organic ground beef for good flavor and still a decent price point.  This will usually be the cheapest option, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad quality. If you’re wanting lots of flavor, but not too greasy, you can also add in some ground chuck for added fat and flavor.

An overhead image of a large skillet with ground beef, bell peppers, garlic, spices, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, olives and pinto beans for the Homemade Chili.

Whichever kind of meat you use, what is important is browning it properly so it keeps all of its delicious meaty flavors no chili is complete without. My mom always told me the secret to tasty food is in browning the meat and she was right!

A close up image of a bowl of Homemade Chili made with ground beef, pinto beans, green and red bell peppers, canned diced tomatoes, black olives, yellow onion, garlic, olive oil and tomato sauce, garnished with grated cheddar cheese, green onions and greek yogurt.

CAN YOU COOK HOMEMADE CHILI IN A CROCK POT?

Can you cook homemade chili in a Crock Pot? Yes, you sure can!  I love using my slow cooker to make chili because it makes this super simple process EVEN simpler.  Just like most Crock Pot recipes, Homemade Chili made in a Crock Pot is shockingly easy and very satisfying – which is pretty much easy comfort food at its best.

In order to make this homemade chili in a slow cooker, you’ll still need to brown the meat before adding to the Crock Pot — remember the secret rule about browning your meat we talked about earlier!  Once that’s nicely browned, you can add everything but the beans to the crock pot and cook on High for 1-2 hours or on Low for 3-4 hours.  When about 10 minutes from being ready to serve, add in the beans and stir together.  Cook until the beans are heated through, and you’re good to go!

An overhead image of a bowl of Homemade Chili on a kitchen counter, made with ground beef, pinto beans, green and red bell pepper, canned diced tomatoes, black olives, yellow onion, garlic, olive oil and tomato sauce, garnished with grated cheddar cheese, green onions and greek yogurt.

HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE CHILI

If you’ve got yourself a big skillet full of delicious homemade chili and you’re interested in knowing how long it will last in the fridge, the good news is it will last up to 5-6 days.  To get your chili to last as long as possible in the fridge, make sure to properly store it in an air-tight container.

If you’d like to freeze your chili, you can easily freeze it and then just heat up the leftovers whenever you feel like diving into a bowl of this steamy, savory deliciousness right here.  Just allow the chili to cool down before transferring to a freezer safe sealable plastic bag, and then place n the freezer.

To save space in your freezer, you can first freeze the chili in the bag flat on a baking sheet in order to stack the frozen bag for later.  When ready to eat, just thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes per serving or in a skillet until heated through.

An overhead image of a bowl of Homemade Chili made with ground beef, pinto beans, green and red bell peppers, canned diced tomatoes, black olives, yellow onion, garlic, olive oil and tomato sauce, garnished with grated cheddar cheese, green onions and greek yogurt.

MORE HEALTHY HOMEMADE CHILI RECIPES

TEXAS CHILI RECIPE

This easy Texas Chili Recipe, made without beans and using red wine is seriously one of my favorite chili recipes ever. Well, I am a Texan after all! Made with lean ground beef, crushed tomatoes, and greek yogurt, my Texas Chili Recipe has only 203 calories per serving.

Texas Chili Recipe | Celebrate Texas Independence Day with this easy Texas Chili Recipe, made without beans and using Llano Estacado red wine. | A Sweet Pea Chef #AD

BUTTERNUT SQUASH INSTANT POT CHILI

Enjoy this hearty, healthy and easy to make Butternut Squash Instant Pot Chili – ready in just 20 minutes! My Butternut Squash Instant Pot chili is vegan, gluten-free, paleo and clean eating approved. If you don’t own an instant pot, worry not! This instant pot recipe can easily be converted into a slow cooker recipe.

Butternut Squash Instant Pot Chili | How to cook butternut squash Instant Pot chili with canned beans and fresh butternut squash. | A Sweet Pea Chef

 

4.86 from 7 votes
Homemade Chili | Want to learn how to make homemade chili?  This easy homemade chili recipe is full of satisfying meat, beans, and veggies, and will be the last chili recipe you'll ever need. | A Sweet Pea Chef
Homemade Chili
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Want to learn how to make homemade chili?  This easy homemade chili recipe is full of satisfying meat, beans, and veggies, and will be the last chili recipe you'll ever need. 

Categories: Clean Eating. Gluten-Free, Easy Dinner, Easy Weeknight Dinner, Kid-Friendly, One Pan, Paleo
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: homemade chili, homemade chili recipe, how to make chili
Servings: 6
Calories: 235 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb organic, grass-fed ground beef 85/15
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 15 oz can no sodium added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • cheddar cheese, optional garnish
  • sliced green onions optional garnish
  • full fat greek yogurt, optional garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large, deep skillet

    heat olive oil over medium-high heat. 

  2. When oil is hot, add onion and cook until tender.

  3. Add ground beef and cook until browned.

  4. Add bell peppers, garlic, and all the spices, and stir to incorporate.  Cook for 10 minutes, or until bell peppers begin to become tender. 

  5. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, olives, pinto beans, and bring to a boil. 

  6. Reduce to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  7. Serve with a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese, sliced green onions and a dollop of greek yogurt, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 605mg25%
Potassium 341mg10%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1040IU21%
Vitamin C 43.2mg52%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

18 thoughts on “How To Make Homemade Chili (Easy Weeknight Dinner Idea!)

  1. 5 stars
    I have lost count how many times I have made this! Each time I change a little something up. My family loves it, this is a meal I love to reheat for meal prep as well. It makes a lot for my small fam! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    This chili is VERY GOOD. Ive had 2 bowls once it was completed. The ONLY thing different I did was add hafl cup of beef broth. This will be my ONLY chili recipe. Cant wit to teach the grandkids.

  3. Another HUGE success! I have tried so many of your recipes with such amazing results that I don’t hesitate to try a new recipe on guests (we had two couples over for this particular dinner). Oh the chili was SO good and it was my first time making it myself. As I always say, thank you for giving me the confidence to keep on cooking!

  4. Man, this looks incredible – so much better than the other stuff i googled which called for a ‘gallon of chilli sauce’!! It’s winter in south africa, and this would be PERFECT! I lived in the South for nearly 4 years, so I love your ‘accent’ online…Thanks! Zoe

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