This award-winning chili recipe with beans has won multiple chili cookoffs and will win over even the toughest critics at your dinner table.
I always used to joke this was the world's second best chili recipe, but readers keep entering it into chili cook-offs and winning, and winning, and winning. So I guess I need to call it what it is - an award winning chili recipe that will win over the most important judges of all, your whole family.
I have been refining this chili with beans recipe for the past 9 years. I don't think there is a single recipe in my collection I've made more extensive notes on. You can rest assured that this hearty chili is a tried-and-true original recipe that has been refined to near perfection.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Lean ground beef - You want a little fat in your ground beef to carry the flavor, but not too much, or your chili will be greasy. 85-15 or 90-10 ground beef is ideal. A coarse grind is best for chili because the larger chunks provide a meatier texture (your butcher will know what that means).
- Red onions - You can use sweet onions or yellow onions for a more mild onion flavor.
- Poblano peppers - Substitute green bell peppers for a more mild chili or jalapeno and serrano peppers for a spicier chili.
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Canned diced tomatoes - Only substitute fresh tomatoes if they are in season and picked ripe from the vine, or they will severely lack flavor.
- Canned chili beans - Whenever I make a chili recipe with beans I prefer to use canned beans because the thick liquid in the can is my secret ingredient to making a thick and saucy chili broth.
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce - This adds depth of flavor.
- Beef Stock - Beef broth is the next best substitute. You can substitute chicken broth or stock but the flavor will be weaker.
- All-purpose flour - Masa harina is an amazing substitute. You can find it in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store.
- Brown sugar - Maple syrup is a great substitute.
- Chili Seasoning - You can use store-bought chili seasoning, but I strongly recommend using my custom blend listed in the recipe which is based on my homemade chili seasoning recipe.
How to Make Award Winning Chili
To begin making this award winning chili recipe, start by adding the ground beef and chopped onions to a large pot (a wide pot like a Dutch oven is best) set over medium heat on the stovetop.
Tip: To make the best chili recipe ever, don't be afraid to let your meat develop a little crust while browning ground beef. That deep brown crust will impart great flavor into the chili as it simmers. This means, stir the meat less while browning, and letting sit longer.
Halfway through browning your beef add the chopped peppers and continue to saute. Once the beef is almost done browning add the chili seasoning and minced garlic. Cook for a couple more minutes until the garlic and seasonings are fragrant.
Now you can add all of the remaining ingredients into your chili pot, then stir to combine everything well. Bring the chili to a gentle simmer and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for three hours, or until thickened to your liking. Then serve with your favorite chili toppings, such as sour cream, corn chips (this also makes an amazing Texas Frito Pie), green onions, and shredded cheese.
Tip: The flavor will improve overnight as it sits in your refrigerator, so I recommend making this chili in advance if you plan to enter a chili cook-off.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Homemade chili is ideal for making in advance because the flavors continue to meld together as it rests in the fridge. Store your leftover chili in an airtight container and enjoy it within one week. To reheat chili, simply microwave it until heated through, gently warm it in a saucepan on the stovetop, or slowly heat it in your slow cooker
You can also make chili in advance to freeze. Simply store the chili in a freezer-safe container for up to two months, then thaw and reheat.
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Award Winning Chili with Beans
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 medium red onions (chopped)
- 2 poblano peppers (chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 30 ounces canned chili beans
- 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 6 ounces canned tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups beef Stock (unsalted)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for serving
- Place ground beef and onions in a large Dutch oven and brown over medium heat.
- Halfway through browning add peppers. Then add your chili seasoning and minced garlic when the mixture is almost done browning. Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the garlic and seasonings are fragrant.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the pot of chili and stir to combine. Simmer for approximately 3 hours over low heat, or until the chili reaches your desired thickness.
- Serve with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
This recipe was originally published September 25, 2017, here on FoxValleyFoodie.com.