My Best Chili

This recipe for My Best Chili is a major favorite around here! It’s a hearty, warming chili made with ground beef, bacon, sausage, and just the right amount of kick.

This recipe for My Best Chili is a major favorite around here! It's a hearty, warming chili made with ground beef, bacon, sausage, and just the right amount of kick.Talk about a throw back, you guys. I bet you’re guessing you’re on the wrong website right now…right?? 😁 Chili is not usually my typically fare…but, little known to most, lurking in the back of my recipe archives, are a couple savory recipes lurking around.

I posted the recipe for my “best chili” way back in December of 2010, only a couple of months after Bakerita was founded. I shared more savory recipes back then, and because I was a new blogger, my pictures could only be described as terrible.

Case in point, this is the original picture attached to this recipe:

This is The Best Chili - it's my favorite, most delicious melt-in-your-mouth chili with just the right amount of kick!

I’ve made this recipe so many times over the years, and I’ve heard from some of you who it’s become a staple for as well. Since we’re heading firmly into cold soup territory where the weather is concerned, I decided to was time to finally update the photos, and give you a taste of one of my savory favorites.

This recipe for My Best Chili is a major favorite around here! It's a hearty, warming chili made with ground beef, bacon, sausage, and just the right amount of kick.Chili is one of my favorite cold weather foods – it’s thick and hearty, and seriously soul-warming. I always go for a sprinkle of cheese on top, too. Served with cornbread? It’s pretty much the perfect meal for any chilly day, especially game day! Pssst – I’ve been working on a gluten-free cornbread recipe…it’s coming soon! :)

My overzealous, newly blogging self named this the “best” chili, but I know how subjective that is based on the person. So I’m calling it my best chili, because for me it’s perfect…but we all have different tastes. Like…I’m a bit of a spice wimp, so be sure to jack up the amount of chili powder if you want a lot of kick.

This recipe for My Best Chili is a major favorite around here! It's a hearty, warming chili made with ground beef, bacon, sausage, and just the right amount of kick.This chili is tomato-based with ground beef, crumbled Italian sausage, and BACON! It’s got pinto and black beans, and a whole load of spices. It’s flavorful, warming, easy, and delicious. The best kind of meal, right?

I always try to let this cook for as long as I can. It can be done in about 2 hours, but with chili, I always think that low and slow is the way to go to get a thick, flavorful chili. It’s great day of, and the leftovers are even better.

This recipe for My Best Chili is a major favorite around here! It's a hearty, warming chili made with ground beef, bacon, sausage, and just the right amount of kick.I hope my favorite, best chili recipe will be loved by you and help warm your soul a bit in this cooler weather! Enjoy :)

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My Best Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 servings
  • 2 pounds ground beef (I used leaner beef with 5% fat)
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, mild, casings removed
  • ½ pound bacon
  • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups beef stock (see Notes)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (make sure to find gluten-free if necessary, or leave it out)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. In a different pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Crumble and add to stock pot. Cook the chopped onion and pepper in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add to the stock pot.
  3. To the stock pot, add in the drained beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef stock. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste.
  5. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. Serve with cheese, onions, sour cream, or whatever chili toppings you prefer!
I used to use 1 cup of beer and 1 cup of concentrated beef stock (water + 4 boullion cubes), but now I use all beef stock to keep it gluten-free. Use the beer if gluten doesn't matter to you!
This recipe for My Best Chili is a major favorite around here! It's a hearty, warming chili made with ground beef, bacon, sausage, and just the right amount of kick.


  1. Oh isn’t chili just the best? The cornbread looks delish….nothing is more comforting than a nice bowl of chili, and southern corn bread.

  2. Dan Minteer says:

    Rachel, I made your chili today. It IS the best! We love it.

    Your website is fabulous. I plan to try more recipes.

  3. Sounds delish…

  4. Chili is one of my favorite dishes to make when the weather get cooler. It’s such perfect comfort food. This looks SO good, Rachel! I love how hearty and full of flavor it is. Definitely my kind of meal!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Pumpkin Spice WafflesMy Profile

  5. Isn’t it amazing to see how far our photography has come over the years??? Crazy! It always blows my mind. ANYWAY! I love chili during the cooler weather and this sounds fantastic!
    Ashley recently posted…Our Favorite Fall Dinners (With Make-Ahead Tips!)My Profile

    • Haha it always makes me cringe to see my earliest photos, but I can’t delete them entirely because I’m nostalgic about them! So funny. Thanks so much, Ashley :)

  6. I’ve got my scarf on and I’m ready for cold weather comfort food like this! I’ve never had bacon in chili before. This is something. I need to experience!
    Amanda recently posted…Hard Boiled EggsMy Profile

  7. Yum! So hearty and perfect for fall!
    Laura @ Laura’s Culinary Adventures recently posted…Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate ChipsMy Profile

  8. This chili looks perfect for a cool fall evening!
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction recently posted…Apple Pie Filled Cinnamon TwistsMy Profile

  9. My husband would LOVE this. Believe it or not, I’ve never made chili. I really need to make him one hahaha. I guess it just never really appealed to me even though I am a total carnivore and like everything in it (love beans too!). I’m just weird, I guess. Anyway, yours looks fabulous. Sharing!
    Natasha @ Salt and Lavender recently posted…Cinnamon Pumpkin Ice CreamMy Profile

    • You need to make chili!! It’s so good and when you make it yourself, you can totally customize the spices to your preferences. Thanks so much, Natasha.

  10. Chili is a regular staple at our house during the fall Rachel. Perfect for football season! Can’t wait to try your recipe!
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen recently posted…Super Veggie Chopped Salad with BBQ Ranch DressingMy Profile

  11. This recipe was a hit! We have a chili cook off every year at our church Halloween party, I only made the dish to be sure we had enough chili for all who came, I wasn’t really competing but I won the cook off! Well, your recipe won. There were about 20 entries, and some of the contestants have been competing for years! I told everyone I follow a recipe very well hehe. Thank you for sharing your talent! This is a recipe that will go into my regular cold weather rotation. And I’ll add your hashtag to my pic of the trophy on facebook.

    • Wow!!! That makes me so happy to hear, Jessica :) thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. It’s been a favorite of mine for years, so I’m happy to hear others appreciate it too. Can’t wait to see the trophy pic!

  12. Made this last night! It was amazing! I usually used a chili mix but decided to try something new. My hubby loves my chili but he really love this recipe! Thanks for sharing I will use you recipe from now own!!!! This one is a keeper!!!

  13. This looks delicious! Going to start it now and I can’t wait to taste it!

  14. Is there a way to use this recipe but in a crackpot? Like browning the meat beforehand?

    • Good idea, Britt! I’ve never made it that way, but you definitely can. I would cook the bacon and brown all the meat and then add them into the slow cooker with all the rest of the ingredients. Cook on high for about 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours. If you try making it in the slow cooker, I’d love to hear how it goes! Enjoy :)

  15. I made this for a chili cook-off AND WON! Thank you. I would certainly recommend using “Better than bullion” for the beef stock. I also used red chili pepper from India which gave it quite a bit of heat, but not over bearing.

  16. Oh…my…goodness. This chili is delicious! So many layers of amazing flavors. A few personal edits: I used hot sausage rather than mild, 1 can of IPA beer with the 1 cup of beef stock, and I added approx. 8oz of tomato sauce. I’ve always loathed making chili because I never succeeded in making it exciting, but I can’t wait to share with our guests were hosting tomorrow! You ROCK, Rachel!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

    • SO happy to hear you love it, Katie! Your changes sound delicious, and I’m so glad you’re excited to serve it. I hope all your guests love it as well! You are so very welcome.

  17. YUM!!! made this last night and it was truly amazing! the meat combo makes it so flavorful. i served it with grated cheddar cheese and garlic toast. i didn’t have a good chili recipe in my box yet, so this one is here to stay!! hubby loved it too :)

    • I’m so happy to hear that you and your husband loved this chili recipe, Michelle! It’s my favorite :) sounds delicious with the cheddar and garlic toast, too. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback!

  18. This was the best chili I’ve ever had! It was my first time making any sort of chili, and it was delicious! My husband is a huge chili fan, and he said it was the best HE’D ever had!

    I’m adding it to the meal list this week! Thanks for sharing!

  19. This is the chili recipe I’ve been searching for! My husband is very particular about chili, so I’ve been trying to find a go-to recipe for the future. I made a variation of this last night (I had to sub / exclude a few ingredients based on what I had), and it definitely did not disappoint. I think your claim of “Best” chili is spot-on. ;) Thank you for sharing!
    Katie @ Gettin’ My Healthy On recently posted…December Favorites + Coffee GiveawayMy Profile

  20. I think I may have just screwed this up. I just made it so it’s simmering. However, I was following the recipe for the beef cubes and added a cup of water per cube! So I put in 4 cups of that. Is there anything I could add or maybe pull out the water, so as not to destroy the recipe?

  21. Tracy Douglas says:

    Made Best chili recipe today for the game, we enjoy more “heat” so added red pepper flakes, amped up the chili seasoning and added Pleasoning Bloody Mary seasoning!! Cornbread on the side of course!! Oh and crockpot for the game this afternoon, delish!!

  22. I love chili but mine never turns out very good. Tried this recipe Sunday. Really delicious! Definitely will be the only way I make it from now on! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Hi! The recipe seems pretty delicious, but I don’t know if I messed up :( so…. I used the chili powder but it was from India, full 3 TABLESPOONS, and wow! It waaaayyy spicy, delicious, but not eatable… My question Rachel… Do you use like ready made “chili” as for the stew ready made (like taco mix) product or raw chili? In the case I can use the raw chili, maybe it should have been 3 Teaspoon instead? Help please! :) thanks!

    • Hi Lau – I used a chili powder that’s from the bottle, not a packet, but it’s not pure powder from a chili pepper, it’s more of a spice blend. That’s what is generally referred to as chili powder here. A true chili powder (like cayenne powder, or what you used) would definitely make it much too spicy for my tastes at least. In my Paleo version, I only used 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder. That definitely seems to be the difference. Sorry for not specifying – I would start with about 3/4 teaspoon of your chili powder and add more to taste depending on how spicy you like it. Hope this helps! You also may want to refer to my Paleo Chili recipe and use the spices listed there instead, so you get all the flavor. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  24. THIS chili! It’s one of the best recipes I have ever tried. Kids and adults alike rave about it. Thank you!!!


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