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.
On a low-carb, Keto, or Whole30 diet? Try the Paleo version of this recipe!
Chili is not usually the typical fare that you see around here. But, little known to most, I have delicious savory recipes lurking in the back of my recipe archives, just waiting to be discovered and devoured by you.
I posted the recipe for my “best chili” way back in December of 2010. I shared more savory recipes back then, and because I was a new blogger, my pictures could only be described as terrible.
I’ve made this recipe so many times over the years since then. So many of you have told me that it’s become a staple meal in your house as well. Since we’re heading firmly into cold soup season, it was time to finally update the photos to be reflective of how dang good this recipe is.
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 spice wimp, so be sure to increase the amount of chili powder if you want more kick.
HOWEVER, my best is apparently the same as the best for a lot of you, because this recipe gets RAVE reviews. You guys have won chili cook-offs with it, had your chili-hating kids love it, and made XL batches to keep in the freezer all winter long. Just scroll through the comments to see how many people love this one.
What makes this Best Chili the best?!
I think (and many of you agree) that this is the best chili because…
- It has a rich and flavorful tomato base.
- The ground beef, Italian sausage, and BACON add so much flavor!
- We add bulk with pinto and black beans.
- It has a TON of spices – not too many to be overwhelming, but just enough to add a TON of flavor.
- It’s flavorful, warming, easy, and delicious.
The best kind of meal, right?
It’s thick and hearty, and seriously soul-warming. I always go for a sprinkle of cheese on top, too. You could add a little sour cream and/or avocado. Oooh…or serve it with cornbread, which makes pretty much the perfect meal for any chilly day, especially game day!
I always try to let this cook for as long as I can. Let it simmer for 2 hours, at least. At 2 hours, you’ll have an AWESOME chili. But with chili, I always think that low and slow is the way to go to get the thickest & most flavorful result. It’s great the day of, and I think the leftovers are even better because it gives a little time for the flavors to meld and get even bolder.
I hope that you’ll love my favorite best chili recipe and that it will help warm your soul a bit in this cooler weather! Enjoy :)
- Want the Whole30 & Keto chili recipe? Click here for my BEST CHILI – made keto.
- Craving the vegan version of my best chili recipe? Click here for my BEST VEGAN CHILI.
- Interested in the white bean vegan version? Click here for my WHITE BEAN VEGAN CHILI.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste.
- 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!
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: American
Want more chili?!
If you don’t like beans or just want a beanless chili recipe, try my PALEO CHILI!
If you’re looking for a vegan recipe, try my WHITE BEAN VEGAN CHILI!