Best ‘Ever’ Hearty Chili

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I’ve only made homemade chili once or twice ever; if I ate chili it was from a can. That never sounded horrible up until I just wrote that sentence and now I’m not sure that I will ever eat chili from a can again. Last weekend I made chili for a dinner event with a group from medical school and it was SO easy. So easy in fact, that I made a large batch the next day just for Jesse and I. And it was delicious!

I actually used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for my basis but of course tweaked it just a bit to make it to my liking.

All you need is ground beef, tomato sauce, beans and spices. THAT’S IT. Of course you can not use beans if you don’t want, and you can also add other ingredients like corn.

Let’s get started…

Toss all the ground beef in a large dutch oven with some freshly minced garlic. Keep the heat to medium breaking the beef up with a wooden spoon and turning it until all the beef is browned. Depending on the type of beef you used, you’ll either have a lot of fat to drain off or just a little. Either way, try and remove as much of the fat as possible. When I made this beef for the group, I used 3 pounds of beef with 25% fat and I had almost 14oz. of fat to remove. (Make sure you don’t pour it down your kitchen sink – pour it into a can and throw away when it solidifies.)

When the fat is drained, pour in the tomato sauce and all the spices you’re using. I used oregano, cumin and chili powder. The Pioneer Woman says to use 2 tablespoons of chili powder which seemed like a lot but I didn’t even notice it hardly with 1, so I would recommend 1 and if you can handle super spicy throw in 2. Mix it together and put the lid on and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, open 2 cans of beans and drain them, then dump them into the dutch oven with the meat. Add in your corn at this time if you’re using it. You can either toss it in frozen, or if using a can just be sure to drain it first. Stir the ingredients together.

I also ended up adding a cup of water. Big mistake. Adding a 1/4 cup would have been way better because the water diluted all the flavors I had put in. I added the water because I wanted my chili to have a little bit of liquid but I didn’t consider it diluting the flavors. So don’t add more than 1/4 cup or just double up on all your spices you throw in.

Let the meat mixture cook for another 15-20 minutes and it’s done!

Scoop some chili into a bowl, sprinkle a generous amount of cheese on top, some cornbread on the side, and dig in! It’s just as easy as that! It took me just about an hour to make start to finish and it lasted us 4 meals – 2 meals and then I froze the rest for another day. It’s super hearty so you don’t need much to fill you up. Enjoy!

Hearty Chili

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 T chili powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 t ground oregano
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1-14 oz. can kidney beans drained
  • 1-14 oz. can pinto beans drained
  • 1-14 oz. can corn drained OR 2 cups frozen corn


  • add ground beef to large heavy duty pot (dutch oven) with minced fresh garlic over medium heat. Stir until meat is browned, drain fat off.
  • Add in tomato sauce, water, and all the spices.
  • Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 30 minutes
  • Add in beans and corn, cover pot and simmer for another 20 min.
  • Taste and add any additional seasonings or spices if necessary, continue simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve and Enjoy.
Keyword Bean

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