Best Damn Chili


This is my best chili recipe. After years of adjusting recipes that were either too spicy or too mild, everyone loves this. Even my finance who hates chili.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
12 servings

Are you on the hunt to find the best chili recipe on the internet? Well, stop right there, because you just did! If you're looking for hearty, filling chili that's just the right level of spicy, this is the chili recipe for you.

Yes, this recipe does look like you throw everything but the kitchen sink in it, but wow is the long ingredient list worth it. You might as well just make a double batch because you'll be craving more as soon as it's gone.

a high angle view of two bowls of the best damn chili each topped with a dollop of sour cream.
Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

How to Make Chili

You'll find the full, detailed recipe below, but here's what you can expect when making this chili:

Sauté the Vegetables

In a large pot, sauté the onion, bell pepper, Anaheim pepper, jalapeños, and garlic until softened.

Brown the Ground Beef

Brown the ground beef, then season it with Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, bouillon, and beer. Once combined, add the beef mixture to the vegetable mixture.

Add the Tomato Products and Seasonings

Stir crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and seasonings into the beef and vegetable mixture.


Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until the flavors have blended together, about 90 minutes. Add in kidney beans, then simmer for another 30 minutes, until the beans are hot.

Make the Crema

In a blender, combine sour cream, cilantro, and cumin to create a crema. Serve the chili topped with crema and any other toppings you like.

How to Thicken Chili

This chili should already be your preferred level of thickness, thanks to all the thickening agents in it. But if you're having trouble reaching your desired consistency, there are multiple ways to thicken chili.

The easiest way is to simply simmer it for longer. The longer it simmers, the more liquid will evaporate.

But, if you don't have time to simmer your chili for hours, you can thicken it with cornmeal, cornstarch, or all-purpose flour. Add 1 tablespoon of cornmeal directly to the pot and allow it to simmer for about 10 more minutes to thicken up. Or add a cornstarch or flour slurry — this means 1 tablespoon of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or 2 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour. If you add flour or cornstarch directly to the chili, it will clump. Instead, gradually whisk in the slurry then simmer for 10 minutes.

Another option is to add more starchy ingredients, like vegetables or beans. These will absorb some of the liquids and thicken the chili. Plus, you'll have more hearty and delicious ingredients to enjoy.

What to Serve With Chili

Chili is filling enough to stand-alone as a full meal itself, but you can always add sides or even use chili as a "topping" for other foods.

Try serving it with cornbread, coleslaw, or grilled corn. For more inspiration check out our best side dishes to serve with chili.

We love to use chili as a topping over rice, baked potatoes, nachos, and even as a filling for tacos. Let your heart (and stomach) decide how you want to enjoy your chili because the possibilities are endless.

How to Store Chili

Package completely-cooled chili into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to four days.

How to Freeze Chili

If you want your chili to last longer, you should freeze it. Ladle completely cooled individual servings of chili into zip-top freezer bags (make sure to squeeze out the excess air). Label and date the bags, and store them in the freezer for up to three months.

When you're ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This really is the best chili recipe and "the" go-to for anytime we crave this comfort dish. The recipe is excellent as is. Lately, I've been swapping out a can of kidney beans for sweet corn kernels and it adds a little sweetness and texture—can't beat spicy sweet," says Michael Izo.

"HOLY COW! I am into the 2.3 hour of making this and each time I taste it, I just want to eat it all, and while I had planned to give half of it to a neighbor...not this time! Fabulous flavor!!! I made exactly as written," raves Patricia.

"I have made this several times now and I swear to God, every single time I make it I say the same thing: this is the best chili I've ever had. Every person who has tried it has loved it as well. I made the recipe as directed and a few times I added some more vegetables just for personal preference," according to Mireille.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 Anaheim chile pepper, chopped

  • 2 red jalapeno pepper, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 ½ pounds lean ground beef

  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste

  • 2 beef bouillon cubes

  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle light beer (such as Coors®)

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste

  • ½ cup white wine

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce

  • 2 ½ teaspoons dried basil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 (16 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans (such as Bush's®)

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook and stir onion, bell pepper, Anaheim pepper, jalapeno peppers, and garlic in the hot oil until softened.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; add Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Crumble bouillon cubes over beef and add beer. Continue to cook , scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until liquid is hot, about 3 minutes. Stir beef mixture into pepper mixture.

  3. Stir crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and wine to the beef mixture. Season with chili powder, 2 tablespoons cumin, brown sugar, pepper sauce, basil, paprika, salt, oregano, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until meat and vegetables are very tender and flavors have developed in the chili, about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Mix kidney beans into beef and vegetables. Continue to simmer until beans are hot, about 30 minutes more.

  5. Blend sour cream, cilantro, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin in a food processor until smooth. Serve sour cream mixture with chili.

    a high angle view of two bowls of the best damn chili each topped with a dollop of sour cream.
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

406 Calories
21g Fat
28g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 406
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 1015mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 35mg 173%
Calcium 113mg 9%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 914mg 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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