The Best Beef Chili

Nothing says a fall Sunday more than a big pot of chili simmering on the stove. What I love most about chili is its versatility — you can add basically anything you have on hand to it: any type of bean, peppers, corn, zucchini, beef, chicken, turkey, you name it. My chili is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy (I’m clearly  biased). I’ll one day get up the nerve to enter it in a chili cook-off … and then give my mom full credit when I win because this is her recipe 🙂


Beef Chili
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 1 medium onion, diced
  2. 1 green bell pepper, diced
  3. 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 pound ground beef
  6. 8 oz. can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  7. 28 oz. of diced tomatoes
  8. 3 15.5-oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  9. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  10. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  11. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  12. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  13. 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  14. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a dutch oven or heavy pot, brown ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 5-8 minutes. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Add diced bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, and garlic, and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans.
  4. Stir in chili powder, basil, sugar, cayenne pepper, liquid smoke, and salt.
  5. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
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