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This is the BEST Classic Chili Recipe, loaded with savory beef, Italian sausage, and beans in a bold, hearty sauce. It’s perfect for soup weather with a large chunk of cornbread, served on top of baked potatoes, in queso dips, or as a hot dog topping!

Looking for something warm and satisfying to get you through the cold weather months? Be sure to try our Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta SkilletSlow Cooker Beef and Noodles, and Cheeseburger Soup!

An image of a large pot of homemade chili.

Classic Chili Recipe

My personal best classic chili recipe just may be the best chili on earth. Of course, I’m biased, but once you try it I’m pretty darn sure you’ll agree!

This chili combines some of the most powerful flavors in your kitchen to create a worthwhile chili eating experience. Not only is there bacon, ground beef, and Italian sausage in the chili, but then you serve it with a crazy delicious cilantro sour cream that takes all of about 2 seconds to whip up. It really takes this chili to the next level!

An image of a bowl of homemade chili with shredded cheese and sour cream on top.

Seriously, this isn’t your average dump chili recipe. While it may take a little extra effort on your part, the end results are worth it and it’s actually a pretty easy homemade chili.

Enter your next chili cooking contest with this recipe and blow the judge’s minds and bring home the prize – it’s THAT good!

An image of a bowl of homemade meaty chili.

How to Make the Best Classic Chili Recipe

  1. In a large heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it’s crispy and the fat has been rendered. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon and drain all about 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
  2. Add in the onion and peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic during the last 30 seconds.
  3. Add in the ground beef and Italian sausage (remove casings, if needed), and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, basil, smoked paprika, salt, oregano, pepper, and chipotle chili powder. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then cover.
  5. Let the chili simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add in the beans to the chili and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes until the chili is hot.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cilantro, cumin, and salt.
  8. Serve the chili with the cilantro sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips.

A collage of images showing how to make classic chili. An image of a large red pot of chili with beans and meat.

Can you freeze chili?

Absolutely you can freeze homemade chili! Not only does chili make a great freezer meal, but it’s easy to reheat too!

Let any leftover chili cool to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container like a freezer-friendly Ziploc bag. It will keep in the freezer for at least 3 months.

When ready to serve the chili, just let it thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a pot until warm or toss it while frozen into a crockpot on low for 8 hours.

The flavors of the chili may even be better after freezing and reheating because they’ve had longer to develop! 

An image of a bowl of classic chili topped with cheese and sour cream.

What do you serve chili with?

Chili is a great dish because it goes with so many different sides. Our hands-down favorite is to serve it with a slice of moist cornbread covered in butter and honey. Homemade french bread is pretty darn delicious with chili too.

In other parts of the country, especially Kansas and some regions in the midwest, chili is served with cinnamon rolls. 

Other great ideas include using it to top hot dogs or baked potatoes, serving your chili with a salad, or crumbling Fritos or tortillas chips into a bowl of chili. 

An image of a large red pot of chili next to a skillet of cornbread.

You’re going to need dessert with your chili, right?

You can also FOLLOW ME on INSTAGRAMPINTERESTFACEBOOK, and TWITTER for more great recipe tips and ideas!

My Best Classic Chili Recipe
Yield: 10-12 Servings

My Best Classic Chili Recipe

This is the BEST Classic Chili Recipe, loaded with savory beef, Italian sausage, and beans in a bold, hearty sauce. It's perfect for soup weather with a large chunk of cornbread, served on top of baked potatoes, in queso dips, or as a hot dog topping!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

Chili

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Anaheim chili pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed, the finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Sour Cream Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon and drain all about 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
  2. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic during the last 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ground beef and Italian sausage (remove casings, if needed), and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon.
  4. Return the bacon to the pot and add the Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, basil, smoked paprika, salt, oregano, pepper, and chipotle chili powder. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover.
  5. Let the chili simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the beans to the chili and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes until the chili is hot.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cilantro, cumin, and salt.
  8. Serve the chili with the cilantro sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips.

Notes

Adapted from All Recipes.

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