Nothing beats a big, bowl of chili with a slice of cornbread drenched in honey on a chilly, wet day! We've had a lot of that kind of weather lately, and this Meaty Mushroom Chili has been keeping my family fed, happy and warm!

Some of our other favorite winter soups are The Best Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Maryland Crab Soup, and Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup.

A large white dutch oven of chili loaded with beans, browned ground beef, and mushrooms, along with tomatoes and spices.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has been reading this blog for very long that I'm a big fan of mushrooms. I mean, just check out my ground beef stroganoff, beef steak pie, or cheesy tortellini & chicken pumpkin alfredo bake recipes, all of which feature mushrooms as a key player in the dish.

I just love their, and it doesn't hurt that they add extra servings of low calorie, nutritious vegetables to a dish.

Two bowls of hot chili loade with ground beef, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, and plenty of spices.

That one time my chili won an award in a chili cook-off

I haven't always had the best of luck with making homemade chili from scratch.

A bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, avocado, and jalapeno slices.

Years ago I entered a chili cook-off on a lark, mostly because it was a social function and my mom asked me to make a pot of chili to take with us since my family was going and Paul and I happened to be staying at my parent's house in between taking the California Bar Exam and doing some extended traveling in Europe, Asia and Africa before starting our first real jobs out of law school.

I kind of threw that pot of chili together without a plan (or much previous chili making experience) and didn't realize until right before judging time that I had added way too much heat in the form of a ridiculous amount of cayenne pepper to my batch of chili. It was a great lesson in taste-testing as I go.

A hand holding a spoonful of chili over a bowl of chili loaded with toppings.

At that point, it was too late to pull out of the contest. Mostly because while I had gone to get ready for the party, my mom had headed over and entered that pot of chili on my behalf, even though I distinctly remember telling her that she should just enter it under her name so I wouldn't be associated with it.

I actually ended up winning a dubious prize for the "spiciest" chili category.

It was incredibly embarrassing and I'm fairly confident that I skewed the results in all other categories since I can't imagine how anyone's tastebuds could function for at least a few hours after sampling some of what I had prepared that night.

Strangely, as soon as the winners of each category were announced, a handful of spicy chili-loving folks descended on my pot of chili and devoured it. Which was plain crazy to me because even though I like spicy foods, the level of heat in that stuff was just outrageous.

meaty mushroom chili in two white bowls and in a white pot

Anyway, never you fear if you prefer less spicy chili. This meaty mushroom chili is super mild and won't cause any five alarm fires in your mouth.

Both my kids ate it without batting an eyelash or commenting once about it being "too spicy" and they tend to be pretty particular in that regard. (And if you DO happen to like it spicy, then by all means, start adding cayenne pepper into the mix.)

A bowl of chunky, hearty chili loaded with toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese, jalapeno slices, and avocado.

Meaty Mushroom Chili Breakdown

Honestly, this is a pretty classic chili recipe with traditional chili flavors and textures, with the one important adjustment of blending chopped button mushrooms into the ground beef before cooking!

Button mushrooms and ground beef on a cutting board ready to be browned together to make a batch of meaty mushroom chili.

It's a smart move in terms of flavor (I'm obsessed with the umami that mushrooms add to any dish), health (mushrooms are low in calories and provide important nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium), and even dollars (adding mushrooms to meat adds bulk and volume, stretching the recipe into more portions without stretching your wallet).

Chopped mushrooms and ground beeef being blended together in a large white dutch oven using a wooden spoon.

Plus, when cooked this way, the mushrooms mimic the meat they are being blended with and you don't even notice they are there, which can be really good for picky eaters who might not have embraced the mighty mushroom in all of it's deliciousness yet.

Browned ground beef and chopped mushrooms in a white dutch oven with a wooden spoon.

So really, calling this mushroom chili is almost a misnomer. You won't find any big slices of mushrooms in here unless you decided to add extra sliced mushrooms for that very reason. If you made this chili for your family and didn't mention mushrooms to them at all, they would never be the wiser.

a spoonful of chili above a bowl of chili

Aside from some initial chopping, making a batch of this chili is easy as can be. You just brown the blended ground beef and mushrooms together in a dutch oven or large skillet, then transfer it to a bowl and use the same pan to cook a little bacon, then soften the onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno before adding everything together, along with some cans of diced tomatoes, beans, and spices, then letting it cook for a couple of hours so that the flavors can really blend.

You could even transfer all of it to a slow cooker after the initial browning steps and let it cook all day so it's ready in the evening when you get home from work or after-school activities.

meaty mushroom chili in a pot with a wooden spoon sticking out

Serve it up plain, topped with all the things (sour cream, shredded cheese, diced avocado, jalapeno slices, tortilla chips, etc.) and a slice of perfect cornbread, or over baked potatoes or hot dogs. Or use leftover chili to make a batch of chili cheese dip for the big game!

two bowls of chili with added toppings in front of a white pot of more meaty mushroom chili

Love Chili? You'll Love These Soup Recipes Too!

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Meaty Mushroom Chili

5 from 28 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Nothing beats a big, bowl of chili with a slice of cornbread drenched in honey on a chilly, wet day! We've had a lot of that kind of weather lately, and this meaty mushroom chili has been keeping my family fed, happy and warm!


  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 12 ounces button mushrooms washed and chopped
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno seeds and membranes removed, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 16 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 16 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup beef broth


  • In a large skillet or dutch oven, combine the ground beef and chopped mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned and no longer pink. Drain off any fat and transfer the meat to a bowl.
  • Add the chopped bacon to the same skillet or dutch oven and cook until crispy, then transfer to the bowl with the meat and mushrooms using a slotted spoon adn drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
  • Add the onion, pepper, garlic, and jalapeno to the bacon fat in the skillet or dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the seasonings and spices until evenly distributed.
  • Return the meat and mushrooms back to the dutch oven (if using) or transfer everything to a slow cooker and add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pinto beans, and broth. If finishing on the stovetop, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 2 hours. If using the slow cooker, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Serve garnished with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, diced avocado, jalapeno slices, and corn chips.


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 586mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Jane says:

    5 stars
    Oh I'm with your on the mushroom love! I sneak them into most dishes (even though my fella's not a fan. Shhhh!)

  2. Emma says:

    I could definitely be a blenditarian I LOVE mushrooms - I even snack on them straight out of the fridge lol! I susually slice my mushrooms thinkly in a chilli but like how you've chopped them up fine so you need less mince. Fab recipe.

  3. Cliona Keane says:

    5 stars
    This really does look incredible! I adore mushrooms but my partner hates them and refuses to eat them in anything...I reckon I could make this and sneak them past him no problem! Heading over to check out the Mushroom Council now!

  4. Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes says:

    5 stars
    I am totally with you that mushrooms are a great way to get more out of your meat. I use them to bulk up so many recipes I can't even count. Though I do love them as the star of the show as well. Great chili recipe! Looks super yummy!

  5. Heidy says:

    I have never thought of adding mushrooms, I bet it tastes delicious. I might have to try out the recipe this week.

  6. Stacy Stelly says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was great. My husband and I both really enjoyed the addition of the mushrooms. Thank you for such a flavorful and delicious Chili Recipe. I made three pots. One for now and two to freeze for later meals.

    1. Amy says:

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it! That's a great idea to make the chili in bulk so you can freeze it!

  7. John says:

    5 stars
    I used this recipe to enter a work contest so I did a 2 1/2 batch and man is it delicious! I ended up adding Terragon, Hawaiian Salt, and Himalayan Salt when browning the meat and mushrooms. I also sliced a few mushrooms to have big chunks of mushroom too. It was my first time making chili ever and this recipe certainly did not disappoint nor was it overwhelming.

    I know which recipe I will be using again anytime I want chili! 🙂

  8. Nancy matlack says:

    I had chili fixen's and mushrooms needed to be used, did a search and voila! Cooking now, know we will love it. Thanks!

    1. Amy says:

      I'm glad you found it! Welcome!

  9. Ed says:

    5 stars
    Good idea. I had all these ingredients in my fridge - and googled a mushroom chili recipe. I used ground turkey and pancetta - turned out delicious.

  10. Jana says:

    Great recipe! Thanks so much for sharing...

    As to the mushrooms, I discovered browning ground chuck, chopped mushrooms & onions together makes the ground chuck "meatier". I have been using them in all kinds of beef recipes. They are great nutritionally, they totally extended the number of servings in a meal & they taste fabulous Plus picky won't ever know if you don't tell them 😉 . I have 2 here at home & they would die if they knew how many veggies I've slipped them secretly with my food processor lol!

  11. Angelyn says:

    I made this for your soup season showdown and highly recommend it! It’s the perfect thing to make on a cold day especially if you love mushrooms like I do. Thanks for sharing the recipe! 

  12. Aisha L says:

    5 stars
    Hands-down the best chilli recipe I have ever tried to make. I’ve made a few. It is amazing and has this smoky bacon flavour that suits the mushrooms very well. Wow 🧑🏾‍🍳🌟🌟🌟.

  13. John says:

    5 stars
    Thanks very much for this - I'll be making a pot of chili tomorrow and wasn't sure about including mushrooms. Your recipe & commentary was a big help.

  14. Lori says:

    I only used 2 Tbsp of chili powder and it was extremely hot . Anyone else find this?

  15. Duka says:

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! It will be my go-to from now on. I did use 2lb of meat and scaled up the spices a bit. I do like caramelizing onion with pepper first. I also like to brown the meat and deglaze it with red wine. Also, I mixed pork and beef for added flavour. Other than these small amendments- I stuck
    To the recipe and loved it! Thank you

  16. Leslie Dawson says:

    5 stars
    This turned out really well for me. Thank you very much!

    1. Amy Nash says:

      I am so glad it worked for you!