Chili is a fall favorite. As I child, I thought chili got its name from the chilly temperatures that often accompany it. To be honest, I love chili all year long. I’ve tried so many chili recipes over the years, and I’ve ended up with more than a few favorites.
I’ve even found that while most are best enjoyed when the temperature drops, some are actually designed to be eaten in summer. From classic chili to vegetarian chili, you are sure to find a few new chili recipes to try.
1. Simple Classic Chili
Everyone needs a basic chili recipe. Consider this recipe a starting point. You can follow it exactly for a classic bowl of chili. You can also add your own touches, and customize it to your liking.
This chili is made with red beans and ground beef. Diced tomatoes and tomato paste make the base. Chili, garlic, and onion powder add flavor, along with a pinch of salt.
You’ll brown the ground beef first. Then, you can use a dutch oven or slow cooker to create your classic chili. It should simmer for at least an hour in the dutch oven or six to eight hours in a slow cooker on low heat.
This allows the flavors to blend together, creating a great bowl of chili. You can then jazz it up with your favorite toppings. Cheese, green onions, or sour cream are a few options.
2. Traditional Chili Recipe
If you enjoyed chili as a child, the recipe was probably similar to this one. It’s a simple and traditional chili made with ground beef and chili seasoning.
One of the great things about this recipe is how fast it is to make. Sure, you’ll need to allow the chili to simmer, but there’s very little prep time.
It begins by sauteing a chopped onion in olive oil. Then, you’ll add the ground beef and brown it. Next, you’ll add your spices. These include chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder, along with tomato paste.
Next, you’ll add kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Stir it together, and simmer it for at least 20 minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
3. Easy Savory Chili
Chili can be a bit bland, particularly if you don’t want a lot of spice. This recipe solves that problem easily. It includes a few secret ingredients that enhance the flavor of the chili.
Worcestershire sauce is one of the secret ingredients. It adds a unique savory flavor. Hot sauce isn’t a surprising chili ingredient. Don’t worry about it being too spicy. You are simply adding enough for flavor.
The last secret ingredient is mustard powder. It has a sharp slightly spicy tangy flavor. It is a perfect complement to chili. You won’t taste the mustard powder itself. Instead, it brightens up the other flavors.
4. White Chicken Chili
If you’ve never tried white chicken chili, you must give it a shot. It has a milder flavor than its tomato-based cousin. The key ingredients are chicken, white beans, and mild green chili peppers.
Cannelini beans are great for this recipe, but great northern beans also work well. You can choose canned beans for a faster chili, or cook the beans from scratch for a homemade flavor.
You’ll also need chicken stock, cumin, cayenne pepper, cloves, and oregano. If you want to crank up the heat, you can add jalapenos or Serrano pepper.
This recipe can be topped with fresh tomato, green onions, avocado, sour cream, or cheese. You can serve the chili alone, or with tortilla chips or warm tortillas.
5. Vegetarian White Chili
White vegetarian chili has all the creaminess of regular white chili but is vegan. The secret is vegan cream cheese. Instead of being made from milk, it’s made from coconut oil, coconut cream, and pea protein.
It begins by sauteing onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Next, you’ll add vegan cream cheese, white chili seasoning, and vegetable broth. If you like it spicy, you can also add jalapenos. Then, add white beans and corn, if desired.
The meal is cooked in one pot and done within 30 minutes or less. Best of all, it’s just as creamy and savory as classic white chili.
6. Verde Chili
Red and white aren’t the only colors chili appears in. Verde is Spanish for green, so this is essentially green chili. This recipe is probably the most labor-intensive on our list, but I promise it’s worth it!
Most chili Verde recipes call for pork, and this one is no different. It includes cubed pork shoulder. You’ll need to saute onions, garlic, serrano, and jalapeno peppers. Then brown the pork shoulder.
You’ll roast tomatillos and anaheim peppers. Then, the roasted peppers and tomatillos are pureed and added to the pork. Add spices like oregano and cumin, and allow it to simmer for about 2 hours.
Then, you’ll add a masa roux, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
7. Masa Chili
If you love corn in your chili, this might be the recipe for you. Instead of including corn, it includes masa. Masa is used to make corn tortillas and is similar to finely ground cornmeal.
When added to chili, it gives it a heartier texture and a mild corn flavor. The best part is it can easily be adjusted.
The recipe calls for kidney and pinto beans. Other ingredients include oregano, chili powder, and cumin. You’ll begin by browning the beef and then adding the other ingredients. Allow it to simmer for an hour, and then add the masa paste.
Then, let it simmer for 10 more minutes before serving.
8. Black Bean Chili
Black bean chili has black beans instead of traditional chili beans. It’s tangy, tasty, and filling. If you want to change up your chili, you should try this one.
The recipe recommends making your own chili powder with fennel, garlic, cumin, allspice, and dried chilis. If you aren’t up for making your own, store-bought chili powder will work as well.
The ingredients also include fire-roasted diced tomatoes, red bell pepper, and canned green chilis.
It also includes a few secret ingredients. Maple syrup brings a touch of sweetness, and lime juice brightens up the dish.
9. Summer Vegetable Chili
In the summertime, our tastes tend to turn towards lighter fare. Summer vegetable chili is perfect for summer evenings. It’s vegetarian, and a great alternative to traditional chili.
Pinto beans and diced tomatoes provide the base for the dish. You’ll also need frozen fire-roasted corn, red onion, and portobello mushrooms.
Garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper are the spices for the dish. If you want spicy chili, feel free to add chilies, jalapenos, or serrano peppers. Or, my personal favorite, hot banana peppers.
10. Farmer’s Market Summer Chili
If you want chili with plenty of fresh summer vegetables, this is the recipe you’ve been looking for. It calls for beef, but you can substitute turkey or pork.
You can also trade the pinto beans in for black beans or kidney beans. Even the vegetables can be swapped based on your preferences, or what you have on hand.
The recipe includes fresh lady peas, zucchini, yellow squash, fresh sweet corn, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, and fresh oregano. You really should pick up the ingredients at your local farmer’s market.
A few other things to add to your ingredient list are bell pepper, Serrano pepper, chili powder, and coriander.
11. Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati chili is a twist on standard chili. It originates from Cincinnati, Ohio, as the name suggests. Around the Cincinnati area, this chili is king. Even if you don’t live in Ohio, you’ll love this style of chili.
One of the best things about it is that it’s so simple to make. No sauteing ingredients. You simply dump everything into a pot and cook.
Cincinnati chili has a sweet yet savory flavor. In addition to standard seasonings like chili powder, you’ll add cinnamon, allspice, cloves, worcestershire sauce, and vinegar.
It can be served in a bowl, on spaghetti, or as the star of a delicious chili dog. The one cardinal sin is putting beans in your chili. However, you can include beans as a chili topping.
12. Vegan Cincinnati Chili
This recipe technically breaks the rules of Cincinnati chili. Particularly the commandment that you must not include beans in the chili.
If you are a purist, feel free to omit the beans. You can also add mushrooms in their place, as a substitute for the traditional ground beef. Sure you can get those soy crumbles, but let’s face it. Those aren’t the best choice for anyone.
Cocoa powder is a hot topic when it comes to this chili. Some love it, others don’t. However, it does add a bit to this recipe, and I love it.
This recipe uses the traditional method of making the chili and then pouring it over spaghetti. Whole wheat, of course. Delicious and healthy? What more could you want!
13. Chorizo Sweet Potato Chili
I was super excited when I found this recipe. Chorizo is one of my favorite meats. It’s made from pork and heavily seasoned, which reduces the amount of work you need to do. It also tastes great. It’s also ready to eat in about 30 minutes, making it a great go-to for a busy weeknight.
Sweet potato might not be what comes to mind when you think of chili, but it’s sweet and savory. Combined with chorizo it makes an incredibly flavorful dish you won’t forget.
It’s topped with bacon and avocado, which adds a little extra richness. This makes it great comfort food. It’s also pale and Whole 30 friendly.
14. Tomato Texas Chili
Texans are just as passionate about their chili as those Cincinnatians. There are specific things that make a dish Texas chili.
There are some debates, but they agree that Texas chili has no beans. This recipe uses ground beef and beef broth. The seasoning comes from salt, chile powder, cumin, and brown sugar. Both diced tomatoes and tomato paste are included.
It takes about 15 minutes of prep and 1 hour of cooking time to make this style of chili. Jalapenos, tortilla strips, sour cream, and shredded cheese are traditional chili toppings.
If you want to spice it up, you can add Serrano or chipotle peppers.
15. Traditional Texas Chili
Traditional Texas chili often omits tomatoes, as well as beans. The reason is simple. Texas chili is about highlighting the beef. If you love a hearty, meaty chili, you’ll love this recipe.
Instead of ground beef, use chunks of beef. A marbled cut of beef chuck roast is the best option. The marbling, aka fat, also means more flavor.
The recipe calls for guajillo and ancho chiles. These are what give the dish its savory smoky flavor. The first step to this chili is to toast those chiles. It truly gives the chili a much bolder and more tasty flavor than chili powder.
You’ll also need onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, and beef broth. A few tablespoons of cornmeal are added as well.
16. Bacon Bison Beer Chili
It’s a dream come true. Bacon, beer, and chili. Along with bison. Surprisingly, the meal is not only high in protein, but it’s low in calories as well. You’ve got to try this one! Best of all, the name is so fun to say, you may find yourself making it so you can say it.
Best of all, it only requires 5 minutes of prep time. You’ll start by cooking the bison and bacon. Then, add onion and garlic. Next, you’ll add tomatoes, salsa, and beer.
The seasoning comes from chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and salt. Allow the chili to cook for 30 minutes. Add the beans, and cook for another 10 minutes.