Easy Ground Beef Chili

This easy ground beef chili is hearty and comforting. It’s made with beef, two kinds of beans, veggies, and spices. Top it with all your favorite garnishes like cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions for a cozy cold-weather dinner!

Easy ground beef chili in a bowl garnished with sour cream, cheese, and green onions

Depending on where you’re from you might find this chili recipe completely endearing or completely offensive. It’s made with a myriad of ingredients (including tomato sauce šŸ˜±), it has two kinds of beans, and it’s made with simple ground beef.

And here’s the deal – this is what I considered “authentic” chili for many years. I’m from Wyoming, and everyone I knew growing up ate some variation of this simple ground beef chili. The version I’m sharing today is inspired by the kind my mom made every Christmas (cue the awwws.)

Of course, I now know there really isn’t a singular authentic chili but rather authentic variations depending on where you’re from. Like the bean-less, tomato-less Texas chili, or Mexican-style chile colorado, or Cincinnati chili, or New Mexico green and red chile. Or the countless other types that I am leaving out because, wow, there are many different kinds of chili. And isn’t that something that makes this a wonderful world?

a bowl of easy ground beef chili

Ingredients

So, fire up the sepia filter because this chili recipe is a trip down memory lane for me. It’s a simple concoction and very easy to make.

  • It starts with ground beef, onions, and bell peppers.
  • It’s flavored with chili powder, garlic powder, and a little enchilada sauce.
  • Diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, and pinto beans join the party, too.
  • I usually make it with water, but have used chicken stock or vegetable broth, too.

I like to simmer the chili for several hours on medium-low heat. It will thicken as it simmers and the flavors will meld together. Right at the end I add some lime juice for a little punch of brightness.

A Few Tips…

  • Because of the long simmer time, it’s a great weekend cooking project. Once you get everything in the pot, and the prep doesn’t take long, just leave it to do its thing.
  • For the best experience, I like to make it a day in advance. It keeps well in the fridge and tastes even better after the flavors fully develop. So, for this reason, it’s ideal for meal prep.
  • You can also freeze it for several months. Yay.
  • Serve it up in big bowls with all the toppings like shredded cheese, green onions, and sour cream.
  • Use it to make Frito pies, nachos, chili dogs, or spoon it over baked potatoes. There are a lot of ways to use it, friends.

A big bowl of homemade chili is a wonderful thing and this one is one of my favorites. I hope you give it a try!

Happy Cooking,

a spoonful of easy ground beef chili

More Chili Recipes

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Easy Ground Beef Chili

Easy Chili | Girl Gone Gourmet

This easy ground beef chili is hearty and comforting. It’s made with beef, two kinds of beans, veggies, and spices. Top it with all your favorite garnishes like cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions for a cozy cold-weather dinner!

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I use red, but choose your favorite color!)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of one lime

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef and cook it until it’s no longer pink. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook them with the beef for five minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, enchilada sauce, and garlic powder and stir to combine. Add everything else (except for the lime juice), give it all a good stir. Increase the heat and once it starts to bubble, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the chili.
  3. I usually simmer it for at least two hours so it can reduce and thicken. Sometimes I add up to half a cup more of water if it thickens too fast, but this is optional.
  4. Just before you serve it, add the lime juice and stir. Serve the chili with all of your favorite toppings.

Notes

Make-ahead tip: I think the chili tastes even better the day after it’s made. It will keep well in the refrigerator for three to four days. Or, you can freeze it for several months.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 468
  • Sugar: 7.8g
  • Sodium: 921.6mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.6g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.3g
  • Fiber: 12.5g
  • Protein: 31.9g
  • Cholesterol: 77.1mg

Keywords: easy chili recipe, ground beef chili, beef and bean chili

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This easy ground beef chili post and recipe has been updated from the archives. First published in December 2014.

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12 Comments

  1. I am so jealous that your cards are written (mine are still in the box), and your shopping is nearly done (I have only one gift bought so far!!!) I’m a bit stressed but I know it will get done on time…maybe last minute! This chili looks delicious, perfect for the cold weather, and it is so nice that your mom will be spending Christmas with you! I love how food=memories, like this chili is for you šŸ™‚

    1. Last minute still = on time šŸ™‚ Good luck with your holiday preparation! I’m sure it will all come together in the end šŸ™‚

  2. I love chili and your chili looks amazing, will be making this very soon. Have a great visit with your Mom, I know the feeling my eldest is back this year to spend Christmas with us, after 4 years studying in Toronto. Have a wonderful Christmas and relaxing 2 week vacation.

    1. Hi Caryn, it is 1/4 cup of chili powder. I used a mild one, so you can definitely adjust based on how spicy you like it.

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