Our 17 Best Chili Recipes

Classic Beef Chili Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

If you're going to keep one recipe in your back pocket when the weather cools down, you can't go wrong with homemade chili. It's versatile and makes great leftovers, too. Go meat-forward with Short Rib Chili, or dip a ladle in Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange. Whether you're looking for a new chili recipe to love or a twist on an old favorite, these hearty dishes are sure to please.

01 of 17

Crock-Pot Chili

Crock-Pot Chili
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Chili benefits from being simmered low and slow. And if you want to use dried beans instead of canned, it's effortless to make in a slow cooker. Add them with the ground beef, tomatoes, and spices, and just six hours later, you have delicious chili. For a spicier dish, add a minced, seeded poblano chile or two minced, seeded chipotle chiles in adobo along with the jalapeños.

02 of 17

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange
© Christina Holmes

This vegetarian chili from Ellie Krieger starts with canned black beans and a simple tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. A hit of fresh orange adds a warm, sweet note to the rich spices.

03 of 17

Turkey-and-Pinto-Bean Chili

Turkey-and-Pinto-Bean Chili

This chili is made with ground turkey, olive oil, pinto beans, and plenty of vegetables. "The turkey chili is a big favorite of Oprah's," says Art Smith. "It's got some spice, which I think kids love just as much as adults do."

04 of 17

Quick Three-Bean Chili

Quick Three-Bean Chili
© Antonis Achilleos

Some chilis need to simmer for a long time to help the flavors develop. This one doesn't because Melissa Rubel Jacobson mixes in a little bit of bacon, which instantly adds meatiness and a smoky flavor.

05 of 17

Chili con Tofu

Chili con Tofu
© SABRA KROCK

Spicy chili seasonings pair beautifully with tofu. For a more substantial, spicy chili, use the same weight of tempeh in place of the tofu. Since tempeh is not packed in water, there's no need to pat it dry before sautéing, but stir in up to one extra cup of water in Step 4 when adding the beans.

06 of 17

Beef Chili with Beans

Beef Chili with Beans

This smoky, spicy version of chili is a slightly modified version of Grant Achatz's mother's chili, made with ancho, pasilla, and chipotle powders, plus a homemade blend of seasonings and fresh herbs.

07 of 17

Black-Bean Turkey Chili

Black-Bean Turkey Chili
© John Kernick

Garlic, cumin, ancho, and New Mexico chile powders spice up this relatively simple recipe. Black beans bolster up the lean ground turkey and chunks of chopped tomatoes. Serve with grilled tortillas and a dollop of sour cream.

08 of 17

Chili with Guajillo and Ancho Chiles and Hominy

Chili with Guajillo and Ancho Chiles and Hominy

Tom Mylan flavors his chili with three kinds of dried chiles: fruity guajillos, smoky anchos, and a New Mexico chile. After he soaks the chiles in water to plump them, he blends them to form a silky puree, which gives the chili a complex flavor.

09 of 17

Cumin Chili

HD-201202-r-cumin-chili.jpg

You'll get a bright taste of cumin in this great cold-weather chili made with ground beef, beans, and green bell pepper. If you want a hotter chili, add as much cayenne as you like.

10 of 17

Four-Chile Chili

Four-Chile Chili

Ground sirloin, jalapeño, ancho, chipotle, and paprika play a key role in this spicy chile, combined with beans and beef broth. It'll keep in the fridge for up to four days, or you can freeze it for two months if needed. It's the best ready-made meal there is.

11 of 17

Chickpea and Swiss Chard Chili

Chickpea and Swiss Chard Chili
© Eva Kolenko

This smoky, rich chili from Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple is a simple one-pot dish. It takes just 30 minutes to make and requires only 10 ingredients (salt and pepper included). The leftovers are perfect for saving for lunch the next day.

12 of 17

Three-Chile Beef Chili

Three-Chile Beef Chili
© Fredrika Stjärne

With coffee, stout beer, smoky bacon, and three kinds of chiles, this recipe makes one vibrant pot of chili. Two pounds of ground beef and three cans of pinto beans add plenty of heft and make this the ultimate cold-weather meal.

13 of 17

Pork-and-Brisket Chili

Pork-and-Brisket Chili
John Kernick

In Kansas City, Missouri, chef Colby Garrelts makes a giant pot of chili for his family's Sunday supper, often using venison that he has hunted himself. Here, he uses a mix of pork shoulder and brisket for a super-satisfying bowl of chili. Anything using Rancho Gordo beans is a winner in our book.

14 of 17

Classic Beef Chili

classic beef chili

If you don't have a favorite chili recipe, make this one your go-to for game day. Fresh poblano and toasty ancho chile powder provide a tame level of heat, making this a crowd-friendly dish that guests can crank up by topping with a few slices of fresh jalapeño. And thanks to convenient canned beans, you can get this on the table in under an hour.

15 of 17

Spicy Chicken Chili

Spicy Chicken Chili

Serving this spicy stew is a surefire way to please everyone at the table. You can also substitute leftover turkey or chicken in for the chicken thighs.

16 of 17

Short Rib Chili

Short Rib Chili with Pickled Red Onion
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Tyna Hoang / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Fresh jalapeños, smoky chipotle chiles in adobo, and fruity ancho chile powder give this thick, meaty short rib chili layers of heat, while red wine and tomato add acidity to balance out the richness of the tender short ribs. For a more budget-friendly option, substitute cubed beef chuck roast for the short ribs. Homemade pickled red onions provide a colorful, tasty, crunchy topping.

17 of 17

White Chicken Chili

bowls of white chicken chili
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

This creamy, spicy, and boldly-flavored White Chicken Chili cooks in one pot in under an hour. It gets its luscious texture from creamy navy beans and chopped corn tortillas, which thicken the broth and give it a long-cooked flavor. A lightly piquant combination of fresh jalapeños, diced green chiles, ground cayenne, and chili powder lend heat without overpowering the chili, while fresh and cooling cilantro, stirred in at the last minute, balances each bowl.

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