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The Best Homemade Chili Recipe

Best Homemade Chili RecipeThis really is the best homemade chili recipe and I absolutely love this chili recipe! For 20 years we’ve always used Carroll Shelby’s Chili Mix and it’s fantastic, but the mix isn’t always easy to find. For about the past five years or so, I’ve been trying to do away with spice mixes (taco season packs, salad dressing packs, etc.) but I was always reluctant to try a “real” chili recipe. I figured why bother? I’m so glad I stumbled upon Pat Neely’s chili recipe, because with a few tweaks, it’s amazing!

Homemade Chili with Ground Beef?

Bacon, ground beef, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and a bunch of spices, make this recipe a real keeper. The original recipe calls for a combo of ground pork and ground beef. I grind our meat in my LEM meat grinder, and I’ve made this recipe with 50% pork, 50% beef, and I’ve also made it with 100% beef. Honestly, I really couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Since pork is typically cheaper than beef, I’ve found using half ground pork does save money.

Homemade Chili with Beans

I love beans, but I always thought I preferred my chili without beans…. Until I tried this recipe! I also always thought I didn’t like red kidney beans, just the thought of them makes me think of dry mealy big huge red beans, but I’ve found I really LOVE red kidney beans in this recipe. Simmering the chili for 1.5 hours really transforms the red beans into something quite delicious, and gives the chili deep layers of flavor! I recommend you give this recipe a go, I think you will be pleasantly surprised because this recipe is a keeper!

Homemade Chili Recipe from Scratch

Chili From Scratch Bacon Ends
In a large non-stick dutch oven brown diced bacon or bacon ends.  The original recipe called for applewood smoked bacon, I’ve used the applewood smoked bacon and regular bacon, I really couldn’t tell the difference, in the end, product.
Homemade Chili From Scratch
When bacon is almost done, add in chopped onions and bell pepper, and cook until the onions look done.  Next add in the minced garlic and spices.  Add the raw ground beef to the pot, and cook until no longer pink.
Chili From Scratch Meat Cooked
Finally, it’s time to add in a can or bottle of beer, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed red kidney beans, and black beans.
Best Ground Beef Chili Recipe

This is what the chili looks like at this point.  Now it’s time to bring it up to a low simmer, cover, and simmer for 1.5 hours.

While simmering, if your chili needs more water add a little.  During the first hour of simmering the chili, I like to stir the chili every 10-15 minutes.  For the last half hour of cooking, I’ll stir the chili every 8-10 minutes.  If you aren’t using a non-stick dutch oven, you may need to stir the pot more often.

This is what the chili looks like after simmering for 1.5 hours.

Best Chili Recipe

Optional Chili Add-Ins

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Minced White Onion
  • Diced Green Onions
  • Sour Cream
  • Crushed Saltine Crackers
  • Oyster Crackers
  • Tamed Nacho Rings
  • Crumbled Corn Bread

The Best Homemade Chili

The Best Homemade Chili Recipe

Fantastic homemade chili recipe! This recipe makes a lot! If you are cooking for a small family, you may want to half the recipe.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course One Pot Meals
Cuisine American
Servings 16


  • 1 pound raw bacon - cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion - diced
  • 1 red bell pepper - seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper - seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 4.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1.5 tablespoons paprika
  • .5 to 1.5 tablespoons chipolte powder Use 1.5 tablespoons if you like it spicy
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • .5 teaspoon cayenne powder optional
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 can or bottle beer I use Coors Light
  • 1 - 14 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 14 ounce can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 24 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 24 ounce can diced tomatoes


  • Cook diced bacon over medium heat in a large non-stick dutch oven or pot. When bacon is almost done, add in diced onion and bell peppers and cook until softened.
  • Add in minced garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, chipolte powder, dried oregano, salt, and cayenne powder. Cook a minute or two until aromatic.
  • Add in ground beef to bacon-onion mixture. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink.
  • Stir in can of beer, rinsed and drained beans, crushed tomatoes with juice, and diced tomatoes with juice.
  • Cover and simmer on low (for me it's #3) 1.5 hours. Add in a little water, if necessary. The first hour stir the pot every 10-15 minutes, and the last 30 minutes stir the pot every 5-10 minutes. You may need to stir more often depending on your pot and how hot your burner gets.
  • Taste of salt.

Recipe inspired by Pat Neely’s homemade chili recipe.

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Recipe Rating

michael hammond

Tuesday 18th of September 2018

If your using Coors light , you might as well add water instead. Try using Guiness beer it's much better and at the last 1/2 hout of cooking add a couple pieces of dark chocolate--------the BOMB

Stephanie, One Caring Mom

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

This looks absolutely amazing! I love chili but I've never made it with bacon. I can't wait to try this as chili is one of my favorite comfort foods!

Phil Culver

Wednesday 4th of April 2018

No, not a question about beer. Beer is good as is bacon, but bacon is great. My question is I notice that neither the bacon or the hamburger rendered fat is drained off. Perhaps it adds taste, but not drawing does seem strange. Was this step missed or was not draining intentional?


Sunday 11th of February 2018

Can’t wait to make this!!! Has anyone added brown sugar to it? I’m curious.


Sunday 4th of March 2018

I haven't ever added brown sugar to the recipe, you'll have to let me know how it turns out if you do add it.

jackie cady

Saturday 3rd of February 2018

Where can I find jalapeno nacho rings recipe? I searched on hangryfork

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