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The Best Bowl of Chili You’ll Ever Have

This, I kid you not, is the best bowl of chili I have ever had in my life. Try it and trust me, it will be your new favorite recipe.

I once thought I’d already found the perfect chili recipe, but when I came across this one, it rocked my world.

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Bowl of Chili With Beans, Cheese and Onions

If you think your chili recipe is the one to beat, think again! This chili is so mind-blowingly delicious, it’s one for the books. 

Best Bowl of Chili

What makes this the best bowl of chili ever?  

It has just the right amount of heat, flavor, and consistency. The combo of well-seasoned beef, tomatoes, spices, and beans is already phenomenal as it is.

The cheese and sour cream on top take it to the next level. Plus, it contains a secret ingredient you may not have thought of — beer!

It is a snap to make, to boot. Hundreds of chili recipes out there call for several hours of cooking, but this one is ready in an hour.

It truly is, hands down, the best!


  • Ground BeefAs it’s a primary ingredient in chili, use good-quality ground beef, such as lean Angus or brisket. Also, you may want the meat to fat ratio to be 85:15, otherwise, your chili will be too greasy.
  • Onion and Garlic – For aroma and flavor.
  • Chili Powder, Cumin, Oregano, Cayenne Pepper, Tabasco – It’s not called chili for nothing! These herbs and spices will add a nice kick to your chili.
  • Canned Kidney Beans – I prefer red kidney beans, but you can also use pinto or black beans.
  • Diced Tomatoes in Can – The flavor base of the soup.
  • Tomato Paste – Acts as a thickener and a flavoring agent as well.
  • Jalapenos – For even more heat. Add or lessen according to taste.
  • Sugar – Do not skip the sugar, as it counteracts the acidity in the tomatoes and the heat from the spices. If your diet prohibits granulated sugar, use Splenda instead.
  • Beer – The secret ingredient! The starches in beer help thicken the chili. It’s also there for flavor, so use one you actually like. I highly recommend Modelo Negro and Newcastle Brown Ale.
  • Cheese – It turns chili from delicious to delectable. You can use either cheddar or Mexican mix cheese.
  • Sour Cream – For a cool and creamy contrast to the hot chili. 

Tips for the Best Chili 

  • What I love about this recipe is that it has just the right amount of heat in it. But you’re free to add or lessen the level of spice to suit your taste.
  • If your diet doesn’t allow you to eat beef, use ground chicken or turkey.
  • If you don’t have beer on hand, you can swap it with a mixture of vodka, coke, and brown sugar.
  • Add cocoa powder or espresso to enhance the chili’s flavor.
  • Chili freezes beautifully, so you can make a huge batch and pop individually portioned leftovers in the freezer. Just thaw them in the fridge overnight and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
Homemade Bowl of Chili with Cheese, Ground Beef, Beans and Onions

Chili Toppings 

  • If you find your chili too spicy, here’s a quick fix: add a splash of lime or lemon juice. The acidity from the fruit dials down the heat from the chili, resulting in a perfect balance of flavors.
  • Want sour cream on chili trying to watch your diet? Enjoy a bowl without all the guilt by using Greek yogurt instead. 
  • On the contrary, if you don’t mind the calories at all, go all-in and use bacon-infused sour cream! 
  • In the mood for a southern classic? Cornbread is the way to go.
  • If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the sweet and salty combo, drizzle some honey over your chili. It’s a definite must-try!
  • Top your chili with salsa and guacamole for a drool-worthy mash-up of southern and Tex-Mex cuisines.
  • Add an element of crunch to your all-tender chili: whether it’s croutons or crackers, you can’t go wrong.

How To Thicken Chili

Chili too runny? Don’t give up! There are tons of ways to thicken up that thin soup.

Here are a few methods to choose from:

  • Remove the lid and let the chili simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. This will help evaporate excess liquid from the chili, resulting in a thick consistency.
  • Add more beans and mash them. Breaking beans up will release their natural starches, causing the soup to thicken.
  • Add more tomato paste. What I love about this technique is apart from helping with the consistency, it also adds flavor and color to the chili. If your chili starts to taste bitter, counter it with a bit of sugar. 
  • Add cornstarch of flour. Spoon a bit of chili into a bowl and mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour. Place the mixture back into the pot and stir constantly until thick.
  • If the chili is already out of the pot, just serve it with cornbread and more shredded cheese. This will thicken up the stew nicely.

More Chili Recipes You’ll Love

Wendy’s Chili Recipe
Texas Roadhouse Chili
Chili Toppings

The Best Bowl of Chili You’ll Ever Have



Prep time




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  • 1 1/2 pounds 1 1/2 ground beef

  • 1 large yellow or white onion, chipped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons 2 chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 salt

  • 2 teaspoons 2 ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon 1 dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Tabasco sauce

  • 2 (15.5-oz) 2 (15.5-oz) cans kidney beans, undrained

  • 1 (28-oz) can 1 (28-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (6-oz) can 1 (6-oz) tomato paste

  • 1 (4-oz) can 1 (4-oz) chopped jalapenos, undrained

  • 1 teaspoon 1 sugar

  • 1 cup 1 dark beer

  • 1 cup 1 shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 sour cream


  • In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the ground beef until brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Stir constantly to break the beef into crumbles.
  • Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and tabasco sauce. Keep stirring until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the beef mixture into a large pot. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, jalapenos, sugar, and beer. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the chili simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching at the bottom.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle generously with cheese.
Best Bowl of Chili

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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