This Tim Hortons chili recipe makes a wonderful copycat of the original. Serve this to your family and friends and they’ll crave it for days!
I never go to Tim Hortons without ordering their signature chili. Sure, I also love their lemon loaf and cookies, but nothing beats a bowl of hot chili on a chilly day.
Complete with ground beef, kidney beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, and a ton of spices and seasonings, this chili is the stuff of legends.
And yes, it tastes almost just like the original.
It turns out, replicating Tim Hortons chili isn’t at all that hard. Thanks to this recipe, I don’t anymore have to visit the chain whenever I’m in the mood for it.
Oh, and it freezes well, too. That means you can whip up a large batch, store the leftovers, and take it out anytime. Yes to chili all day, every day!
How to Make Tim Hortons Chili Recipe
Start by browning the beef in a skillet. I like to use olive oil, as it adds a nice flavor to the beef, but any oil with a high smoke point works, too.
Once the beef is no longer pink, transfer it into a large pot. Use a slotted spoon to drain the meat. You want the grease to stay in the pan.
Next, cook the vegetables in the same pan with the drippings from the ground beef. Stir for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Then, throw all of the ingredients into the pot of ground beef.
Mix them well but be careful not to squish the beans.
Cover the pot and let it simmer over medium heat for 1 hour.
Stir it occasionally to prevent it from scorching at the bottom. Remove the lid and let it simmer for another 30 minutes.
Pour the chili into bowls and garnish with your favorite chili toppings. Enjoy!
- Ground Beef – Don’t use fatty ground beef, thinking it’ll be more flavorful. You’ll want it to have a lean/fat ratio of 80/20 for the best flavor — rich, but not greasy.
- Olive Oil – To brown the beef with.
- Diced Onions, Celery, and Green Pepper – This trio of vegetables add so much color, flavor, and texture to the chili.
- Dark Red Kidney Beans – Chili isn’t chili without the beans. Use the canned kind so it cooks faster.
- Mushroom – For an extra meaty and earthy flavor. Either fresh or canned works.
- Tomato Soup and Diced Tomatoes – Canned is fine here, too. Don’t discard the juice!
- Chili Powder, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Granulated Sugar, Garlic – A good bowl of chili is one that’s seasoned perfectly.
Can I Freeze the Chili?
Absolutely, which is why you can double the recipe and save the rest for another day.
Before freezing, allow the chili to cool completely to room temperature.
Transfer it into freezer-safe containers. I like to use Ziploc bags so I can lay them flat and pile them on top of each other.
Don’t forget to label the bags! Frozen chili will last for up to 4 to 6 months.
To reheat, let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Microwave it until warmed through.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Chili
- Use 80/20 ground beef. You might think it’s more ideal to add a fatty beef in there for more flavor, but nope. All you get is a greasier chili, and no one wants that. 80/20 is just the right ratio between lean and fatty.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste. You can also flavor your chili with whatever spices and seasonings you can think of. As long as you stick to flavors you like, you won’t go wrong.
- A little bit of cocoa powder or unsweetened chocolate goes a long way. It won’t make your chili taste like chocolate, I promise. It only deepens the flavor of the chili even more.
- Substitute a bit of the canned tomatoes for good-quality ketchup like Heinz. The sweetness of the ketchup will cover up the acidity of the tomatoes and chili powder, giving the chili a more balanced flavor.
- Because it contains a ton of beans, this chili is already thick even without a thickener. But if you want to know how to thicken chili, just make a starch slurry. Simply mix 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with some of the liquid in the chili until dissolved. Pour it back into the pot and stir. The chili will start to thicken in just a few minutes.
- If you don’t want to use a slurry, reserve a portion of beans, puree it, and add it to the chili while it simmers. It’ll thicken it up nicely.
- For a deeper flavor, slow cook the chili. Instead of a regular pot, combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8. It makes for a great make-ahead dish.
- As delicious as chili is on its own, it’s not complete without the toppings. Sour cream, shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, bacon bits – the options are endless.
- Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. Be sure they’re well-covered.
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