World’s Best Chili Recipe Ever
The World’s Best Chili Recipe ever is hearty comfort food fully loaded with both ground beef and stew meat, plus bacon, beans, and plenty of “secret spices”. Let this homemade chili simmer all day on the stove for dinner. Or get it ready and keep it warm in a crockpot for a tailgate party or as one of your favorite potluck dishes.
Disclaimer: I’m partnering with Tuttorosso to bring you this updated recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.
Originally published on May 16, 2012. Updated on January 19, 2016.
Years ago I was part of a Facebook group where the main question every day was “WFD?”, or “What’s for dinner?” Each of us had our days where we were making a fabulously healthy meal, and we loved getting virtual pats on the pack from fellow group members.
At times, though, everyone had days of takeout, drive-throughs, or chicken nuggets. Basically, when life gets crazy, you gotta do what you gotta do and just get the family fed.
Everyone in the group got excited when someone said they were making Bill’s Chili. I have no idea who Bill is, other than that he is someone that one of the group members knew. And we were lucky enough that she shared his recipe.
I can tell you one thing – I will be making his amazing chili for the rest of my life. And so will many other people.
It has been pinned over 140,000 times. The video has been viewed on Facebook nearly 4 million times. It is even award-winning at several chili cook-offs.
And this chili recipe has gotten reviews like:
Wonderful chili! This will be my go to! My husband loved this chili I dont think he ever stopped raving about it. Also I went into labor the night I made it…
Bill’s Chili recipe is the best chili I have ever eaten! And the best news is I froze over half of it and thawed it out 3 months later for dinner one night. I cooked up a pound of thin spaghetti and topped it with the chili and plenty of grated Sardo cheese-SO WONDERFUL❤️
I just had to write and say THANK YOU for such an amazing chili! I am happy to report that your chili recipe was the first-place winner of the cook-off. This will definitely be my “go-to” recipe for chili as the flavor is ever so delicious and the consistency is perfect. The only thing I “changed” was I used only two cans of beans rather than three 🙂
Everyone agrees that this recipe truly is the World’s Best Chili Recipe Ever!
What Makes the Best Chili
I suppose you could call this a basic chili, but really, it’s so much more. It’s simple and hearty, but by combining flavorful ingredients and letting them simmer as long as possible, all of those flavors truly develop and blend together.
What can you add to chili?
This particular recipe, like many chili recipes, may have a long list of ingredients. But each one truly adds something to the overall flavor and texture.
- There is always the debate of whether you use just ground beef, just stew beef cubes, or a combination of both. This recipe uses both to get the depth of flavor and the different textures. Plus there is bacon for that salty, smoky goodness.
- Onion, red bell pepper, and garlic are staples in many chili recipes, including this one
- Dried herbs and spice add the flavor. Everyone has their own secret blend. Here you’ll find chili powder, dried mustard, crushed red pepper, cumin, and dried oregano.
- Kosher salt and black pepper are always essential.
- Canned chopped green chilis add just a bit more heat.
- For the whole tomatoes and tomato paste, I always use my favorite brand, Tuttorosso, in this homemade chili.
- The bigger debate with chili is beans or no beans. This is chili with beans. However, you can always leave them out or swap kidney beans for black beans, if you like. It’ll still be delicious. But adding beans is definitely an inexpensive option to be able to feed more people with this one recipe.
How do you make the World’s Best Chili?
You can get the full, detailed recipe at the bottom of this post after the additional useful information and tips, but here is a brief summary, including step-by-step photos:
- Saute the two kinds of beef and bacon with onions, pepper, and garlic.
- Add the seasonings, including chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and a few more items.
- Pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste, water, and canned green chiles.
- Add kidney beans.
- Stir everything together.
- Reduce heat and simmer as long as possible, stirring occasionally.
Can you make chili ahead? Can you freeze chili?
This recipe makes a lot. So you can definitely make it ahead to feed a crowd at a party, or just have it for dinner one night and freeze the rest. In fact, it might even taste better the second time around.
You can make it the day before and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. It also freezes well in an airtight container or plaster freezer storage bags. It always reheats well. If it has thickened up, just add a little more water.
After cooking on the stove, you can even toss it in the crockpot for the simmering time if you don’t want to worry about tending to it on the stove. Or you can transfer it all in the crockpot after it is cooker just to keep it warm or to reheat it. This is especially helpful for a party. If you allow it to simmer in the slow cooker, I’d recommend starting with about half the water and add more if needed.
Is chili gluten free?
This and all of the chili recipes on my site are gluten free. A few things to look out for when looking for in the recipe are whether it contains flour to thicken it, if beer is added, or if the recipe uses a powdered chili seasoning mix that might not be gluten free. However, there are plenty of options out there to find your favorite gluten free chili recipe.
What kind of toppings do you put on chili?
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Chopped raw onion
- Sliced avocado
- Crushed tortilla chips. Buy a bag or make your own Baked Tortilla Chips with flour or corn tortillas.
What is a good side dish for Chili?
- Corn bread like this Gluten Free Cornbread or even some Hushpuppies.
- Instead of a bowl, you can serve it as chili stuffed acorn squash.
- Need some veggies? Try some Basic Roasted Cauliflower or Basic Roasted Butternut Squash since the chili already has so much flavor.
- You could also go with a slaw, like Maple Dijon Apple Cole Slaw.
- Another option is to toss a simple salad with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing.
Looking for more classic comfort food recipes made with ground beef?
- Lasagna is always a family favorite, and this one is the best.
- Shepards Pie or Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie, whatever you call it, it’s delicious.
- Beefaroni also has a million different names, but it’s a family favorite ready in a flash.
Don’t have time or need quite this much chili? Here are quick and easy chili recipes:
- Quick and Easy Chipotle Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Aloha Chili
- Cauliflower and Quinoa Vegan White Chili
- Pineapple Black Bean Crockpot Turkey Chili
World’s Best Chili Ever
Loaded with beef, bacon, and more. Once they’ve tried it, this spicy comfort food is truly everyone’s favorite chili. It’s my go-to for feeding a crowd or if I want to stock up my freezer with leftovers. Once you make it, you’ll never make another.
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on Pinterest!
Bill's Chili (The World's Best Chili Recipe)
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 lb stew beef, cut into about one inch chunks
- 1/4 lb bacon, diced in small pieces
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced (or 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic from a jar)
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1/2 Tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons cumin
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4.5 oz chopped green chilies
- 28 oz whole canned tomatoes (I used Tuttorosso Peeled Plum Tomatoes)
- 12 oz Tomato Paste (I used two 6 oz cans Tuttorosso Tomato Paste)
- 48 oz canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups water (add more if needed)
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- diced onion
- tortilla chips
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the meats, pepper, and onion, and cook until the meat is browned and the vegetables are tender. Drain any collected grease and liquid, if desired.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Stir in the chili powder, dried mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Add the chilies, tomatoes, tomato paste, kidney beans, and about two cups of water, and simmer on low for at least 2 hours, or put into a crockpot on low for at least 4 hours. Add additional water, as needed to achieve desired consistency.
- Serve with desired optional toppings.