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Easy Chili

This Easy Chili is ready in just 30 minutes. It’s fast and simple and loaded with beans, beef, chili seasoning, garlic, and onions. This is a classic recipe made simple!

A Simple Chili Recipe

For a long time, the only chili recipes we could find required hours and hours of cooking time. Whether it was on the stovetop or in the slow cooker, the chili always required a slow simmer for at least 4-6 hours. But what about when you don’t have time to simmer but you still want to make a delicious and easy chili?

That got us thinking, can you make an easy chili in under an hour? You sure can. And we are about to give you the recipe! Now, the ingredients don’t differ that much from a chili that is slow-cooked – and that’s ok. The main takeaway here is that these ingredients are simple (and probably already in your kitchen) and there isn’t a lot of them!

This recipe goes to show that you can do a lot with just 30 minutes and a short list of ingredients. All you need is ground beef, beans, onions, garlic, seasonings, and tomato sauce for this recipe. That rich flavor still develops and you’ve made it in a fraction of the time!

Looking for more easy chili recipes? Try out these other reader favorites: Hot Dog Chili, Crockpot Mexican White Chili, and Instant Pot White Chicken Chili!

a big bowl of chili with a piece of cornbread in it

Why You’ll Love This Homemade Chili

First, let’s talk about why this recipe is so great. It easily became a family favorite and here’s why:

  • It’s so quick. We’ve already said this and we’ll say it again. You can decide at 4:30 that you want to make chili and it will be ready by 5 because this recipe just takes 30 minutes to make.
  • This recipe is kid-friendly. Oftentimes kids don’t love chili because it contains a lot of ingredients that they may not like (we’re talking about chipotle peppers, cayenne, etc.). But this recipe has a basic ingredient list that will satisfy everyone’s tastebuds.
  • It’s a one-pot recipe. Not only will the recipe be done in record time, but you also won’t have a big mess to clean up!
ingredients to make easy chili like ground beef, seasonings, onions, beans, and garlic

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you need to make this Easy Chili recipe. The goal is that you don’t have to run to the store for anything!

  • Olive Oil
  • Yellow Onion: White or sweet onions will also work.
  • Garlic: We highly recommend sticking to fresh garlic for this recipe.
  • Ground Beef: We used ground sirloin 90% lean. You can also use ground turkey or even ground chicken!
  • Tomato Sauce: We like to use unsalted so that we can adjust the level of salt ourselves.
  • Water
  • Chili Seasoning: You can use store bought or our favorite Homemade Chili Seasoning!
  • Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: You can add more if you like it spicy.
  • Chili Beans: We love Bush’s chili beans, they add a great layer of flavor to your chili!
a big bowl of chili with a piece of cornbread in it

Recipe Variations

The joy of this recipe is that you can mix up some of the ingredients to make use of what you have in the kitchen already.

  • Try different beans. You can use pinto, white chili beans, black beans, or kidney beans.
  • Use another ground meat. You can also use leaner ground turkey or chicken and save some calories!
  • Use chicken or beef stock instead of water. This will make the flavor richer.
  • Add some heat. If you aren’t feeding little ones, you can add more heat by adding more chili powder, chipotle peppers, or cayenne pepper.
three bowls of easy chili with slices of cornbread

How to Make This Easy Chili

You’ll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes! Here’s how to make this simple dinner recipe.

First, saute the onions and garlic in a dutch oven. You want to be sure that you cook them to be soft and translucent but not browned.

Then add the meat. Break up the meat while it cooks so that there are not any large chunks.

Add the seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, water, and tomato sauce. And then let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Lastly, add the beans. Then simmer for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Serve the chili warm. And, of course, don’t forget the toppings!

a wooden spoon with chili on it

Tips for Success

Follow these tips to make sure that your recipe turns out perfectly!

  • Deglaze with water if needed. If you notice that the beef, onions, and/or garlic start sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a little water. When the water hits the hot pan it will help release the stuck-on pieces of food and add more flavor to the dish.
  • If the chili gets too thick: If it gets thick add a little water or beef broth, especially after storing it in the refrigerator.
  • Use lean meat. The chili tends to get greasy when you use meat that has a higher fat percentage.
three bowls of easy chili with slices of cornbread

Topping Ideas

We love adding different toppings to our bowls. That’s the fun part! And here are some of our favorite ideas.

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chopped Onions
  • Sour Cream: Or plain Greek yogurt
  • Jalapenos: Pickled jalapenos would also be great!
  • Cilantro: Or fresh chives or green onions.
  • Avocado
taking a spoonful out of a bowl of chili

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

Then you can use a microwave to reheat or you can do it on the stove.

a big bowl of chili with a piece of cornbread in it

Can I Freeze Homemade Chili?

Yes! Freezing this recipe is a great idea. We recommend using freezer-friendly bags so that they can be stored flat in the freezer. This recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months.

a big bowl of chili with a piece of cornbread in it
4.4 from 7 votes
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Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Easy Chili

This Quick and Easy Chili is exploding with flavor and made in 30 minutes with just one pot with easy kitchen stables!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chili seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 27 oz can chili beans (do not drain or rinse)

Optional Toppings:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped onions
  • Sour cream
  • Jalapeños
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado


  • In a Dutch oven or large deep sided pot add oil and sauté onion for 2 minutes, add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes.
  • Add ground beef and simmer over medium heat, break up any large pieces of meat (if there is a lot of grease from the meat drain it before going further).
  • Add tomato sauce, chili seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes, continue simmering 20 minutes.
  • Add chili beans, stir and simmer 10 more minutes.
  • Serve warm with all your favorite toppings.


Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. This recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1, Calories: 838kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 67g, Fat: 54g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 29g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 212mg, Sodium: 1291mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 6g

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Recipe Rating

4 comments on “Easy Chili”

  1. Cooper & Elliette

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe, really easy and great for a couple, we really enjoyed this dish, easy to customize and personalize to your liking.

    1. Sorry Kristen, that is frustrating. Add the water when you add the tomato sauce. We will update these instructions. Thanks for letting us know.

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