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Old Fashioned Chili Recipe

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Let me tell you why this easy chili recipe is the world’s best!

Old fashioned chili is an easy, delicious, homemade meal that is ready in just half an hour.

My simple recipe combines beef and beans with a robust tomato sauce and spices for a hearty pot of chili you’ll love. 

You can even pop it in your slow cooker! Grab your chili powder and meet me in kitchen to create the perfect chili recipe. 

Old Fashioned Chili Recipe

There is something so fulfilling and rewarding in the process of making something delicious for the people you love.

A simple, homemade recipe is so good for the soul — both for the person making it and the people getting to enjoy it.

Whenever I have a hard day, I head to the kitchen.

The chopping, the stirring, the simmering, the melding of flavors is good therapy for a tired heart.

I love knowing that I am creating something that will nourish those I love.

In all the chaos life and this world… hearty, filling food is a tangible way to say, “I’m here. I care. I love you.”

In a world of quick heat and serve, taking the time to make something worth eating is a beautiful tradition I will always hold onto.

(I’m obsessed with this chili mac recipe — be sure to try it soon! And my friend April’s Wendy’s Chili Recipe.)

Last summer we had our first annual BBQ with neighbors.  I pulled out the grill, grabbed a cooler full of drinks and all my neighbors headed to my backyard with a dish to pass.

We had the absolute best time. There were hours of laughter and conversation — it was so special.

Let me say: I have hands down, the absolute best neighbors. I truly hit the neighbor lottery.

Not only could I borrow gallons of milk and buckets of sugar from them, they love my kids oh-so-good. There is a peace of mind that comes knowing that I could pick up the phone at any hour and they’d show up.

Truly, they crazy bless my heart.

I especially love making chili so I’m partnering with Mirum to bring you a delicious, all American recipe from my family to yours. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we do.

As we prepare for the holidays, I got all mooshy gooshy and thought about how much I love my neighbors. That made me reflect on how much I enjoyed our summertime BBQ together.

And it got me thinking how wonderful it would be to do something like that again.

I could make a big pot of my favorite old fashioned chili, some cornbread muffins and invite everyone over for a gathering before Christmas.

This old fashioned chili recipe will make you think of meals at grandma’s when you were little. It’s hearty and filling. The flavors are perfect.

It’s the best chili recipe!

My boys always scrape their bowls clean and then come back for seconds. And sometimes thirds. That’s how good it is — dare I say, award winning even?

There aren’t often leftovers of it, that’s how much we gobble it up. It’s hearty and filling and everything you hope for when you think of a bowl of chili.

Meals from scratch should never be underestimated.

Tomato Sauce for Chili

I always use Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes when I make my chili. I feel good knowing I’m serving something high quality to my family. The quality and flavor can’t be beat!

I love serving it along side some fresh, hot cornbread.

You should be baking some cornbread right.this.second. And eating it with butter and chili until you’re full and happy.

So let’s get onto the recipe!

Hunt's Chili Recipe

Chili Ingredients

All the ingredients are basic, but they create a wonderful, mild flavor that’s so good.

Plus, it’s quick to pull together, which is perfect if you’re a busy mama like me.

And it’s even better on the second day, if you happen to have leftovers. Which doesn’t always happen in my house. 😉

You’ll need ground beef and kidney beans for starters. To make it a little more healthy, you could also use ground turkey.

I also use green peppers and a yellow onion.

From Hunt’s: diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. High quality ingredients make a big difference in the finished product.

Sometimes I throw in a dash of brown sugar as well. I tell the boys it’s a secret ingredient.

What Spices Go in a Chili Recipe

This easy chili recipe is packed with yummy seasoning, which in my opinion, makes it the best chili recipe ever.

My best friend lives in Texas and all the spices in this easy chili recipe remind me of the Southern meals I’ve eaten with her.

For seasoning in this recipe, we’re grabbing allllll the spices. They’re going to combine to create the most amazing flavor.

You’ll use chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, cayenne, salt, white pepper and baking soda.

Hunt's Diced Tomatoes

How to Make Chili

This recipe really is easy peasy.

  • First, in a large dutch oven, you’ll saute the diced peppers and onions until they’re translucent and start to caramelize.
  • Next, add in your seasoning, mins the baking soda, and cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring continuously. You don’t want anything to burn, so make sure you keep stirring!
  • Add your ground meat and brown until it’s just done. It’s okay if it still has some pink in it before you add the rest of your ingredients because you’re going to continue cooking it.
  • Pour in your tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the drained beans.
  • Finally, stir in the baking soda. This will cause the sauce to start to bubble up. Keep stirring over medium heat until the bubbles have gone away.
  • Remove from heat and you’re ready to serve with your yummy cornbread!

You’ll want to make this delicious old fashioned chili recipe over and over again.

What Beans Do You Use in a Chili Recipe?

Traditionally, you would use kidney beans in chili. But you could also try another kind of bean such as black beans or pinto beans.

You could also increase the beans and reduce the amount of meat — or eliminate the meat altogether to make it a vegetarian option.

What to Serve with Chili

Obviously, I adore a good cornbread along with my chili. It’s such an amazing and classic flavor combination.

I also love serving it with a dollop of sour cream and some sharp cheddar cheese on top.

When I was in high school, a dear friend of mine celebrated her birthday in October.

Each year, we would gather at her house for a big pot of her mom’s AMAZING homemade chili and games of bloody Mary in her huge, wooded back yard.

The first year I attended her party, when her mom served me my bowl of chili, there was a big spoonful of sour cream on top and a handful of shredded, sharp cheddar cheese. I was amazed — I had never tried it that way before and was blown away by how incredible the flavor was.

I’ve been hooked on the sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese serving method ever since. I don’t think my boys know any other way to eat it!

Sometimes my guys request blueberry muffins instead of cornbread. I think the sweet tastes good with the savory chili.

When I make plain cornbread, I serve it with gobs of butter and sweet jelly. That sweet with the savory is incredible.

Chili and Cornbread

Enjoy this easy chili recipe with your family soon. I absolutely love it and it’s some of my favorite kitchen time memories we make together.

Old Fashioned Chili Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Old Fashioned Chili Recipe

This old fashioned chili recipe will make you think of meals at grandma’s when you were little. It’s hearty and filling. The flavors are perfect!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chili Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 338 kcal


  • 2 pounds ground beef/turkey
  • 2 small green peppers about 2 cups diced
  • 1 small yellow onion about 1.5 cups diced
  • 2-15 ounce cans Hunts Diced Tomatoes
  • 1-15 ounce can Hunts Tomato Sauce
  • 1-6 ounce can Hunts Tomato Paste
  • 1-15 ounce cans water
  • 2-15 ounce cans kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. In a large dutch oven, saute diced peppers and onions until translucent and they start to caramelize.
  2. Add seasonings (minus the baking soda) and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. (Make sure they don’t burn.)
  3. Add ground meat and brown until just done. It’s okay if it still has some pink in it before you add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water and tomato paste.
  5. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add the drained beans.
  6. Stir in the baking soda. The sauce will start to bubble up. Stir over medium heat until the bubbles have gone away.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with cornbread.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Old Fashioned Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 338
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Old Fashioned Chili Recipe and Cornbread
Layne Henderson

Layne is a boy mom in love. Surrounded by three adventurous little men, she's in pursuit of an empty laundry basket, the perfect cup of coffee, and sleep. She blogs, parents, and manages social media while wearing her tiara.


    1. Mark

      May 16, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Good to try the cornbread and the old fashioned chili sounds good

      • Annette Egenlauf

        July 29, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        I’m excited to give your old fashioned chili sounds so yummy good, I know my husband will love it!
        As for your corn bread recipe, ooh Lala, I’ll add some of the hotter spice, maybe a tiny pinch okay!!
        Thanks for the recipes <3

    2. Hannah Griffin

      May 16, 2018 at 10:10 pm


    3. Faye

      May 17, 2018 at 11:12 am

      homemade recipe + how-to video = great recipe!

    4. Patricia Denson

      May 21, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      I used creamed corn in place of the milk and it takes it up a notch. It is like the outside of a tamale, so good. I use bell pepper if it is the only pepper I have available.

      • Agnes

        May 23, 2018 at 8:35 pm

        I don’t see milk in the recipe?

        • Agnes

          May 23, 2018 at 8:37 pm

          Nm. I thought you were talking about the chili 🤣🤣

        • gordon buzzell

          August 13, 2018 at 4:43 pm

          Corn Bread !

    5. Pam

      May 22, 2018 at 7:02 am

      What does the baking soda add to the recipe?

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        May 22, 2018 at 2:29 pm

        Hi, Pam – it helps cuts the acid in the tomatoes! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, we hope you enjoy it!

        • Julie

          August 1, 2018 at 10:21 am

          The sugar also does this

        • Carrie

          August 15, 2018 at 5:39 pm

          But the sugar can change the taste. I know someone who puts brown sugar in spaghetti sauce and it tasted like canned Chef Boyardee spaghetti, it was so gross. I am leery about putting sugar in tomato based dishes because of that.

    6. Patti L.

      May 25, 2018 at 1:01 am

      Hi ! Why the baking soda ?? Thanks !

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        May 26, 2018 at 9:46 am

        It helps cut the acid from the tomatoes. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy 🙂

      • Sharon

        June 4, 2018 at 6:19 pm

        In addition to cutting the acid in tge tomatoes, it reduces the amount of gas produced by the beans. My mom and grandmother always added baking soda when cooking beans.

        • gordon buzzell

          August 13, 2018 at 4:34 pm

          Baking soda to reduce the acid and less gas, great idea !

    7. Petra

      May 27, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Hi this recipe looks amazing!!! Just wondering if you know what I would substitute the corn muffin mix for in Australia?

      • Cheryl Bane

        September 6, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        Can you at least buy corn meal and make your own homemade corn bread?

    8. LaShundra Woods

      June 5, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Green peppers as in bell peppers?

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        June 6, 2018 at 9:27 am

        Hi, LaShundra — yes, bell peppers! 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

    9. LaShundra Woods

      June 5, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Hi do you mean bell peppers when you say green peppers?

    10. Terri

      June 19, 2018 at 10:47 am

      For muffins it takes 3 boxes of jiffy?

    11. Gloria Slivensky

      July 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      This recipe looks to be an excellent one! May I offer a suggestion? Chile is a staple in my Mexican culture. Try adding cocoa powder with a pinch of your brown sugar or a few pieces of chocolate chips to your chile. It gives a deep, earthy & wonderful flavor to your chile. The cocoa/chocolate is my secret ingredient…

      • Sheila Smith

        September 19, 2018 at 9:41 am

        Can you tell me how much cocoa and brown sugar you’d add to a pot of chili this size?

    12. Jackie

      July 20, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      I made this chili for dinner tonight and it was FABULOUS!!!!!! Followed the recipe exactly except added a little chopped celery and an extra can of beans(pinto) because I love beans and celery! Yum! Yum! Yum! Thank you for this deliciousness!!

    13. Ruth

      July 24, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      How many servings in the chili? The nutritional info showed calories per serving, but not how many, or amount in each serving

    14. Sara

      July 30, 2018 at 11:31 am

      LOVE a great chili recipe, can’t wait to try it. I live in Wyoming and it’s a must to serve cinnamon rolls with chili! Delicious!!

    15. Becca Hensel

      July 30, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Can you please provide full nutritional information and number of servings for each of the recipes of chili and cornbread? Thank you very much!

    16. Thomas Humbach

      August 2, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Please, drain the grease. There is probably a cup of that stuff in the ground beef.

      • Brenda Thompson

        August 23, 2018 at 11:15 pm

        If you use a good quality of ground beef the small amount of grease you get will not only add flavor but will be fine with the addition of the baking soda.

    17. Allan

      August 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      Will try your Chili recipe,and Corbread

    18. lloyd hayden

      August 5, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      can you make the chili in a slow cooker

    19. lloyd hayden

      August 5, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      can you also use a crock pot instead of dutch oven

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        August 6, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        I’m sure you could but adjust the cooking time, etc. I haven’t made it that way yet!

    20. Dianne Evans

      August 13, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      What does “3 box corn muffin mix” mean? Is that 3, 8.5-oz. boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix?

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        August 14, 2018 at 9:40 am


    21. Myra sims

      August 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Try cheese in your bowl before you add chili…delishh

    22. Suz

      August 24, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      Add 1/2 regular sized Hershey choc. Bar!! Yummo!

    23. Freida

      August 30, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      Also a dollop of sour cream and some grated sharp cheese on Tom ….mmmmmm

    24. Jodi

      September 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Hi! This sounds great! I don’t see the brown sugar in the recipe. How much do you add?

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        September 3, 2018 at 9:29 pm

        I add maybe a tablespoon when I do add it, but I don’t always. Enjoy 🙂

    25. Wendy Hajder

      September 6, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      I would love to try this recipe, the only thing I’m hesitant on is the 3 Tbsp. of cumin…no way can I add that much, 1 tsp. is too spicy for me. Is it by any chance a misprint? Otherwise I will do this, without the large amt. of cumin (:

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        September 6, 2018 at 2:03 pm

        You could definitely make it with less if you want!

    26. Debbie Wilson

      September 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      That is really excellent chili! I just made it and couldn’t resist tasting it before it was done simmering. I was worried about the sweetness but after I added the soda it took away that and it’s just perfect!! Thank you

    27. Cynthia Warner

      September 11, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      What is the sodium content in a serving?

    28. Cheryl

      September 12, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      How long does it keep in the frig, and also what about freezing it? It is really good😀

    29. Martha Wilson

      September 15, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      When you brown the ground beef. uou font drain the grease off?

    30. Lana

      September 18, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Definitely going to make this Chili. Sounds Yummy and on rainy days or Cold days I am sure it will make everyone nice and warm inside.


      September 22, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      I love love chili in the Fall & Winter, but I only eat chili over rice, it is so yummy, I’m going to give your recipe a try this weekend.

    32. Mary

      September 23, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      Try cinnamon rolls with your chili. I love cornbread with honey but cinnamon rolls with chili is fantastic!

    33. Alfred T.

      October 15, 2018 at 4:28 am

      Made this tonight for dinner, it was a huge success. Brought the leftovers in to share at work. Everyone is asking for the recipe. Made 2 boxes of corn bread to go with it and homemade honey butter to top it. This will definitely be a staple recipe for my family. Thank you

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