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Old Fashioned Chili Recipe

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Let me tell you why this is the best chili recipe – bonus points that it is easy too!

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.

Grab your chili powder and meet me in kitchen to create the perfect chili recipe. Don’t forget to pair it with cornbread, beer bread or cheese biscuits.

Old Fashioned Chili Recipe

Making The Best Chili:

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.

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.

Our neighbors held a chili cook off recently. I made a big pot of my favorite old fashioned chili, some cornbread muffins and made my way over to the big event. It was a HUGE HIT!

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. (This beef and bean chili is a close second.)

It’s the best chili recipe! Everyone 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.

It’s a pretty versatile recipe too. I have also adapted this recipe to make this chili dog recipe (the kids LOVE it) and these chili cheese fries, which are my absolute favorite.

I’ve even added macaroni to make the most delicious chili mac and cheese.

Meals from scratch should never be underestimated.

I especially love making chili so I’m partnering with Mirum and their client Hunts 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.

Hunt's Diced Tomatoes

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.

You’ll need:

  • ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • kidney beans
  • green pepper
  • yellow onion
  • diced tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • tomato paste

Tomato Sauce for Chili

I use Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes when I make my chili. I feel good knowing I’m serving something high quality to my family. They make a big difference in the finished product and the flavor can’t be beat!

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.

How to Make Chili

This recipe really is easy peasy. Or go here if you want a slow cooker version.

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.

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

If you’re looking for another option, try my recipe for turkey chili – it’s delicious and easy.

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 love serving chili alongside 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.

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.

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!

I also love it a homemade caesar salad on the side. The creaminess of the salad goes great with chili.

If you’re looking to follow it up with a great dessert, may I suggest my Grandma’s super easy peach cobbler.

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.

More Recipes You Will Love

Old Fashioned Chili Recipe

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!
5 from 28 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chili Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 338kcal


  • 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


  • In a large dutch oven, saute diced peppers and onions until translucent and they start to caramelize.
  • Add seasonings (minus the baking soda) and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. (Make sure they don’t burn.)
  • 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.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water and tomato paste.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add the drained beans.
  • Stir in the baking soda. The sauce will start to bubble up. Stir over medium heat until the bubbles have gone away.
  • Remove from heat and serve with cornbread.



Calories: 338kcal
Tried this recipe?Follow me on Pinterest @spaceshipslb


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. Marie-Paule

      November 4, 2018 at 8:57 am

      This is by far The Best Chili Recipe! The only change I make is I cook the ground beef and veggies and throw everything in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours. Freezes well too for quick lunches!!

      • Shelley

        November 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm

        I was wondering if I could just use my slow cooker. Glad I can. I made chili before in it, it was a different recipe & it was a big hit. I never heard of baking soda in a chili.. I am going to make this tomorrow. For my roommates 50th birthday dinner.

    2. kman

      November 4, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      So far, so good! I initially thought it was an extreme amount of spices, but it tastes great. I opted for a can of kidney beans, and one of black beans. Love the baking soda – it was like a science experiment. After simmering, we put it in our crock pot….tastes great! I also only had chili tomato sauce and chili beans…The only thing we didn’t put in was the chipotle powder, since we couldn’t find any at the store. I also thought that it just wouldn’t be “that much”…but filled a big crock pot. I was ready to add some v8…but nope – perfect as is. Can’t remember what website I got the recipe from – as I “saved” it on my facebook account.

    3. Rachelle

      November 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      can you use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

    4. Mary

      November 7, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      It is delicious keeper!

    5. Sharon

      November 8, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      On Saturday, your chili recipe will be served at our church Call Bazaar Soup kitchen. It was quite easy to mak e and smells SO GOOD. I didn’t have chipotle powder so just added a half tablespoon more of chili powder. Thanks for sharing your recipe on Pinterest!

    6. Dana

      November 10, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      just made this and it is delicious. Even my finicky husband liked it,ofof course I had to separate into two separate post before adding the beans since said husband won’t eat beans. Will make again.

    7. Erin

      November 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      This is exactly what this cold day needs, such a great comforting bowl of chili!

    8. Kerry

      December 3, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      It was a deeeeelish recipe!

    9. Julie lucchesi

      December 8, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Omg the BEST chili I ever had. My daughter begs me to make it. In fact its cooking now. Had to come back to the recipe for measurements. We cant wait to ear it.

    10. Tom

      December 10, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      So how do I adapt for crock pot? Do I just saute peppers, onions and beef then put all in crock? When would I then add baking soda if at all?

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        December 11, 2018 at 6:40 am

        Yes, that’s what I would do. As far as the baking soda… I haven’t tried it in the crockpot, but you could try doing it according to the directions and see how that works or completely omit it if you wanted to. Enjoy!

        • Dawn

          January 5, 2019 at 11:50 am

          How long do you think it needs to be a crockpot? Can I just add it all raw?

        • Layne Henderson

          Layne Henderson

          January 7, 2019 at 7:25 am

          I would cook the meat before adding it to the crockpot and then add everything. I would do on low 4-6 hours.

    11. Bruce Simrod

      December 24, 2018 at 9:27 pm

      I really want to know the purpose of the baking soda, what is it to accomplish; very curious

    12. Karla

      December 25, 2018 at 12:21 am

      Such a great chili recipe and so easy! Love the kidney beans!

    13. diane

      December 25, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      These are perfect on baked potatoes! Such a quick and fabulous dinner.

    14. Whitney

      January 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      Hi! 🙂
      How much cups of water?

    15. Marilyn Dennett

      January 2, 2019 at 2:14 pm

      I have heard of this recipe except for the baking soda. What does it do?

    16. Peg Hersom

      January 4, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      This sounds delish, but I always brown my meat and drain it before adding other ingredients. You don’t mention draining.

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        January 4, 2019 at 7:47 pm

        I didn’t drain it, but you’re welcome to if that’s how you prefer to do it. Enjoy!

    17. Nancy Jackson

      January 6, 2019 at 11:48 am

      Love this recipe! I also add a little cocoa powder and cinnamon. Not enough to really taste… just adds a little depth of flavor

    18. Pamela Gurganus

      January 7, 2019 at 8:20 pm

      I probably overlooked it, but what is the purpose of the baking soda?

    19. Jodi

      January 7, 2019 at 11:29 pm

      You say it had 8 servings but how much is in a serving . Made it tonight but trying to figure out points for weight watchers . Thank you so much

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        January 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm

        Hi, Jodi – each serving is about 1.5 cups. I hope you enjoy it!

    20. Carrie T

      January 10, 2019 at 1:20 am

      Why the baking soda?

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        January 10, 2019 at 5:55 am

        It cuts down on the acidity of the tomatoes. I hope you enjoy!

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