This is a basic quick and easy ground beef chili with beans recipe that can easily be adapted with more seasonings and spices, plus other add-ins. I keep it on the mild side for my daughter but feel free to add more chipotle chili powder if you like.
Chili is a mainstay in our home all year-round, not just in the winter. We serve this is as an easy and affordable meal and it’s especially great as a make-ahead meal or lazy weekend. Chili is even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld so we always make a big pot and plan for the leftovers.
This is a basic quick and easy ground beef chili with beans recipe that can easily be adapted with more seasonings and spices, plus other add-ins. I keep it on the mild side for my daughter but feel free to add more chipotle chili powder if you like (I’ve included 7 recipe variations below – so keep reading).
We like our chili served with a variety of sides and toppings like tortilla chips, cornbread, saltines, shredded cheese, fresh white onions, sour cream, and hot sauce. Personally, I think chili is amazing over a loaded baked potato for an easy meal.
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Ground beef chili Ingredients and Tools:
- Ground Beef, (I use lean ground beef)
- Tomato Sauce
- Chili Powder
- Ground pepper
- Beans (optional)
How to prepare beef chili
For full instructions, see the printable recipe card below, but you will:
- Brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic.
- Add the seasonings.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and beans.
- Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Simmer to perfection.
- Serve with your favorite accompaniments.
Variations on ground beef chili recipe:
- Saucier – add a second can of tomato sauce and adjust the seasonings accordingly, to taste.
- Hearty – add a can of diced tomatoes and another can of drained and rinsed beans.
- Zesty – add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Smoky – replace sweet paprika with smoked paprika.
- Tex-Mex – use diced stew beef instead of ground beef – requires a much longer simmer.
- Chicken or Turkey – replace ground beef with ground chicken or turkey.
- vegetarian – replace ground beef with soy protein crumbles.
How to store leftover chili?
- Store leftover chili in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How to reheat leftover ground beef chili with beans?
- Reheat on the stovetop over low heat. It may be necessary to add a 1/8 cup of water to loosen it up some in the pan.
- Microwave in a microwave-safe bowl at 50% power at one-minute intervals, stirring between each additional interval of time.
How can I repurpose leftover chili?
- Serving leftover chili over baked potatoes or tortilla chips is our favorite way to use up leftover ground beef chili.
Side Dish Ideas | What to serve with quick and Easy ground beef chili with beans
- Sweet Cornbread
- Tortilla chips
- saltine crackers (I like Oyster soup crackers)
- Baked Potatoes
Looking for a chili recipe? Check out some of my other Chili Recipes:
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Ground Beef Chili with Beans
- 2 pounds lean ground beef , 93% or leaner
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin [See Note 1]
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tsp salt , more or less to taste
- 1 tsp ground pepper more or less to taste
- 2 cups kidney beans if canned -rinsed and drained
- Place the ground beef in a large pot and add the onions and garlic.
- Cook over medium heat until browned.
- Drain off any excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and ground black pepper.
- Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low.
- For a quick weeknight meal, simmer over low heat for 25minutes, stirring occasionally.If you have more time, simmer on low for an hour, stirring occassionally.
- If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Use more or less cumin to taste.
- Saucier - add a second can of tomato sauce and adjust the seasonings accordingly, to taste.
- Hearty - add a can of diced tomatoes and another can of drained and rinsed beans.
- Zesty - add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.smoky - replace sweet paprika with smoked paprika.
- Tex-Mex - use diced stew beef instead of ground beef
- Turkey - replace ground beef with ground turkey
- vegetarian - replace ground beef with protein crumbles