Easy Ground Beef Chili

Chili with Beef and Beans
Diana Rattray
  • 2 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Ratings (22)

This hearty beef and bean chili is a comforting dish that will warm you up on cold fall and winter days.

We can thank Texas for introducing the rest of us to this fabulous dish. The typical Texas chili does not include beans, but there are many variations with kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans. It's the complex blend of ingredients that makes the best chili. You'll find this all-American dish in cans, on restaurant menus ("chili joints"), served on hot dogs or hamburgers, and used as a pasta sauce. 

In this version, the browned ground beef provides most of the protein, while vegetables, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings unite for a spicy and delicious long-simmered bowl of red that will impress your friends and family. 

The dish is versatile as well. The amount of jalapeno pepper can be adjusted up or down, depending on your heat tolerance. Unless it's labeled hot or spicy, most chili powders are fairly mild. For a spicier chili, taste and add some extra cayenne pepper. Some shredded carrots will add some natural sweetness to the chili, and they can easily be "hidden" in the chili for those picky kids.

For serving, consider freshly baked cornbread or cornbread muffins. This Tex-Mex cornbread is a great choice, and this no-knead jalapeno and cheese bread would be fantastic with the chili. Many people like to eat saltines with their chili. Or bake a pan of buttermilk biscuits to go with the chili.

Condiments are another way to personalize your chili. Serve the chili with little dishes of shredded or grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, lime wedges, diced onions, pickled jalapeno rings, avocado wedges or guacamole, or chopped cilantro. A fresh tossed green salad or homemade coleslaw can round out a chili meal nicely.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic (large, minced)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced)
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes, diced, with juices
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 (15 oz) can beans (e.g., chili beans, small red beans, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans)

How to Make It

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the beef is no longer pink. Drain off excess fat.
  2. Add chili powder, minced garlic, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes and tomato sauce, cumin, marjoram, and thyme. Stir to blend and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low; simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  1. Pour the canned beans into a colander; rinse and drain well. Add the beans to the chili and heat through.