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Easy Beef Chili – Slender Kitchen

This healthy Easy Beef Chili that only takes thirty minutes to make and has tons of smoky and spicy flavor. This easy homemade chili is filling, hearty, and can be made in advance. 

Chili is one of those dishes that I love making. There is just something soothing about standing over a pot of hearty, warm chili. However sometimes there just isn’t time for two or more hours of chili making and on those days, I make this quick and easy chili recipe. It’s packed with flavor without all the fuss of more complex chili recipes. Like many chilis, this tastes even better the next day so make it ahead of time if you can.

Consider this easy homemade chili recipe as a base recipe to build from to create your family’s perfect chili. You can switch up the protein, using turkey, bison, or pork. You can swap in a different kind of bean, using whatever you have on hand. You can kick up the spice level using a canned chipotle pepper, extra chili powder, or a pinch of cayenne. You can even add some veggies. Consider carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower, or zucchini.

Easy Beef chili recipe in a bowl with a checkered napkin and crackers..

Is this chili con carne? How do you make as easy chili con carne?

It is! Chili con carne simply refers to a chili soup with beef. There are tons of different variations and this recipe is one way to make a quick and easy chili con carne. Typically it will always have ground beef, tomatoes, beans, and either chili powder or fresh chili peppers. Aftet that, everyone makes their own versions. Some people make it super spicy, others add brown sugar for some sweetness, and some people like to make it extremely thick with virtually no broth. Start with this recipe and then try out variations to find the version you like best.

How do you thicken up chili?

The best way to thicken up chili is to limit the amount of broth you use when making your chili. Usually I recommend adding the broth slowly until you reach the consistency you like. Some people like it thick and some like it more like a soup. If you have already added the liquid and want to thicken it, you have two options. You can use cornstarch mixed with cold water or flour mixed with cold water. Just make sure to mix them before adding them to the soup so that they don’t clump.

Typically, what ingredients go into chili?

Homemade Chili or chili con carne almost always has ground beef (or another protein), kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Then to add spice it usually has chili powder and/or cayenne pepper. To finish out the spice profile, people usually use cumin for smoke and paprika.

What do serve with chili?

There are so many options for chili. You can top it with sliced green onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, black olives, diced red onion, cilantro, or tortilla chips. When it comes to a side dish, cornbread is a classic option. For a healthier spin, serve it over some spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice. You can even make a healthy chili cheese fries or chili dogs with this easy beef chili.

Beef chili in a white bowl with a glass blurred in the background.

Ways to Customize this Easy Beef Chili Recipe

  • Vegetarian: Double up the beans instead of using the ground beef. You can also use vegetarian crumbles in place of the beef.
  • Low Carb: Leave out the beans and add in some extra beef. You could also use canned black soy beans.
  • No beans: If you don’t like beans at all, you have a few options. You can use twice as much meat or add in quinoa, lentils, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash.
  • Different Protein: You can use ground turkey or chicken in this recipe instead of the beef. For Weight Watchers, this reduced the Freestyle SmartPoints to just 1.
  • More Veggies: Kick up the nutrition by adding more veggies. Cauliflower, sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, bell peppers, or carrots all work well.