Family Favorite Chili Recipe

I’ve been hesitant to post our family’s favorite chili recipe for quite awhile. Just like spaghetti, chili is a truly personal meal. What one family enjoys may be vastly different from what another family enjoy. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s a matter of individual taste for each person.

When I was growing up, my mom made a chili that was very mild and without beans. It was always good and I loved it then.

However, once I started cooking for my own family, I knew I wanted a chili with beans. And I wanted the taste to be a bit spicier.

So it’s taken me a few years to really get the recipe down, but now I think it’s at a place where our whole family loves it. We like our chili with an intense, well-developed flavor but not a burn-your-tongue level of spice. And we like more beans and less meat. Top with cheese, sour cream and some corn chips and we all dig in!


Family Favorite Chili Recipe

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Chili


  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans (or 1 can)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder*
  • 1 tsp cumin*
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder*
  • 2 tsp garlic powder*
  • 1 tsp salt*
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper*
  • 1/2 tsp allspice*
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes*


  • Brown ground beef with onion and green pepper in a large sauce pan or stock pot. Drain.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a slow boil, cover and reduce heat. Let simmer as long as desired, but at least 15 minutes. The longer it simmers the more the flavors will develop.


*NOTE – All spice measurements are an approximation as I just dump and stir. Adjust to taste as you go.
So, there you have, my favorite way to make chili. What’s yours? Do you like your chili with beans or without? Do you add any other veggies? Do you use cocoa powder? How do you top it?