12+ Easy Chili Recipes – Rachel Cooks®

Just in time for football games and busy weeknights, these easy chili recipes will warm you up and satisfy hungry appetites. Homemade chili is nutritious and hearty, always a great make-ahead meal.

Chili recipes round up graphic, including text and photos.

Homemade chili is the perfect answer to the dinnertime dilemma especially in this busy fall season. You can put a pot of chili on the stove to simmer, or even better, in the slow cooker, and it’s ready to eat when you are. Chili isn’t a fussy meal that has to be eaten immediately. In fact, chili likes to simmer quietly as you rush around. It actually gets tastier.

If your family is anything like mine, September is a busy month with school, sports activities, and games. Often we end up with an unexpected hungry guest or two at the table. Chili can stretch to feed a crowd, or, if you happen to have some chili leftover, no problem! It’s great left over (check out the ideas below) and freezes well for future meals.

Enjoy this collection of easy chili recipes. If you feel like you’re in a chili rut, try a new recipe. There’s something for everyone here, from vegetarian to chicken to hearty beef chili, even a Caribbean-style chili for the more adventurous.

Need a quick chili? Give my Instant Pot chili recipes a try. They taste like they’ve been simmered all day but they’re ready to eat in a fraction of the time.

Favorite Chili Toppings

A bowlful of chili is delicious just as it is but why not take it to the next level with toppings? Much like tacos, you can make your chili more exciting with a selection of toppings.

Try shredded cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. Add more vegetable power to your chili with jalapeño peppers, sliced green onions, or chopped white onions. Fresh cilantro leaves or snipped chives are great choices. Diced avocado or creamy guacamole are so good on chili. Add pickled red onions or sliced olives. Tortilla chips, saltine crackers, oyster crackers, or Fritos are popular, too.

Homemade Chili Seasoning Recipe

Make your own homemade chili seasoning with spices and herbs you may have in your pantry. Put together a double or triple batch so you have it ready whenever you need it. My chili powder blend has a couple of surprising ingredients that will take your chili recipes to the next level.

What To Serve With Chili

What is the secret to making Good Chili?

Are you looking for that special something that will make your chili recipe outstanding? Although you can’t go wrong with any of the tried and true recipes listed below, I have a few tips that will make a difference in your chili.

Remember that everyone has personal preferences so what may sound good to you may not be the perfect chili recipe for someone else. The following tips apply to most chili recipes.

  • Dice the vegetables correctly. Most chili recipes include a few aromatics such as onions, celery, and peppers, and many recipes include other vegetables, too. Dice the vegetables evenly and into small pieces. They’re there to add flavor but shouldn’t be super noticeable.
  • Brown the meat. If you’re adding meat to your chili, it’s best to cook it first, especially ground meat. Break up large chunks. Remember, you eat chili with a spoon so everything needs to be spoon-sized.
  • Rinse and drain the beans. If you’re adding canned beans, be sure to rinse the beans first. You don’t want that juicy, sludgy stuff in your chili.
  • Try homemade chili seasoning. Consider making your own blend of chili powder. Try my recipe for chili seasoning; tweak it so it’s perfect for you.
  • Simmer the chili. Cook chili over low heat, giving it time to simmer. Let the flavors develop and blend together. Simmering the chili gives it a great consistency, too.
  • Taste the chili. Always taste a spoonful of the chili before you serve it. Adjust the seasoning as needed. It may need more salt, a little more spice, or even a spoonful of sugar to adjust the acidity of the tomatoes.

Kitchenaid slow cooker product image on white background.

Need a Slow Cooker for Your Chili?

A slow cooker is ideal for simmering chili and for keeping it warm until you’re ready to serve it. If you’re hosting a large get-together, consider making two different kinds of chili. Offer a variety of toppings and sides.

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Make Ahead Ideas

  • Make a double batch. It’s just as easy to make a double batch as a single batch, as long as you have a large enough pan. Even if you don’t, use two separate pans. Eat one pan of chili tonight and freeze the other panful for an easy dinner in the future.
  • Prep the ingredients ahead of time. If you plan on putting the chili in the slow cooker before you go to work, save time in the morning by prepping some of the ingredients the night before. Just chopping up the veggies will save you about 15 minutes.

Storage & Reheating Tips

  • Refrigerate: Cool chili to room temperature before refrigerating. If chili has sat out for more than 2 hours, it should probably be discarded. Store it in a covered container for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: Chili can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 4 months. You can also freeze chili in resealable freezer bags. They lie flat in the freezer and thaw out more quickly. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat: Chili can be reheated on the stove over medium low heat until warmed through. Heat individual portions in the microwave, using microwave-safe bowls. It’s always a good idea to cover the chili, especially if it contains beans which tend to explode when microwaved.

Leftover Love

Use leftover chili for another great meal.

12+ Easy Chili Recipes

Beef Chili With Beans

Feeding a crowd? Make a big pot of beef chili with beans! This easy chili can be simmered until you’re ready to serve it with all the toppings everyone loves.

Check out this recipe

Beef chili with beans in a white bowl.
Creamy Queso Chili

Everything you love about chili is in this creamy queso chili, with the added excitement of a velvety cheese sauce. You may never go back to your normal chili recipe!

Check out this recipe

Overhead view of colorful creamy queso chili in a white bowl on a white surface.
Vegetarian Quinoa Chili With Black Beans

The quinoa in vegetarian quinoa chili provides a meaty texture, without the meat. This easy chili recipe is easy to make, healthy and oh so satisfying.

Check out this recipe

Round bowl of quinoa chili with black beans, garnished with sour cream and jalapeno.
Slow Cooker Texas Chili

Rich and full of warm heat, this slow cooker Texas chili will instantly become your favorite chili recipe. The big chunks of tender beef melt in your mouth!

Check out this recipe

image of texas style chili in a white bowl with a handle, garnished with sour cream, cilantro, and jalapeno
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Making Instant Pot white chicken chili is so quick and easy, you’ll wonder how you got along without this easy chili recipe. Plus, it’s dairy free!

Check out this recipe

Image of pressure cooker white chili in a black bowl with garnishes.
Vegetarian Chili Recipe – Stovetop or Slow Cooker

You’ll discover that chili recipes don’t require meat to be hearty and delicious. This vegetarian chili is thick, rich, and flavorful.

Check out this recipe

Overhead view of chili in a white bowl with fritos, sour cream, jalapeno.
Chili Seasoning Recipe

This chili seasoning is a perfect blend to have in your cupboard, so convenient for easy chili recipes. There are a couple surprises that set this spice mix apart!

Check out this recipe

Overhead view of spices in a white bowl.
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili Recipe

Slow cooker white chicken chili may become your go-to recipe for cool weather entertaining and busy weeknights. Included in the recipe are more than 5 ways to adapt this easy chili recipe and make it perfect for YOU!

Check out this recipe

A serving of white chili in blue rimmed white bowl.
Instant Pot Chili

Instant Pot chili is healthy, adaptable and easy to make. Read all my tips to make it your perfect chili recipe – spicy, mild, vegetarian, Whole30, Paleo, not Paleo, whatever you like. You can even make it in the slow cooker or on the stove!

Check out this recipe

Instant Pot Chili is healthy, adaptable and easy to make. Read all my tips to make it your perfect chili recipe - spicy, mild, vegetarian, Whole30, Paleo, not Paleo, whatever you like, I tell you how to make it happen in this recipe! Get the easy pressure cooker recipe on RachelCooks.com!
Easy Chicken Chili – 5 Ingredients!

A packet of chicken taco seasoning not only makes this easy chicken chili a breeze to make, it also lends unbelievable flavor to this super easy chili recipe!

Check out this recipe

Chili in white bowl with handle garnished with parsley leaves.
Turkey Quinoa Chili Recipe

Extra filling (18 grams of protein!) and extra flavorful, this healthy turkey quinoa chili recipe is the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal — and it freezes well!

Check out this recipe

Extra filling and extra flavorful, this turkey quinoa chili is the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal -- and it freezes well! Get the healthy chili recipe on RachelCooks.com!
White Chicken Chili

White chicken chili, gently seasoned and loaded with chicken, corn, beans, and tomatoes, is one of my most requested chili recipes!

Check out this recipe

Chicken chili in a bowl garnished with avocado, cilantro, cheese.
Jerk Chicken Chili

Spicy, flavorful, and simple to make, jerk chicken chili will give you a taste of the islands in your own kitchen! This is a fun variation of chicken chili recipes.

Check out this recipe

Jerk chicken chili topped with mango.

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