This Easy Homemade Chili will warm even the chilliest of nights. It’s an easy weeknight dinner, but feels special enough for your fall entertaining.

This traditional chili is made with classic ingredients: ground beef, beans, seasonings and topped with fresh shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Bonus – it only takes 10 minutes to throw together and is packed full of flavor.

A white bowl of chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

You know my passion for effortless entertaining – and even more, I love a quick and easy meal that everyone enjoys. Whether it be a tailgate, game day party, or fall outing this easy chili is one of the best dinners and doesn’t require a side dish! That makes this recipe a surefire win in my book.

When you take a bite, you’d never know that this easy chili takes just 10 minutes hands on time to make. It’s even easier to serve! Click here for more 10 minute dinner recipes like these reader favorite Walking Tacos, and don’t skip my Easy Minestrone Recipe if this is your family’s favorite kind of dinner!

I personally was never a big chili fan until a few years ago – until I found the perfect  mix of seasoning, beef, beans, creme fraiche {or sour cream}, fresh shredded cheddar and chips to make it the perfect fall or winter dinner.

So many chili recipes call for long cook times, but my quick chili results in the same rich taste in a fraction of the time. We love to treat this simple chili recipe as a base, and throw in extra seasonings, veggies and beans depending on what we have on hand!

I think you’re going to love it too – let’s get started!

Homemade chili in a pot ready to serve

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • So fast to throw together
  • Mostly pantry ingredients
  • Great for serving a crowd
  • Perfect for game day and fall and winter entertaining
  • Easily doubles

Easy Homemade Chili Ingredients

You just need a handful of ingredients to make the best quick chili!

  • Ground Beef – 80/20 is best here for tender chunks of beef in every bite.
  • Red Bell Pepper – Any color of pepper will work but we love this pop of color.
  • Dried Onion – For rich flavor with no extra dicing required.
  • Chili Beans – Don’t drain them – the liquid is just as important as the beans in this recipe because it means we aren’t adding any additional spices!
  • Water or Beer – We prefer beer for a deep, rich layer of flavor as it simmers. You can also sub with beef or veggie stock here!
  • To Serve: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips


  • Substitute beer for water, vegetable stock or beef stock.
  • Add a little tomato paste (or tomato paste substitute) for a more robust tomato base.
  • For an overall leaner chili, go with the lowest fat ground beef you can find.
  • If you prefer your chili with a soup consistency, just add a 12 ounce bottle of beer in place of the water. The hoppier, the better, like an IPA.
  • For even more of a flavor pop, add a tablespoon of my favorite taco seasoning, fajita seasoning or Cajun seasoning.

How to Make Homemade Chili

This chili only takes 10 minutes to make!

  1. Make the Base – Brown beef with spices and add beer. Allow to simmer.
  2. Garnish – Top with fresh shredded cheddar, sour cream or crema, green onions and serve with corn or tortilla chips.
Close up of the dish ready to serve in a pot

Chili Toppings

Quick chili in a bowl with cheese and sour cream

Make this Quick Chili Recipe Ahead

As if this recipe couldn’t get any better, this quick chili is perfect for meal prep and I’ll often cook a double batch.

In fact, I think this chili recipe is even better on the second day. You can make it ahead of time on your stove top, pop it in the fridge to allow the flavors to mesh together, and then warm it back up (use a crockpot if you’d like) for the easiest entertaining!

Close up of a spoon in a bowl of chili


  • This recipe is easily doubled, so be sure to make a big batch for easy meal prep.
  • Feel free to add in any extra veggies you need to use up in the fridge, diced mushrooms and carrots work really well!
  • Use the best quality of ground beef you can find – it really makes a difference.
  • The longer it simmers, the more tender the beef becomes.
  • Serve to the table with all of your favorite toppings.
  • I also highly recommending taking a minute or two to freshly shred your cheddar cheese. It makes all the difference in the world because shredded cheddar tends to be dry and doesn’t melt as well. This makes it rich and creamy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What liquid do you put in chili?

There are so many fun answers to this question! Obviously, every recipe is different. However, you can use beer, cooking stock, water, and more!

How do you make chili more flavorful?

Add a teaspoon or two of your favorite seasoning blend. You can also add things like tomato paste, fresh or canned peppers, onions, garlic and so much more!

A tortilla chip scooping up the quick chili

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – This chili can be left out for no more than two hours at room temp – add it to a crockpot to stay warm if serving over a period of time.
  • Refrigerate – refrigerate your chili in an airtight container for up to four days.
  • Freeze – Chili freezes well! Store in an airtight container with an inch of space at the top, leaving room for expansion. Store in freezer for up to six months, de-thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free – choose a gluten free beer or use water or veggie stock instead
  • Dairy Free – skip the cheese and sour cream toppings and this chili is dairy free!
  • Nut Free

To see how simple this Easy Chili Recipe is, watch the video!

More Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes

easy 10 minute dinner, homemade chili recipe
5 from 11 votes

Homemade Chili

This easy chili will warm even the chilliest of nights. It's an easy weeknight dinner, but feels special enough for entertaining. Homemade chili with classic ingredients: ground beef, beans, seasonings and topped with fresh shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 12 minutes
Servings: 4
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  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion
  • 1 can chili beans
  • beer water or stock

To Serve

  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream crema or creme fraiche
  • 2 cups chips


  • In a skillet, cook ground beef over medium high heat, adding red pepper and dried onion.
  • When nearly cooked, add chili beans. Continue to stir and reduce to medium low heat. We tend to like ours thicker, but you can add ¼ c water or up to a bottle of hoppy beer if you wish.
  • While the meat is cooking, shred cheddar – it's so much better than pre-shredded, I promise.
  • Top with sour cream, cheese and chips.


  • This recipe is easily doubled, so be sure to make a big batch for easy meal prep.
  • Feel free to add in any extra veggies you need to use up in the fridge, mushrooms work really well!
  • Use organic, grass fed beef if you can.
  • Serve to the table with all of your favorite toppings.
Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1022mg | Potassium: 832mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 4.4mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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