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This ground beef quick chili recipe is hearty, flavorful, and ready in only 30 minutes! You can easily customize the heat level and add your favorite toppings for a cozy meal.
Why you’ll love it
For a ground beef chili that’s made this fast, you’ll swear it tastes like it’s been simmering for ages! It has kidney beans, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and an assortment of pantry seasonings that pack in the flavor in a short time. Total comfort food that’s quick.
A lot of the cooking time for this easy beef chili is hands off, and that’s when I prep all my favorite delicious toppings in anticipation of it being ready. This is a great basic chili recipe to make it all your own! It’s family friendly, fairly healthy, and inexpensive too.
What you’ll need
- Olive oil – for sautéing
- Onions – I like sweet (Vidalia) onion
- Ground beef – we’re using lean
- Tomato paste and fire-roasted diced tomatoes – these canned tomatoes add that perfect concentrated tomato flavor in the sauce
- Worcestershire sauce – one of my favorite savory flavor enhancers
- Spice mix – we’ve got chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. It has a bit of a kick. If you want a mild chili, omit the cayenne pepper.
- Red kidney beans – another staple in my pantry! I love my chili with beans.
This makes a smaller batch to feed four, so you can easily double it if you want to freeze some later or have a larger family/hungry teenagers to feed.
How to make quick chili
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
In a soup pot, cook the onions in the olive oil until softened/lightly browned. Add the beef, and cook it while breaking it apart with a spoon until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.
Add the beans and fire-roasted tomatoes with juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for up to 20 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, and serve with any of the suggested toppings below.
Substitutions and variations
- This chili is very flexible! You could swap with another kind of beans (e.g. black beans), use ground turkey instead of beef, use Rotel or regular diced tomatoes if you can’t find fire-roasted, etc.
- Feel free to throw in other veggies if you need to use them up.
- Or change up the seasonings based on what you have on hand.
What to serve with beef chili
- Some of my favorite chili toppings are sour cream or Greek yogurt, jalapeños, scallions or red onions, cilantro, cheddar cheese, crumbled Oven Cooked Bacon, corn chips/tortilla strips, and avocado.
- Pair it with cornbread for a filling meal!
- I also like to serve it with a green salad with my Chipotle Ranch Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- Store leftovers of this chili in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat over a low heat until warmed through.
- It freezes great! Freeze for up to 3 months.
Hope you will give this quick and easy chili recipe a try! If you made it, please leave a star rating and review below. Or tag me on Instagram with your S&L creations.
Quick Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 (14 ounce) can red kidney beans drained
- 1 (28 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juices
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream, corn chips/strips, scallions or red onions, avocado, etc. optional, to taste
- Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven/soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes.
- Add the beef to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, breaking it up as you go. There shouldn't be a lot of fat released if you used lean beef, but if there is, spoon most of the fat out.
- Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
- Add the beans and diced tomatoes. Increase heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes with the lid slightly open, stirring occasionally.
- Prep the toppings while it's cooking.
- Season with salt & pepper as needed, then serve with desired toppings and enjoy.
- Omit or use less cayenne pepper if you prefer a milder chili. This one has a bit of a kick. Most chili powders are mild but be sure yours is if you’re going to add the cayenne pepper and are concerned about spice levels.
- Anything between 1-1.5 pounds of ground beef will work fine in this chili recipe.
- This recipe freezes well.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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This recipe was originally published on August 15, 2018. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!