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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.

You may also enjoy my Simple Chili Mac or Creamy White Chicken Chili next.

a bowl of quick chili with toppings and a spoon

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.
ingredients for quick beef chili in prep bowls

Pro tip

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.

sauteing onions and ground beef in a soup pot and adding chili seasonings

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.

adding in kidney beans and tomatoes for quick chili and simmering

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.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

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.
a pot of quick chili with a ladle

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.

a bowl of quick chili with toppings and a spoon
4.95 from 17 votes

Quick Chili Recipe

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.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 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

Suggested toppings:

  • 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.


Calories: 389kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 533mg, Potassium: 1018mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2460IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 125mg, Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

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!

Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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  1. This was great! We substituted lean ground beef with Beyond Ground Meat. It took a little longer to brown than real meat, but it still turned out just as delicious! Put some plant based bacon crumbles on top as well!

    1. Hi! Pretty sure I cooked it uncovered, but if you leave the lid slightly ajar that’s fine. Hope you like the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Found this recipe last minute while looking for a great way to use my ground beef. It turned out amazing! I added zucchini (because i had a craving), and my boyfriend and I polished off 2 bowls each. He finished the pot when he came home from work. Great recipe and easy to follow!

  3. I knew I had most of the ingredients to make chili but when I found this one, I was only missing Worcestershire sauce. My boyfriend was “hangry” so I needed to find something for us to eat fast. This recipe saved the day! Even without Worcestershire sauce, this chili was delicious and savory. I added some fresh jalapeños, shredded Gouda and a dollop of sour cream. Perfection. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe has two attributes you don’t usually see together with chili: quick and tasty. Definitely a keeper!

  5. 5 stars
    Worked like a charm. We added one finely chopped fresh jalapeno because we like a little extra spice but the recipe needs no tweeking for flavor. Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Found this recipe today when it’s cold and rainy here today chili is exactly what we needed. I added a little brown sugar, it was quick, easy, and tasty 😋.

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a keeper because sometimes you just want a big bowl of comforting meals. And this chili recipe is a must-try recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      This was so good and extremely easy! I ate mine with sour cream, corn chips, Mexican cheese, hot sauce, and some leftover pasta.