This hearty & comforting Quick Chili Recipe is easy to make with convenient ingredients that add a punch of flavor like salsa and chili seasoning packet. Lean ground beef, kidney beans, beef broth, salsa, and some seasonings are all you need to make this fast chili recipe that cooks on the stove top. Don't forget the toppings!
Quick Chili Recipe
My favorite recipes to create are ones that taste like you spent hours preparing it, when in reality all it took were some easy ingredients that simmer on the stove, and it's ready in 30 minutes.
This quick chili recipe is a family favorite! No matter what I try I cannot get my kids to eat beans. But they will gobble this chili up! Not sure why as it clearly has beans in it, but I won't complain!
It starts with lean ground beef and then simmers in a perfectly seasoned beef broth base with light red kidney beans and salsa. The salsa is the special ingredient as it provides tons of flavor but with no effort.
What You'll Need
These are the simple ingredients you will need to make this quick chili recipe in your own kitchen.
- Ground Beef - I use 93/7 ground beef but you can use anything you prefer. You will drain the excess grease after cooking it so it really does not matter.
- Low-Sodium Beef Broth - I have tested this recipe multiple times and the reduced sodium beef broth is preferred in this chili. But if you love that salt flavor then go ahead and use regular, full-salt beef broth.
- Light Red Kidney Beans - Drain and rinse the beans before adding.
- Salsa - Use any salsa you love! I highly recommend using a fresh salsa rather than the jarred stuff. You can find fresh salsa in the refrigerated area of the produce section at the grocery store. Go as mild or as hot as you want!
- Chili Seasoning Packet - I use a packet of mild chili seasoning because that's what my family prefers.
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - Don't leave this out! It really is my secret ingredient in chili recipes. Adds a richness and this deliciousness to the chili that I can't quite put my finger. This is just regular baking cocoa that you would use for homemade brownies. It's the unsweetened 100% baking cocoa. It has a naturally bitter taste so it's not like adding sugar and chocolate to the chili. It adds color, richness, and a depth.
How To Make Easy Chili Recipe on the Stove
With only 2 easy steps this quick chili can be on the table in 30 minutes! And you only need one pot and it cooks on the stove top.
Brown Ground Beef : In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain excess grease.
Chili : Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low, and let the chili simmer for 20 minutes. I like to cover the pot with a lid to help really infuse the flavors and then take it off the last 5 minutes so the chili can thicken up a bit.
Serve : Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, and Fritos Corn chips. Growing up, my mom always served it with saltine crackers so there are lots of options.
Tips For Success
Here are a few of my helpful tips that will make this a success in your own kitchen.
- Let It Simmer : Don't shorten the simmer time on this recipe. Simmer for at least 20 minutes for the best flavor and richness. You want to give the chili time to infuse all the flavors and to thicken up. You can even simmer the chili longer if wanted, but simmer for at least 20 minutes for best results.
- Use Fresh Salsa : This chili tastes so much better with fresh salsa. I don't mean fresh as in homemade, although you could make your own homemade salsa, but rather go to the refrigerated area of the produce sections and get some fresh salsa there.
- Toppings : As with any chili recipe, it only gets better with all the toppings! We love sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and Fritos Corn chips. My kids love to use the Fritos scoops and scoop up the chili like nachos. There are lots of options for toppings; jalapeños, saltine crackers, oyster crackers, cilantro, green onions, avocado slices.
Variation & Substitution Ideas
There are several ways to switch up this quick and easy chili recipe. Here are a few of the variations you could do.
- Ground Meat : Use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a lower-fat chili. If you use ground turkey you will want to add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan while cooking it. Ground turkey has a much lower fat content so you need the fat in the olive oil to prevent it from sticking to the pan while cooking.
- Make It Spicy! : It's so easy to change the spice level depending on your preference. Use shredded Pepper Jack cheese for the topping, add a can of diced green chilies into the chili, use a medium or hot salsa, add some chili powder and/or red cayenne pepper in with the other spices. You can also garnish the chili with jalapeño slices.
- Beans : We love the light red kidney beans in this chili but any bean can be used. Black beans, pinto beans, and white kidney beans are all great options for chili.
Quick Chili Recipe FAQ's
- How Long Will Chili Leftovers Last?
- Store leftovers in the fridge, in an air-tight container, for 4-5 days. Heat up the chili on the stove top or in the microwave. Chili will thicken up as it sits in the fridge so you may need to add some additional water or beef broth when reheating.
- Can I Freeze Chili?
- Yes you can freeze this chili recipe! Prepare according to the recipe and then let come to room temperature. Store chili in a freezer-safe container or bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. You can also freeze the leftovers of this chili as well.
- Serving Suggestions For Chili?
- Toppings - Be sure and set out bowl of toppings that way everyone can make their bowl of chili how they want. Sour cream, shredded cheese, Fritos Corn chips, tortilla chips, saltine crackers, green onions, cilantro are all great options.
- Cornbread - I also love to serve chili with cornbread! Cornbread is probably my favorite food. I would take it any day over cake or brownies! I make these cornbread muffins all the time and they are our favorite.
- Can I Make This in The Slow Cooker?
- Yes, this recipe can easily be adapted to the slow cooker. Brown ground beef, drain, and add it into the insert of a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with the lid. Cook on LOW heat for 4-5 hours. The chili won't thicken up as nicely as it does on the stove, to fix this simply take the lid off of the slow cooker at the end of the cook time and let it sit there for about 20 minutes. It should thicken up slightly with the lid off. You can also experiment and use less beef broth.
Here are a couple supplies that you will need to make this easy chili recipe. These are an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase, I will make a very small percentage from the sale. As always, I appreciate the support for the free recipes I post. I will only recommend things that I personally own and love! Promise.
Meat Chopper : I recommend this to everyone that will listen! I own several of them and it's probably the one kitchen tool I couldn't live without. Perfectly crumbles and chops ground meats into small pieces.
Large Stock Pot : I love this large pot! I use it whenever I make it soup recipe. It's non-stick and easy to clean up, and has held up to constant use for a few years.
Quick Chili Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 can (14.75 oz) reduced-sodium beef broth
- 2 cans (15 oz each) light red kidney beans drained & rinsed
- 2 cups salsa
- 1 packet chili seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- Cook ground beef in a large pot, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble until no longer pink. Drain excess grease.
- Add the beef broth, beans, salsa, seasonings, and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 20 minutes. * If wanted, you can cover it with the lid while simmering to really infuse the flavors. I like to do this as it traps all the heat inside the pot and the chili will simmer nicely. Take off the lid about 5 minutes before it's done and the chili will thicken up.
- Serve with all your favorite chili toppings. We love sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and Fritos Corn chips.