Easy Chili Recipe (6 Ingredients) - The Cookie Rookie® {VIDEO} (2024)

Easy Chili Recipe (6 Ingredients) - The Cookie Rookie® {VIDEO} (1)

By: Becky Hardin

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This Easy Chili Recipe is quick, simple, and delicious! You only need 6 ingredients, including ground beef, beans, chili seasoning, broth, and salsa (my secret ingredient for convenience). This flavorful homemade chili is always a hit, and a cozy dinner will be on the table in just 30 minutes!

Easy Chili Recipe (6 Ingredients) - The Cookie Rookie® {VIDEO} (2)

Table of Contents

What’s in this 6-Ingredient Chili

You only need a handful of ingredients, one pot, and 30 minutes to make this super easy chili recipe. It’s the perfect recipe for beginners because it’s totally foolproof!

  • Ground Beef: Use ground beef, or swap it with ground chicken or ground turkey.
  • Chili Seasoning: I use my homemade chili seasoning, but you can use your favorite.
  • Beans: A can of kidney beans is quick and convenient. You can use your favorite type of bean if you prefer.
  • Salsa: A jar of chunky salsa adds all the flavor and texture you’d usually need multiple ingredients for. Try a spicy salsa if you want to add some heat.
  • Broth: I use low-sodium beef broth for the best flavor.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro is definitely optional, so if you don’t like like it, skip it!

What are the best toppings for easy chili?

I love to load up every bowl of homemade chili with lots of toppings, and you can really add whatever you want. Here are some favorites.

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Crackers
  • Garlic Croutons
  • Green Onions
  • Sliced Jalapenos
  • Bacon Crumbles
  • Cilantro
  • Hot Sauce
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What spices do you use in chili?

Typical chili spices include things like chili pepper and chili powder, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, paprika, and oregano. Using a chili seasoning blend brings everything together, so it’s much easier and quicker.

How long should you let chili simmer on the stove?

This quick chili recipe only needs about 15-20 minutes to simmer on the stove. If you have the time, feel free to let it simmer a little longer to continue deepening the flavor.

Do you have to cook ground beef before adding it to chili?

Yes, you need to cook the ground beef until it’s no longer pink, Then you can add the rest of the ingredients to make the chili.

Can I make this chili without meat?

Yes, if you prefer a meatless chili, simply skip the first steps with the ground beef. Add all ingredients to the pot and simmer together. You could also use a plant-based meat crumble, in place of the beef, following the same instructions.

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How to Store and Reheat Easy Chili

Store leftover chili in an airtight container, and keep it in the refrigerator up to 4 days. It’s quick and easy to reheat in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between. You can also reheat it on the stovetop, gently simmering and stirring until warmed through.

This is a great make ahead recipe, because the flavor only gets better while it sits in the fridge.

How to Freeze Quick and Easy Chili

Let it cool to room temperature, then store beef chili in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags (to freeze flat). Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

What to Serve with Homemade Chili

This flavorful, easy chili recipe makes for the best comfort meal. I always serve cornbread or another hearty bread with it (like beer bread or rosemary focaccia), and Air Fryer baked potatoes make a good side dish too. It also makes a great topping for chili dogs. And this recipe is a gameday favorite that pairs well with meatball subs, cheese fries, and Instant Pot Pulled Pork.

Easy Chili Recipe (6 Ingredients) - The Cookie Rookie® {VIDEO} (6)


Easy Chili Recipe (Only 6 Ingredients!)

4.40 from 265 votes

Author: Becky Hardin | The Cookie Rookie

Prep: 5 minutes minutes

Cook: 25 minutes minutes

Total: 30 minutes minutes

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Serves4 people

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Easy Chili made with only 6 ingredients! This simple homemade chili is made with pantry staples and thrown together in minutes.

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  • pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 ounce chili seasoning store-bought or homemade (1 packet)
  • 30 ounces kidney beans fully drained and rinsed (2 (15-ounce) cans)
  • 32 ounces chunky salsa (2 (16-ounce) jars) – the chunkiest you can find (see note)
  • cups low-sodium beef broth
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Optional Garnishes

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crackers
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chopped onions
  • Sliced jalapeños

Recommended Equipment


  • Heat beef in a dutch oven over medium high heat, crumbling as it cooks.

    1½ pounds lean ground beef

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  • Once beef is crumbled, stir in the chili seasoning and continue to stir while it cooks.

    1 ounce chili seasoning

  • When beef is no longer pink, stir in the beans, salsa, beef broth, and cilantro. Stir to fully combine.

    30 ounces kidney beans, 32 ounces chunky salsa, 1½ cups low-sodium beef broth, ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Easy Chili Recipe (6 Ingredients) - The Cookie Rookie® {VIDEO} (10)

  • Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.

    Easy Chili Recipe (6 Ingredients) - The Cookie Rookie® {VIDEO} (11)

  • Serve with garnishes of your choice.

    Sour cream, Shredded cheese, Crackers, Fresh cilantro, Chopped onions, Sliced jalapeños

Last step! Don’t forget to show me a pic of what you made! Upload an image or tag me @thecookierookie on Instagram!

Becky’s tips

  • Note: If you want your chili spicier, you can grab a spicier salsa. Works like a charm!
  • Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 661kcal (33%) Carbohydrates: 68g (23%) Protein: 58g (116%) Fat: 19g (29%) Saturated Fat: 7g (44%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 111mg (37%) Sodium: 1775mg (77%) Potassium: 2335mg (67%) Fiber: 22g (92%) Sugar: 10g (11%) Vitamin A: 4647IU (93%) Vitamin C: 7mg (8%) Calcium: 160mg (16%) Iron: 13mg (72%)

Did You Make This?I want to see! Be sure to upload an image below & tag @thecookierookie on social media!

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More Homemade Chili Recipes We Love

  • Classic Chili
  • Chili Con Carne
  • White Chicken Chili
  • Instant Pot Chili
  • Turkey Chili
  • Buffalo Chicken Chili
  • Sweet Potato Chili
  • Crockpot Chili
  • Spicy White Chicken Chili
  • Cincinatti Chili

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Easy Chili Recipe (6 Ingredients) - The Cookie Rookie® {VIDEO} (2024)


What is the secret to really good chili? ›

Only Add Flavorful Liquids

Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

What is the most important spice in chili? ›

Most Common Chili Spices. Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

What adds the most flavor to chili? ›

If you want more of a smoky flavor, add cumin, Spanish paprika, ancho chili powder, or a combination. If you are looking for more heat, add cayenne, crushed red pepper, or Hungarian paprika. If it's too spicy add a little brown sugar and some sweet paprika.

What are the best beans to use for homemade chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

What not to put in chili? ›

Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

What makes chili taste better? ›

"Adding fresh ingredients — like diced onions, cilantro, and jalapenos — will take any canned chili to another level," Dunleavy said. "The fresh burst of flavor will brighten and elevate the chili while also adding great texture and crunch."

Does chili need tomato paste? ›

Tomato sauce is not a strong a taste as tomato paste. Also, sauce will increase the liquid content of your chili ever so slightly. Tomato paste has a more full, rich, tomato taste and smell. Using either one is appropriate, but you will need to tweak your seasonings to suit your personal tastes, anyway.

What does cinnamon do for chili? ›

Cinnamon. The beauty of ground cinnamon is that it brings a warmth to your chili, without being spicy. It works well with other flavors commonly found in chili (like tomato, cumin and chile powder) so you only need a little bit to achieve the desired balance.

What does cumin do for chili? ›

Here's what to consider: Cumin: Cumin is an aromatic spice known for its earthy, warm, and slightly nutty flavor. It's commonly used in various cuisines, including Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. Cumin is not particularly spicy, but it adds depth and richness to the flavor of a dish.

Do you cook onions or meat first for chili? ›

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic, and red pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the beef and increase the heat to high; cook, stirring with wooden spoon to break the meat into ¼-inch pieces, until the beef is browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

Does paprika go in chili? ›

Ingredients In The Best Chili

Beef – Ground beef, lean or regular will work just fine. Spices – Chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne are our flavor weapons today. Beans – We're just using drained and rinsed red kidney beans from the can today.

How to make chili taste homemade? ›

Make your own spice blend

Although canned chili will already have some seasonings, fresh herbs and spices will add bolder flavor. You can upgrade your chili using ingredients you likely already have on your spice rack, such as chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Which onion is best for chili? ›

Sweet onions are great for caramelizing due to their higher sugar content. You can cook them into your chili, serve them raw over top, or even elevate your chili with a sophisticated caramelized onion topping! Some of my favorite sweet onions are Walla, Walla, Maui, and Vidalia Onions.

What kind of tomatoes to use in chili? ›

If you're using canned tomatoes, look for San Marzano tomatoes canned without salt and sugar if you can find them. That way you can add your own seasonings. San Marzanos also have the best flavor for home made tomato sauce. What is a substitute for tomatoes in a chili recipe?

Do you drain chili beans when making chili? ›

Too much liquid will thin your chili

The same holds true for using canned beans in chili. According to Taste of Home, you should typically drain canned beans before adding them to your pot of chili. All that liquid can seriously water the chili down, diluting all its flavors.

Does sugar make chili taste better? ›

Now for the piece de resistance: 1-2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar. The chili tastes completely different without the brown sugar so if you like a subtle sweetness in your chili then you've just got to go for it! Trust me, it will not make your chili taste like candy.

Why add vinegar to chilli? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

How do you make chili taste more meaty? ›

Ground Beef: Provides the hearty meaty base for the chili. Opt for 85% lean; the fat enriches the meat, enhancing the dish's overall flavor and texture. And don't stress about the fat—post-cooking, it's easy to skim off any excess. Baking Soda: Helps tenderize the beef by locking in moisture, making it more succulent.

Is chili better the longer it cooks? ›

A low and slow cook time—at least an hour total—is key for drawing out the most flavor in a pot of chili. Yes, a quick chili is most welcome on weeknights, but it won't have quite the same results. A slow cooker works wonders, but if you're short on time, try a pressure cooker.


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