Making chili from scratch is quite simple. My recipe for Three Bean Chili can be prepared on your stovetop in about 90 minutes or slow-cooked in a crockpot all day long. It’s made with ground beef, three kinds of beans, canned tomatoes and my homemade chili seasoning. It’s a classic chili recipe that we have enjoyed for years. Easily catered to the likes and dislikes of spiciness.
I have to say there is nothing like a bowlful of chili to warm you from the inside out on a cold day. We had that kind of day just today. The perfect day for a pot of my Three Bean Chili!
I love a hot bowl of chili, but none of that package mix here. I always try to keep the beans on hand for when the urge strikes me, then I typically just throw it all together in the crockpot on a busy day.
Picture me, dumping beans, and meat and tomatoes and this and that spice…that’s how it goes. Finally, I decided I would go about the task of measuring it all out so I could share my chili “recipe” with you.
You see until I did that I didn’t really have a chili “recipe.” It was just a pot of stuff I threw together that made chili!
Chili with or without Beans
I have to admit, I used to prefer my chili without beans. In fact, I used to pick them out! For the better part of the early years of my marriage, I just omitted them, but my husband really likes them, so I started adding them in.
Truth be told though – original red chili never contained beans, only meat and red chili peppers, so I wasn’t completely wrong.
What are the best beans for chili?
For chili, you are going to want a strong bean that can stand up to the cooking process. No wimpy white beans that will disintegrate while they cook!
The best beans for chili are Kidney beans, red or dark red, black beans, chili or pinto beans. Chili beans are actually pinto beans cooked in chili spices, so I tend to grab a can of them, thinking the extra spice can’t be a bad thing!
You can use dry beans for chili, but I have always just found it so much easier to open the cans and just dump them in!
How do you make chili from scratch?
One of the best things about making chili is that the ingredients are typically ones that I have on hand. With the exception of the ground beef, I have it all in my pantry and spice cupboard.
Ingredients in Three Bean Chili: Ground beef, canned diced tomatoes, canned black, chili and kidney beans, onion, beef broth, garlic, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and seasoned pepper.
In a soup pot, begin by browning your ground beef with salt, pepper, onion and garlic.
At this point, you can transfer the meat to your slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients, or add the tomatoes, chili seasoning and beans to the same pot on the stovetop. Stir in the beef stock and cover it and let it simmer for about 90 minutes. Cook it low in the crockpot for about 6 hours.
Scoop it into a bowl and eat it as is or top the best classic chili with your choice of toppings!
How do you like to top your chili?
Love it? Pin it!!
Don’t forget where you found this fantastic easy Three Bean Chili recipe! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!
Chili topped with homemade cornbread is always a winner.
We typically have an assortment of things to serve with our chili: bread, crackers, cheese and tortilla chips.
Me personally, I like mine with a little bit of cheese and some tortilla chips!
More Chili Recipes to love!
Depending on the day, you may have a hankering for a different kind of chili, and that’s perfectly okay because there are so many chili recipes out there to be had! Here are some that I love for their uniqueness and wonderful flavor profiles:
Recipe Ideas for Repurposing Leftover Chili
But what about when you’ve got a bunch of chili leftover? Besides eating it, or freezing it, because chili is one of those foods that freezes really well, what can you do with it?
The answer to that is all sorts of things! In fact, I think it’s one of the more versatile things you can make!
You can bet that if I have any chili leftover, my Chili Mac Skillet will make an appearance on our dinner table the next week. During grilling season, my Spicy Grilled Cheese Chili Dogs will happen, and no matter what time of year it is, The Best Chili Dogs are always a hit around here!
One of my most favorite dips uses leftover chili, too. My Chili Cheese Bean Dip, pictured above. I mean … I am a little ashamed to say, I could eat half of that all on my own and not even blink an eye!
Ready to grab the recipe for this Three Bean Chili? Let’s get it!
- 2 pounds lean ground beef, browned
- 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can of each: Black beans, Dark Red kidney beans and Chili beans
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup onion, chopped (substitute 1/4 cup dry chopped onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- To amp up the spice, add some cayenne pepper!!
- Brown ground beef with some salt and pepper, add your fresh onion if using, if using dry it's not necessary. Drain any excess grease.
- Dump everything in your crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours. (or cook on the stove top by simmering for 60-90 minutes)
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 648mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 27g
Nutrition isn't guaranteed accurate.
This recipe was originally posted on December 3, 2014. It was updated to improve user experience and reshared on October 21, 2020.