Classic Red Bean Chili

There’s nothing cozier than settling down with a big bowl of this one-pot Classic Red Bean Chili during these colder months! Simple to make, the perfect amount of spice, full of flavor, not too thick, and just SO. GOOD. If you’re looking for a quick and healthy meal to get on the dinner table, this chili is exactly what you need. Serve with a chunk of bread or cornbread, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped green onions to give this chili the absolute best flavor. Perfect for cold winter nights, easy weeknight dinners, or whenever you want a delicious and healthy bowl of chili!

overhead shot of chili with bread, green onions, sour cream, and cheese with two other bowls of chili

→ This post is also available as a Web Story: Chili

About The Recipe

Raise your hand if you love chili!

We definitely do in this house. Actually, this recipe has been around for as long as I can remember. As soon as the temperature started to drop, you could always count on my mom making this hearty and delicious chili.

And who’s complaining? This is so aromatic that it makes the whole house smell so warm and inviting!

The flavors are equally as good. Spicy – but not the, “ohmygosh! My mouth is on fire” kinda spicy, but more a comforting and warming spice, rich without being too rich, a perfect balance between the meat to veggie to bean, and it get better with leftovers!

Though, this is definitely not a recipe you need to be cooking all afternoon. Actually, the more you cook it, the more flavor it loses. So, be wary of this! It’s a quick, easy meal, but it shouldn’t be simmered for hours and hours on end. Just enjoy to bring all those yummy flavors together!

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

  • Ground Beef
  • Chopped Onion
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Tomato Paste
  • Chili Paste
  • Minced Garlic
ground beef, red beans, tomato paste, chopped yellow onion, chili paste, salt, pepper, garlic, and tomatoes on marble counter

Instructions

In a large stock pot, sauté the ground beef and onions until ground beef is cooked through and onions are tender.

Using a colander, drain the grease from the beef.

cooked beef and onions in colander

After it’s thoroughly drained, place it back in the pot. Add the tomatoes, kidney beans, salt, pepper, tomato paste, chili paste, and garlic. Mix thoroughly and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours.

Topping Ideas

If you’re like me and always looking for something a little different, here are some topping ideas to make this chili really POP with flavor.

  • Cheese, specifically cheddar cheese because – YUM!
  • Avocado chunks/slices. This adds a whole ‘nother level. Creamy, smooth, SO. GOOD.
  • Sour cream! Same as the avocado but adds another depth of flavor.
  • Green onions because… why not?
  • Jalapeño slices for a little extra kick!
  • Corn chips or fritos because an extra crunch is always a good thing. Plus, if you use corn chips, you don’t have to worry about messing up a spoon. Less dishes!

No matter what, this chili is always delicious even if you decide not to add toppings because it’s seriously that good.

How To Store

This is a big batch recipe. So, unless you have a really big family or a lot of people to feed, you will need to freeze it for later! We recommend storing this in freezer safe bags. The size and quantity is up to you! It works great for both single servings and large portions for the whole family.

overhead shot of three bowls of chili with a spoon in one

Expert Tips

  • Don’t overcook this chili! The more it cooks, the less flavor it has. 2 hours is the perfect amount of cook time.
  • If you use canned tomatoes, that’s two 16 ounce cans of diced tomatoes.
  • Chili Paste is our homemade version of chili spice. You can use dried spices in it’s place, but the chili paste really makes a difference in this recipe!
  • Don’t skip draining the beef. Getting rid of the excess grease makes this for a lighter, healthier chili!
  • This recipe freezes really well.

When you make these Homemade Caramel Apples, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

overhead shot of chili with bread, green onions, sour cream, and cheese with two other bowls of chili

Classic Red Bean Chili

Traci
A cold weather essential! Warm, hearty, spicy and all things a good chili should be. There's really not a better one-pot meal!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 831 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups red kidney beans
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup water, optional

Instructions

  • In a medium stockpot, cook ground beef and onions until ground beef is cooked through and onions are tender.
  • Drain thoroughly.
  • Return to stockpot and add tomatoes, kidney beans, salt, pepper, tomato paste, chili paste, garlic, and water (if using).
  • Mix thoroughly and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Notes

  • Don’t overcook this chili! The more it cooks, the less flavor it has. 2 hours is the perfect amount of cook time.
  • If you use canned tomatoes, that’s two 16 ounce cans of diced tomatoes.
  • Chili Paste is our homemade version of chili spice. You can use dried spices in it’s place, but the chili paste really makes a difference in this recipe!
  • Don’t skip draining the beef. Getting rid of the excess grease makes this for a lighter, healthier chili!
  • This recipe freezes really well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 831kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 53gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 1212mgPotassium: 1906mgFiber: 14gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 700IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 167mgIron: 11mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @abakers_table or hashtag it #BakersTable!
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