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

Classic Red Bean Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Author: 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!


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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 its 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.


Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 953mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 5mg