Beefy Kidney Bean Chili

This Ground Beef Chili is a classic chili recipe! It’s super easy to prepare and is the perfect chili recipe for loaded baked potatoes or chili dogs.

Classic Ground Beef Chili Recipe

I know it is officially spring now and in a lot of places many of us are actually enjoying spring weather. A couple of weeks ago my neighbors busted out the slip and slide because it was so warm and all of the kids ended up with a little too much sun.

This week I have spent a few days in Vermont and it is definitely still on the cold side of spring here. The perfect weather for a nice bowl of this Beefy Kidney Bean Chili.

Truth be told, we have a lot of back and forth in our weather this time of year in Colorado, so it is always nice to have a few new hearty chili recipes to pull out at the end of the cold weather season.

This Beefy Kidney Bean Chili is super simple. It uses Bush’s Kidney Chili Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce instead of regular Kidney Beans.

This beef and bean chili recipe isn’t a complicated, fancy chili. Ground beef chili is delicious in its simplicity and pairs perfectly with a side of Cornbread Muffins. Or, if you’re willing to put forth a little more effort, a Chile Cheese Cornbread Scone. I think it is also the perfect chili flavor for a loaded up chili dog, should you be in the mood.

Ground Beef Chili Ingredients

The ingredients list for this classic ground beef chili is super simple. Here’s everything I used in this beef and kidney bean chili:

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card. 

How to Make Ground Beef Chili

This classic chili recipe requires minimal prep work. Here’s how to make ground beef chili:

  1. Sauté the onions and garlic in an oiled Dutch oven until softened.
  2. Add all of the seasonings and continue cooking until fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the beer and tomato paste. Simmer on low until thickened to desired consistency.
ground beef chili in green bowl garnished with shredded cheese

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Can I Use Ground Turkey?

Yes, you’re welcome to use ground turkey, chicken, or pork in this classic chili recipe, if desired. Note that ground poultry contains less fat than ground beef, so you may need to add more oil to the Dutch oven before browning the ground meat.

Can I Omit the Beer?

Yes, if you prefer not to use beer, you may substitute an alternative liquid, such as chicken or beef broth or extra diced tomatoes with liquid.

Tips for Making Ground Beef Chili

You’re welcome to add more chili powder to this beef and bean chili to suit your own tastes. My family likes a kidney bean chili with just a kick of heat, but it you prefer a spicier chili simply add extra chili powder.

This ground beef chili is delicious as is, but you can also top it with crushed tortilla chips, sliced jalapeño, shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, hot sauce, and more.

Also note that ground beef and kidney bean chili freezes incredibly well. You can make a double batch of chili and freeze half for later to use on baked potatoes or hot dogs.

More Easy Chili Recipes:

And if you want a chili that is really rich and hearty, try this Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili.

Or if you want a lighter and healthy chicken chili, then this White Bean Chicken Chili Verde will be perfect!

My family also loves this Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Chili. It’s a delicious Tex-Mex dish that everyone always wants seconds of.

If you’re craving a vegetarian chili, make a batch of this Roasted Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili. It uses just 7 ingredients and takes very little effort to prepare.

This Pumpkin and Turkey Black Bean Chili is a great fall chili recipe with tons of flavor. Even better, it’s super easy to make!

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Classic Ground Beef Chili

Classic Ground Beef Chili

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This Beefy Kidney Bean Chili is a classic chili recipe, super easy to prepare and the perfect chili recipe for loaded baked potatoes or chili dogs.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 14-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of beer, optional*
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce can prepared Bush's kidney chili beans

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a large cast iron pot, such as a Le Creuset Round French Oven, and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and sauté for approximately 5-7 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add all of the seasonings (chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, and thyme) to the onion mixture. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Next, add the ground beef and cook, breaking the meat using a spoon or spatula into small pieces.
  5. Cook until the meat is completely cooked through.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Add the beer and tomato paste. Simmer on low until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about an 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes

*If you prefer not to use beer, you may substitute an alternative liquid such as chicken or beef broth or extra diced tomatoes with liquid.

Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 373Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 81mgSodium 962mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 6gSugar 9gProtein 32g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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I have an ongoing relationship with Bush’s Beans where I am compensated for my time, however this is a brand that I have always used in my own kitchen and any opinions expressed regarding the product are my own.