Grandma’s Homemade Chili is a classic Midwestern chili that is the ultimate comfort food! She had a way with her recipes that brought everyone to the table and left them happy and satisfied. She even converted a die-hard chili hater with this recipe! The secret is the homemade chili seasoning. If you like this recipe, make sure to check out my Spicy Steak Chili for a chili with a little more of a spicy kick!

Homemade Chili Recipe


Chili Dogs: A lot of people ask me if you can just throw this homemade chili recipe right on a hot dog.  The answer is Yes! This homemade chili actually tastes amazing on hot dogs. The trick to a good homemade hot dog chili is that it needs to a be thick. If the chili is runny it will make the hot dog bun soggy. To give this chili the texture for hotdogs, just scale back on the liquids. Personally, I prefer chili to be on the thicker side anyway.

Slow Cooker: Cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat, drain any excess grease, and put the cooked beef, seasonings, tomatoes, and beans in slow cooker. Stir the mixture up really well and then cover and cook for about 8 hours. You will want to make sure it is on a low-temperature setting. Some recipes will tell you that it is ok to cook on high for only 4 hours, but personally, I don’t think this gives the meal enough time to develop the flavor.

The BEST Chili Recipe! Grandma knew how to make everything taste better!

Helpful Tools

Listen up, there is only ONE tool that you absolutely must have to make this chili.  A dutch oven.  I good dutch oven is a must.  I love my Staub Dutch Oven.  They are an investment, but they are SO worth it in my opinion.  Now, if you go the homemade slow cooker chili route, you won’t need a dutch oven, but you might want to get yourself a good crockpot.

How to Freeze

Chili is usually made in large batches, so that means there will likely be leftovers. For best results, freeze the chili immediately after serving the chili (don’t wait until the day after). Put small portions of the leftover chili in freezer-safe containers, date it, and eat it within two months. When you are ready to eat the chili, simply heat it in a saucepan over medium heat.

More Chili Recipes

She knows her stuff!
5 from 5 votes

Grandma’s Homemade Chili

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Grandma’s Homemade Chili is the ultimate comfort food! She had a way with her recipes that brought everyone to the table and left them happy and satisfied. She even converted a die-hard chili hater with this recipe!


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) stewed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chili seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes, breaking up the meat as you go. Drain any excess grease if necessary.
  • Add onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add kidney beans, tomatoes, and chili seasoning. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are slightly tender and chili is heated through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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Reader Comments

  1. Love this recipe, I tried it, next time I might add some bell peppers, maybe mixes beans kidney and pinto beans, maybe more tomatoes

  2. 5 stars
    I love your site and recipes. So easy to follow, except I do not own cast iron. Am anxious to try the beef stew. Have been looking for a good recipe, and this sounds the best of all I have seen. Jeep them coming, please!

  3. If I choose to substitute canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes rather than stewed tomatoes, would I drain them or not?

  4. Is there a nutritional chart on this recipe? what’s the cholesterol, sodium, fat Etc I would love to make this recipe but I am Limited due to high blood pressure. with medicine my blood pressure is stable but I don’t want to eat anything that is high in sodium.

    1. I would make my own mix then you can control it. What I noticed is the added chemicals are what causes the high sodium. On the top is a recpie for chili mix.

    2. Farther up on this page before the list of ingredients to make the chili is her grandmothers homemade chili mix–and you can easily omit the salt. Garlic helps to lower bp so add some extra cloves of garlic. Yum!!!

    3. There is no cholesterol or sodium in the kidney beans, spices, tomatoes (if sodium free), so you can control your cholesterol by limiting the meat and subbing some crumbled tofu, or rice or other grain for some of the meat…and omit or limit the sodium by using no, or less salt.

    4. Also look at the sodium levels on the bean cans a lot
      Of them can contain a lot of sodium actually anything canned

    1. I made last night. Made it times 1 1/2. To make 18 servings. Used three lbs of hamburger added one seven oz can diced Ortega chili. There was six of us. Two hours later there was none. A total hit with everyone. Next time I think I will add diced green bell pepper. Love this and it is so simple.

    2. I have made your recipe using your homemade chili seasoning mix. Very good! I also like to add 1 can of tomato soup. I know it sounds weird, but try it. It adds a creaminess to your chili. People will wonder what’s in it, but no one will guess. My mother had a restaurant and this was her secret. Customers loved her chili.

    3. I know I will love this but to me 2 things I use were missing. They would be. Nice squeeze of French’s mustard and when it is all done … on the top with the shredded cheese and sour cream add sliced avocado! So delicious!❤️

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