This Blue Ribbon Chili is your classic, hearty chili filled with beef, two types of beans, and lots of seasonings. This recipe truly is a winner.
Thick, hearty, and easy to make! This is my all-time favorite beef and bean chili, aka blue-ribbon chili. This tried and true recipe can be made on the stove or use a slow cooker to simmer it until all of the delicious flavors develop – add your favorite toppings for the best bowl of chili ever.
This recipe is a winner, hands down best chili recipe ever! Well, it’s a winner for everyone in the house except my husband, Jake, who swears he is “allergic” to beans. Meaning he hates any type of legume. So, he sticks to his Classic Chili Con Carne.
Luckily, my kids don’t take after him in the bean department – each and every one of them loves this beef chili with beans.
The only time this recipe got a red ribbon instead of a blue was when I went up against my husband last year in a chili cook-off, I have my reasons why he won. I mean come on, is it really chili if it doesn’t have beans?
You Will Love This Homemade Chili Recipe
- There isn’t a huge ingredient list for this recipe but don’t let that fool you. The ingredients are simple but they combine to make an amazing homemade chili.
- You can make it on the stove or you can cook it in your slow cooker all day. The slow cooker version is the one I do for a weeknight dinner.
- It’s made with ground beef and two kinds of kidney beans. It’s so hearty, filling, and one of my favorite meals when I’m craving warm comfort food.
- Add all of your favorite chili toppings and add some bread, tortillas, or (my favorite) cornbread on the side.
- Ground beef
- Chopped onion
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Tomato sauce
- Chili powder
- Canned light red kidney beans
- Canned dark red kidney beans
How do you make Blue Ribbon Chili?
In a large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the meat is browned and the onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
While the meat and onions are cooking, grab a medium mixing bowl and add the tomato sauce, salsa, green chiles, and seasonings; stir to combine.
Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, add the tomato mixture to the pot, add in the dark and light kidney beans and stir to combine.
Reduce heat to low, cover chili with a lid, leaving a slight crack to let our steam, and let the chili simmer for an hour; string occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
Remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until it’s thickened.
Add your favorite toppings for serving.
Slow Cooker Instructions
For a slow cooker recipe, add all ingredients in your slow cooker and then cook the chili on low for at least six hours before serving.
There are so many ways to garnish chili – here are some you can mix and match!
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sliced jalapenos
- Diced red onion or white onion
- A spoonful of sour cream
- Sliced green onions
- Fresh cilantro
- Diced avocado
I love this beef and bean chili exactly as it is, but you can change it up. It’s easy to make substitutions based on what you have on hand.
- Instead of ground beef you make turkey chili with ground turkey.
- Switch up the beans – black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and great northern beans are all great and you can pair them up however you like.
- You can also add other veggies like diced bell peppers and jalapeno peppers to the chili.
- If you want it spicy use your favorite hot salsa.
The flavors only get better when the chili has a chance to chill, so feel free to make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to three to four days.
You can also it freeze it in a freezer-safe container for two to three months.
I have made this blue ribbon chili so many times I have it memorized! I hope you give it a try and love it as much as I do. Enjoy! XOXO San
More Cozy Chili Recipes
Check out these other delicious chili recipes:
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board to save for later!
Blue Ribbon Chili
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup salsa
- 4 ounces canned chopped green chiles
- 5 tablespoons chili powder
- 15 ounce can light red kidney beans
- 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans
- In a large pot over medium to medium-high heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the meat is browned and the onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
- While the meat and onions are cooking, grab a medium mixing bowl and add the tomato sauce, salsa, green chiles, and seasonings; stir to combine.
- Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, add the tomato mixture to the pot, add in the dark and light kidney beans and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover chili with a lid, leaving a slight crack to let our steam, and let the chili simmer for an hour; string occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
- Remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until it's thickened.
- Add your favorite toppings for serving.