Homemade beef and black bean chili full of fresh peppers, ground meat, spices, and of course bacon! Simmers for hours bringing out all the flavors. Use the bacon grease to make a side of cast iron skillet cornbread for a pure comfort meal.
Is there any better to make in the middle of winter than a bit pot of soup, more specifically chili?
This chili recipe is a favorite in our house. It's quick to put together, simmers for a few hours, and is the pure comfort food we need on those colder days.
This is the best chili recipe and is always a hit! We pre-make it for camping, we serve with chili dogs, use in a batch of chili mac or serve on its own to feed a large crowd. It never disappoints!
Bacon in chili? Yes please! Bacon is a great topping on top of this chili and a little bit of the bacon fat helps develop a great flavor.
Save some of that bacon grease and make a side of cornbread to serve with your chili. The two were made for each other.
Leftover chili? Add it to this chili cheese dip for the perfect game day appetizer.
Want more soup ideas? Check out my collection of soup recipes.
Typically, beans are not an ingredient included in chili but this bean chili recipe works so well. If you want a more traditional chili, feel free to leave those out.
Bacon: I like to use a thick cut bacon for this chili. Cook it first until crispy then keep just a bit of the bacon grease to sauté the peppers and onions in.
Smoked Paprika: Regular paprika will work great as well. However, if you can find smoked paprika it really adds a lot to this dish.
Ground Meat: The preferred meat for this chili is a lean ground beef but a ground turkey or even venison can be used as well.
Diced Tomatoes: The best diced tomatoes to use in this chili is a Rotel style. They are cut up smaller and come with some diced green chilis.
Water: This chili can be thick, so using water at the end to thin it out is important. Start with ½ cup and add until your desired consistency.
- Cheddar Cheese (or pepper jack)
- Green Onions
- Sour Cream
How to Make
Start off by warming up a large dutch oven or other heavy large pot over medium heat.
Dice bacon and cook until crispy.
While the bacon is cooking, prep all the other ingredients.
Remove bacon from the pot and place it on a paper towel on a plate.
Carefully remove the excess fat, leaving just a little bit on the bottom. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Save a tablespoon to make a cast iron skillet cornbread.
In a now empty pot, add the olive oil and onions. Sauté until soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
Add the peppers and jalapeños and continue to cook until soft. About 5 more minutes.
Add the ground beef. Using a wooden spoon, break up the beef and cook until fully browned.
Drain the excess liquid.
Add in garlic and spices and mix well.
Then add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and beans. Mix until fully incorporated.
Add in the water. (If needed, add more until you've reached your desired consistency.)
Allow chili to simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes. The longer it simmers the better it is. I will let it go as long as 2 hours. If you have time, it is worth it.
Finally, finish it off with all your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, green onions, fresh jalapeños, and sour cream.
Serve it with a side of corn bread, on a baked potato or make a chili dog.
This chili makes the best meal prep and is almost better the next day. It stores really well in the refrigerator and can even be frozen.
To thaw the chili, place the container in the refrigerator overnight and then heat up in a large pot on the stove.
A great way to use up leftover chili is to top it on a baked potato or make a chili dog or a pot of chili mac.
Different Beans: Pinto beans, kidney beans, or red beans can be used in place of black beans.
Other Ground Meat: Ground chicken, turkey or ground venison can also be used in the chili. I have personally used all those options and it still turns out great!
Slow Cooker: This chili can easily be made in a crock pot. Just brown the meat first and then dump everything in and allow to cook for 6 hours on low.
Spicy Chili: If you want to make this chili spicy, add in an extra jalapeño, cayenne pepper and even your favorite hot sauce.
Dutch Oven: The best cookware for soups and chilis is a large Dutch Oven. This heavy bottom pot offers evenly distributed heat which makes for the best soups.
If you do not have a Dutch Oven any large soup or stock pot can also be used.
Wooden Spoon: This is the best utensil to use in a Dutch Oven and for making soups and chilis.
Did you make this recipe? If you enjoyed it, please leave a 5-🌟rating and a comment in the recipe card below.
*Let's Connect! Follow along on Instagram, Pinterest or subscribe to receive emails!
Other Soup Recipes
Beef and Black Bean Chili with Bacon
- 10-12 Strips of Thick Cut Bacon Diced
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Large Yellow Onion Diced
- 2 Red Bell Peppers Diced
- 1.5 Pounds Ground Beef
- 3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper to taste
- 1 15oz Can of Tomato Sauce
- 1 10oz Can of Rotel Tomatoes Or other diced tomatoes
- 2 15oz Cans of Black Beans Drained and Rinsed
- ½ Cup Water More or less depending on your desired consistency
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced Green Onion
- Sour Cream
- Fresh diced Jalapeños
- Start off by warming up a large dutch oven, or other heavy large pot, over medium heat.
- Dice and cook bacon until crispy.
- While the bacon is cooking, prep all the other ingredients.
- Remove bacon from the pot and place it on a paper towel on a plate.
- Carefully remove the excess fat, leaving just a little bit. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Save a tablespoon to make a cast iron skillet cornbread.
- In a now empty pot, add the olive oil and onions. Sauté until soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
- Add the peppers and jalapenos and continue to cook until soft. About 5 more minutes.
- Add the ground beef. Using a wooden spoon, break up the beef and cook until fully browned.
- Carefully drain all excess liquid.
- Add in garlic and spices and mix well.
- Add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and black beans. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Add in the water. Start with ½ cup and then add more until you've reached your desired consistency.)
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can let it go as long as 2 hours. The longer it simmers the better it gets.
- Add more water if needed.
- Either mix the bacon back into the chili or use it as a topping. Served on top will be crispier and mixing it in will make it softer.
- Serve warm with your favorite toppings and a side of corn bread.
Chili is my favorite fall meal! This recipe looks amazing, thank you for sharing!
I LOVE chili this time of year. Nothing beats a classic chili! This looks delicious!!
All these chili recipes sound so good! And cooking the corn bread in bacon grease would be amazing!! You had me at the words 'bacon grease', lol.😆
No mention of what to do with the bacon.
Kristin @ Dirt & Dough
You could mix it back into the chili but honestly it makes the best topping. Mixing it in can make it softer so it's which ever you prefer.
What a perfect classic chili recipe! Thanks for sharing!