My Perfect Weeknight Chili is seriously the best chili recipe ever. Just what you need on busy weeknights! It’s a simple and delicious dinner idea that’s packed with flavor and great for serving large groups.
My Favorite Weeknight Chili Recipe
Chili season is the best isn’t it? Even though it’s always warm here in Arizona, I look forward to this easy chili recipe all year round! Chili is a staple recipe for us. I make different variations on the regular, but this particular recipe needed to be shared. Seriously flavor packed with just your basic pantry essentials. Give yourself about 10 minutes and this gorgeous pot of chili will be simmering ready to go at your fingertips. Winning!
How To Make Chili on the Stovetop
Place beef and sausage into a large dutch oven over medium heat. Crumble and start browning. Stir in minced garlic, garlic salt, salt and pepper until well combined. Cook until browned then add tomato sauce, beans, tomatoes, salsa verde, chili powder, cumin, Ranch dressing mix and lime juice. Stir to combine until hot. Reduce heat to simmer until ready to serve. I like to simmer on low for a few hours before serving to enhance the flavor.
One of my favorite things about cooking a big pot of chili is I turn it into a couple different dinners during the week. Night one we have our traditional bowl of chili with our favorite toppings. Let’s talk toppings…we enjoy chopped green onions, sour cream, cheese and sometimes crumbled bacon. So good!
Mistakes To Avoid When Making Chili
- Don’t Add raw meat to your chili, make sure it’s browned first. The first order of business before adding anything else to the pot is to brown any meat in your recipe. This important step adds an extra savory flavor that simply cannot be replicated by simmering on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Plus, the texture is vastly improved when the meat is seared.
- Don’t buy the store bought “chili seasonings.” Use fresh ground cumin and chili powder and other seasonings to taste.
- Don’t wait to season the chili until the end, season as you go! Season early and season often. When you add seasoning early on, the flavors develop an even rich taste while the chili simmers. Taste test along the way.
- Don’t forget a squeeze or two of lime juice before serving! This brings a bright tang to each bite.
- Have LOTS of toppings available for your guests, not just cheese and sour cream 🙂 See my favorite chili toppings at the bottom of this post.
If we have leftovers I cook up some rice and make a chili and rice casserole. A new dinner with little prep work in the kitchen. The kids love this.
What Is The Best Ground Beef To Use For Chili?
- A 90-percent-lean ground beef is best for healthy chili, while 80-percent-lean ground beef is better for taste. It is possible to reduce the fat content of ground beef with a simple rinse, so chili cooks can fine-tune a balance between flavor and fattiness with a bit of water. Those who feel that 80-percent-lean ground beef is too fatty may find that rising some fat away preserves the flavor while making chili recipes healthier.
No judging, but another way great way to use leftover chili is to make gourmet chili dogs. When the boys friends come over, this is a favorite. Hebrew National dogs, covered with my chili and some favorite toppings. Mmmm! Hope you enjoy my Perfect Weeknight Chili Recipe!
The Best Way to Store Chili
- How long does homemade chili last in the fridge or freezer? Refrigerate chili within two hours of cooking using a covered airtight container.
- Properly stored, cooked chili will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Cooked chili should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F.
- How long does cooked chili last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 4 to 6 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
- How long does cooked chili last after being frozen and thawed? Cooked chili that has been thawed in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking; chili that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be eaten immediately.
- How to tell if cooked chili is bad? If cooked chili develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
Tips For Making this Easy Chili Recipe
- When you’ve got the time, it’s all about the simmer. The longer you simmer, the more amazing flavor you’ll get.
- I like to place a whole Anaheim Chili inside the chili to simmer as well. You get even more flavor this way!
- Serve this recipe with a nice chef salad with lots of vegetables.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Mason Jars work great too.
The Best Toppings For Chili
- Sour Cream
- Diced tomatoes
Perfect Weeknight Chili Recipe
- Dutch Oven
- 1 pound ground beef lean
- 1 pound mild ground sausage I used Jimmy Dean
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon Lawry's garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 29 ounces tomato sauce
- 15 ounce can black beans drained
- 15 ounce can white beans drained
- two 10 ounce cans Rotel diced tomatoes mild
- 1/2 cup prepared salsa verde I used Herdez mild
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dry Ranch Dressing mix from packet
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Place beef and sausage into a large dutch oven over medium heat. Crumble and start browning. Stir in minced garlic, garlic salt, salt and pepper until well combined. Cook until browned then add tomato sauce, beans, tomatoes, salsa verde, chili powder, cumin, Ranch dressing mix and lime juice. Stir to combine until hot. Reduce heat to simmer until ready to serve. I like to simmer on low for a few hours before serving to enhance the flavor.