Go Back
award winning chili

Award Winning Chili Recipe

This homemade chili recipe has won many chili cookoff awards. It's simple and easy to make and everyone loves it!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword award winning chili recipe, beans, beef and beans, chili recipe, comfort food, fall recipes, homecooked, homecooking, homemade chili, homemade chili recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 people


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder (to taste, can add more if desired)
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • 3- 15 oz cans of any type of chili or pinto bean (I use the mild chili beans)
  • 2- 15 oz cans of any type of white or navy bean
  • 1- 15 oz can baked beans or pork and beans
  • 2- 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large white onion, diced into small pieces


  1. In a 7 Quart or larger pot brown the hamburger and diced onions together. I use a potato masher to break up the hamburger but you can leave it in larger pieces if you like.

    seasonings for chili recipe
  2. When the ground beef and onions are fully cooked and no pink in the meat, add in the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, seasoning salt and stir.

  3. Then add the brown sugar and stir again.

  4. Add in 8 cups of water and stir.

  5. Next add in your canned beans. You can use any type of canned beans you like. The chili or pinto beans and any type of white bean is my favorite and I always add baked beans as the sweetness adds a nice flavor along with the brown sugar. Kidney beans and black beans are an option too. If you want to add more or less beans you can do that as well. This is just what I use and it comes out every time.

    chili recipe ingredients
  6. Next, put the two cans of diced tomatoes in a blender and blend slightly. Dump into the pot and stir.

  7. Turn heat to medium or medium low and simmer for about one hour or so. May add a little time if you simmer it slower. Make sure to stir every so often and check to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Each type of pot or pan is different so stir fequently to make sure nothing is sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot.

  8. The chili will start to reduce down and it may look a little runny at first but it thickens up on it's own after you are done cooking it. Taste test it at about this point and if you need more salt, pepper or chili powder you can add more here and stir.

  9. Serve in a bowl with cheddar cheese or any type of cheese you like. You can add tortilla chips which is what we typically do or you can dump it over fritos and make it into a frito pie. Whatever your preference is! I've even made navajo tacos and nachos with this chili recipe. It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and it's a great leftover!