Top-Rated Chili Recipes

Nothing warms the body and soul like a hearty bowl of chili. Reviewers rated these recipes tops.

All American Chili

Randy Mayor

Our Best Chili Recipes

The origins of chili are uncertain, but it's natural to think of it as an American classic. Chili has many regional interpretations, and within each region almost as many recipes as there are cooks. Take chili con carne, a specialty of the Lone Star State: just beef with chiles and onions, maybe some tomatoes, garlic, and definitely seasonings, all cooked until meltingly tender. No self-respecting Texan would consider adding beans. In other regions, chili simply isn't chili unless it has beans. Here we embrace several styles and offer 32 different healthy bowls voted the best by readers.

With more than 50 stellar reviews, this classic chili recipe hits the spot. We love what meredith had to say: “I love chili – and this is the best chili recipe I have ever tried. I will stop trying new recipes and use this one from now on. This is how chili should taste.”

View Recipe: All-American Chili

Turkey and Bean Chili Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Turkey and Bean Chili

Make this low-calorie chili in just 20 minutes for a quick, one-pot supper. Serve with corn bread to complete the meal.

Reviewer KelleyHepler loved it: "This chili is AWESOME! I make a lot of Cooking Light recipes, but this is over the top. My husband isn't fond of ground turkey, but he can't get enough of this chili."

View Recipe: Turkey and Bean Chili

Best Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

This recipe proves that hearty chili doesn’t necessarily mean meat on the ingredient list. The variety of beans give great texture and flavor.

"According to me, my husband, and my in-laws, this is the BEST chili (not just vegetarian chili) we have ever eaten," raves AlyBoudreau18. "It is so fresh, hearty and whomever said the flavor was 'exceptional' was spot on! I want a second serving everytime I eat it!"

View Recipe: Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Smoky Slow Cooker Chili Recipes

Randy Mayor

Smoky Slow Cooker Chili

A smoked ham hock, cooked with the chili and then discarded, adds just the right amount of smokiness with minimal effort.

View Recipe: Smoky Slow Cooker Chili

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

This quick meatless chili is full of fiber and delicious enough to please meat-lovers. Reviewer Amerylla says, “I love this recipe. I used tomatoes with chilis and the chili is spicy and yummy. It was deemed edible by the vegetable hater in the house.” Pack this meal in a thermos for easy school lunches and camping trips.

View Recipe: Chunky Vegetarian Chili

Green Chile Chili Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Green Chile Chili

Serve this tangy, budget-friendly chili with corn bread or corn muffins. Don't forget to garnish with sharp cheddar and sliced green onion for a winning presentation.

Reviewer OceanOwl offered these suggestions: "This is a fantastic chili! I added lots of extra chili powder and some more paprika (turned out I added more beef than the recipe asked for) and a touch of cinnamon for some Cincinnati flavor. Perfect consistency. I will definitely make this again soon!"

View Recipe: Green Chile Chili

Black Bean-Salsa Chili Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Black Bean-Salsa Chili

This top-rated reader recipe swaps lean turkey for beef and adds pureed beans to help thicken the chili and boost the fiber. Your chili's spiciness depends on the salsa—use medium or hot salsa if you want to turn up the heat.

RyannUden rated this recipe 5 stars: "This chili had a wonderful depth of flavor while keeping just enough heat without overpowering our taste buds. The recipe itself was quick and fairly easy,"

View Recipe: Black Bean-Salsa Chili

Cincinnati Turkey Chili

Randy Mayor, 

Cincinnati Turkey Chili

Chili lovers from the Queen City of Cincinnati like their chili over noodles, so this recipe calls for spaghetti. Pcmommee thought it was a hit. “Quick and easy . . . My family asked me to put this in the regular meal rotation. I used leftovers for burritos the next day.”


View Recipe: Cincinnati Turkey Chili

 

Chili with Chipotle and Chocolate Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Chili with Chipotle and Chocolate

Smoky chipotle chiles and earthy unsweetened chocolate add unexpected depth and richness to this hearty chili.

"You cannot go wrong with chocolate and chili," says reviewer kmarquize. "This recipe is easy and fun to make. It's perfect for a cool evening and it makes great left overs."

View Recipe: Chili with Chipotle and Chocolate

Chicken Green Chili with White Beans

Karry Hosford, 

Chicken Green Chili with White Beans

For a twist on standard chili, try this recipe that uses Anaheim chiles. Reviewer Monkey offers this tip for prepping: “Roast Anaheims whole over a gas stove flame until completely charred. They're much easier to peel.” Create a spicy chili or something family friendly by determining your peppers' heat factor before adding them to the dish.

View recipe: Chicken Green Chili with White Beans

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili

Becky Luigart-Stayner,

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili

We’re not sure whether it’s the chorizo sausage, cinnamon, or semisweet chocolate that gives this chili its secret ingredient, but reviewers agree on one thing -- it tastes spectacular. Docwife raves, “Made this for the Superbowl and there was not a drop left! Very easy to make and the house smelled wonderful. I would definitely recommend making it a day ahead and letting the flavors meld. I’ll make it again!”

View Recipe: Black Bean and Chorizo Chili

Chunky Two-Bean and Beef Chili

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chunky Two-Bean and Beef Chili

This spicy, hearty chili is a Cooking Light staff-favorite for many reasons: the subtle heat from jalapeños, the complex fruity notes from red wine, and the spicy warmth from generous amounts of chili powder, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon.

PaulineV agrees, "I've tried so many different chili recipes and I keep coming back to this one. It is delicious, easy to make and a hit each time I serve it. The beef stew chunks and wine are a must.....and don't forget to top it off with sour cream, green onions and shredded cheese."

View Recipe: Chunky Two-Bean and Beef Chili

Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa

Becky Luigart-Stayner,

Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa

This chili's avocado salsa really knocks its ratings from good to great. Reviewer wnlgt2 agrees, and offers a tip for the extra chili. “This is one of the best and easiest chili recipes! I make it frequently in the winter and freeze some for later…don’t leave off the avocado salsa – it makes it even better!”

View Recipe: Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa

Beefy Corn and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Photo: Oxmoor House

Beefy Corn and Black Bean Chili

No one will ever guess that this chili hasn't simmered on the stove all day. (Our secret: it's ready in about half an hour.)

Reviewer jecca1120 attests, "What they say is true - it does taste like it's been cooking for several hours, not for only 30 minutes! I couldn't find the frozen, seasoned black beans and corn, so I used canned beans and frozen corn instead. I will absolutely make this again."

View Recipe: Beefy Corn and Black Bean Chili

Healthy White Turkey Chili Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

White Turkey Chili

This white turkey chili is a tasty alternative to the traditional red chili and makes the perfect meal on a cold winter night. We recommend serving with Southern Cornbread.

"This was a wonderful way to use up dry turkey left over from Thanksgiving," reviewed Momanon. "We eat a lot of soup and this one will jump to the top of our list of favorites. The flavor is unique and delicious."

View Recipe: White Turkey Chili

Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili

This southwestern style chili is perfect for make-ahead meals. If you make this chili recipe ahead, you may need to thin the chili with water. To save time, combine the sausage ingredients in advance, and finish the chili later. Reviewer AlaskaCook said, "I've been making this chili since it was first published and it's a favorite in the family. Making the sausage the night before is worth the pre-planning. Since we don't eat ground beef, I love that this recipe uses ground turkey and ground pork."

View Recipe: Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili

Southwestern Chili

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Southwestern Chili

Salsa verde brings the flavors of the southwest to this chili recipe. You'll find the salsa and masa harina—used to thicken the chili—in the Latin foods section of the supermarket. Mexican beer is a natural to use in and drink with this chili. Green onions, queso fresco, and sour cream are good condiment choices. Chili-lover simonset said this in an online review: "This has become my go to chili for the past 2 seasons! Amazing fresh flavor from the salsa verde and the sausage. I use chorizo."  

View Recipe: Southwestern Chili

Poblano-Jalapeño Chili

Photo: John Autry

Poblano-Jalapeño Chili

This cold weather delight is hot and hot: both in spiciness and temperature. It’s sure to warm you up and fill you up too. Vickierigsby said, "Wow we loved this recipe. We always eat it over sweet corn bread. Yum, leftovers make for great chili dogs."

View Recipe: Poblano-Jalapeño Chili

Chicken Chili with Pesto

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chicken Chili with Pesto

Swirl in a generous dollop of pesto before serving to liven up this classic white chili. Reviewer EllenDeller suggests, "Terrific basic recipe you can adjust easily. Tonight I used three roasted anaheim peppers and a habanero because we like food hot. I even added some leftover turkey gravy! I suggest adding the broth slowly until you see the consistency you prefer. Great with limes, sour cream, and cilantro on the side."

View Recipe: Chicken Chili with Pesto

Hominy Chili with Beans

Photo: Randy Mayor

Hominy Chili with Beans

Hominy is made of dried corn kernels from which the hulls and germs have been removed. You can find it in the canned-vegetable section of the supermarket near the corn. Lp2you said this dish was a big hit: "I loved this dish. I added extra lean protein to up the protein content. It was so flavorful, and simple to make."

View Recipe: Hominy Chili with Beans

Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili

Photo: John Autry

Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili

A bowl of spicy Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili guarantees to take the chill off a cold winter's day. This vegetarian chili is loaded with fresh vegetables, pinto beans, and quinoa and gets its zing from poblano chiles. Reviewer MuffyStJohn had this to say about the dish: "Ludicrously delicious. Probably took a little more time to cook than I would have liked for a weeknight, but this is a delightfully hearty meal that left me full and satisfied for about 8 hours after I ate. Served with pita because it is spicy and you'll need something to cool your palate."

View Recipe: Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili

Cincinnati Five-Way Chili

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Cincinnati Five-Way Chili

Italian meets American when you go Cincinnati-style and put this savory chili over pasta. The phrase "five-way" refers to the number of accompaniments Queen City natives serve with their uniquely spiced chili. Reviewer smd1212 even said it stacks up to Ohio's token dish: "Very tasty, and seemed pretty accurate flavor-wise compared to our local Cincinnati chili place."

View Recipe: Cincinnati Five-Way Chili

Pork and Hominy Chili

Photo: Randy Mayor

Pork and Hominy Chili

If you've never tried hominy before, you're in for a treat. Mix canned hominy—a nutty, tender ingredient made from dried, hulled corn kernels—with chunks of pork and bold spices in this hearty, Mexican-inspired chili. CherylIR1954 said in her review, "Comes together easily (I love deglazing the pan w/the tomatoes and broth). Very, very tasty. My local market only carries white hominy in this size can, and it was fine. Very nice color, taste, etc. Loved the sour cream with it. Highly recommend the recipe."

View Recipe: Pork and Hominy Chili

Twenty-Minute Chili

Photo: Randy Mayor

Twenty-Minute Chili

Try a Texas take on this cool-weather comfort food by serving it over rice with warm corn bread sticks on the side. HoneyB said, "This was in one word - AWESOME. I made as stated except instead of tomatoes with jalapeños I used diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers. What flavor, loved it!"

View Recipe: Twenty-Minute Chili

Beef and Butternut Chili

Photo: Ditte Isager

Beef and Butternut Chili

Squash and carrots add orange accents and a buttery flavor boost to this hearty dish. Make a big batch and freeze a few servings for a chilly night. Reviewer Belanos added, "This is best when made a day ahead. After making the chili last night, I thought the taste was interesting and different, but wasn't sure I'd want to make it again. However, overnight the flavors mellowed, melding together, and when I had leftovers for lunch today, WOW! It was really tasty, and I do plan to make it again."

View Recipe: Beef and Butternut Chili

Chili-Corn Chip Pie

Photo: John Autry

Chili-Corn Chip Pie

This recipe is a healthy version of Fritos Chili Pie. Often served from concession stands at fairs, festivals, and sporting events, this crowd-pleaser usually involves splitting the bag of chips open, ladling chili into the bag, and then topping with cheese, onions, and other garnishes. Cilantrofresh had this to say in the review: "My family LOVES this recipe and just made it for guests who gave it rave reviews. One guest follows a gluten-free diet and she loved it (made sure to use gluten free broth and tomato paste). I set it up as a buffet with toppings each person could add: Fritos/tortilla chips, lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, corn-red pepper salsa, black beans, sour cream and cheese."

View Recipe: Chili-Corn Chip Pie

Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

For a three-alarm chili, leave the seeds and membranes in the jalapeños. The sour cream has a cooling effect, but you can seed the peppers or use less for a milder result. Reviewer sma1978, says it's good for kids too: "I made this for my son's birthday party in a slow cooker after browning the meat and sauteeing the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. It was delicious!"

View Recipe: Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

White Chili

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

White Chili

This white chili recipe uses hot pepper sauce made from jalapeños; it's milder than the red hot pepper varieties. Stirring frequently toward the end of cooking time prevents the bean-thickened broth from sticking to the bottom and scorching. Serve with Spicy Jalapeño Corn Bread. Online reviewer, chefkate1, has this to say: "Yum. A simple recipe that will become a household staple."

View Recipe: White Chili

Jane's Vegetarian Chili

Photo: Randy Mayor

Jane's Vegetarian Chili

This will soon be your go-to chili recipe, and you won't even miss the meat with all of the other delicious flavors. “Really good! I replaced the garbanzo beans with hominy corn, which was delicious. And I found vegan Worcestershire sauce at Whole Foods to substitute to make vegetarian. Makes a lot. Would definitely make again!” –izzy123

View Recipe: Jane's Vegetarian Chili

Moroccan Chickpea Chili

Photo: Randy Mayor

Moroccan Chickpea Chili

This hearty meatless chili is packed with chickpeas, canned tomatoes, carrot, celery, and onion; and flavored with spices that are prevalent in Moroccan dishes: cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper. This recipe proves that you don't need meat for a satisfying and filling chili. Achuntey said, "I was hoping this dish would be good--it ended up being fantastic! It was a quick and simple weeknight meal that took advantage of many of the lesser-used spices in my cabinet."

View Recipe: Moroccan Chickpea Chili

Springfield Chilli

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Springfield Chilli

The Illinois version of chili is typically spelled with an extra "l" and features coarse-grind beef, which we augment here with ground turkey breast. Regular ground meat will work just fine. In 1993, the state legislature proclaimed Springfield the "Chilli Capital of the Civilized World." Reviewer JMags516 raved, "I found this recipe to be one of the best chili recipes I've ever tasted. It was thick and rich tasting even if it was lower in calories than your normal chili. I've served it several times and people always want more."

View Recipe: Springfield Chilli

White Bean and Turkey Chili

Photo: Randy Mayor

White Bean and Turkey Chili

Crowd-pleasing white bean chili calls for canned beans and chicken broth, making prep convenient. Reviewer TXMimi said, "Simple and delicious. Great alternative to the traditional chili. My husband loved it."

View Recipe: White Bean and Turkey Chili

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