This simple homemade chili recipe is delicious, and will be a staple in your family after the first batch! Making chili is a great way to use up the last few harvests of veggies from the garden too! In this post, I’ll share my favorite family recipe for homemade chili, and show you step-by-step how to make chili from scratch.
Chili is the perfect fall and winter comfort food, and it’s a great way to use up extra vegetables from the garden! After a long day of tackling fall or winter garden chores, the smell of a warm, bubbling chili is a great way to wind down in the evening and will warm you right up.
This tasty homemade chili recipe is a family tradition, passed on for three generations! Everyone puts a slight spin on the recipe to make it their own. I love using fresh veggies from the garden for my version of this delicious chili recipe. It’s a great way to use up my remaining harvests, and make use of my home canned tomatoes too.
Easy Homemade Chili Recipe
This quick and easy chili recipe is a favorite because it’s a one pot meal that only takes 10-15 minutes of prep, and then simmers on its own until ready. It’s also versatile, so you can experiment with what you have left over from your harvest, or use other ingredients you have on hand. Follow the recipe a is, or modify it to make it your own.
Total Time – 45-90 minutes
Yields – 10 hearty chili servings
Homemade Chili Recipe Ingredients List
- 1-1.5 lbs ground meat of your choice (turkey and beef are my favorites!)
- 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy – your preference)
- One medium, fresh onion, chopped
- One fresh bell pepper, finely chopped
- OR any hot pepper of your choice (if you like it spicy)
- OR any mild pepper of your choice
- 1.75 pints of canned tomatoes (chop them up if you canned them whole)
- OR 8 medium, fresh tomatoes (finely chopped)
- OR 28 oz store-bought can of crushed tomatoes
- One 14.5 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
- One 14.5 oz can light red kidney beans, drained
- One 14.5 oz can chili beans
- 4-7 tbsp chili powder
- 2-3 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning mix
- 4 cups V8 juice*
* DON’T buy generic tomato/vegetable juice. There is a major difference between the taste of V8 juice and the cheaper stuff. Trust me on this. I’ve made the mistake a couple of times, but this homemade chili recipe is always better with V8. It freezes well, so you can keep any excess, and use it for making your next batch of chili.
How To Make Homemade Chili From Scratch
Step 1: Heat the pot – Heat a large pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat, Italian sausage, onion, and bell pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until meat is browned.
Depending on the level of heat you like in your chili, you can use mild or spicy Italian sausage, and mild or hot peppers. It really does make a difference in the taste of the chili, so choose wisely!
Step 2: Prepare the tomatoes (optional, if using fresh tomatoes) – If you are using fresh tomatoes, you’ll want to cook them down a bit while the meat is browning. Using a separate pot, cook the chopped tomatoes over medium heat until softened.
Step 3: Drain the chili meat – After the meat has finished cooking, drain the fat. If you don’t, you’ll have oily chili and no one wants that!
Step 4: Add the beans – Drain both cans of kidney beans, then add them to the pot with the meat and veggie mix. Then add the chili beans, but DO NOT drain them. You want all of those yummy spices they add to the liquid for your homemade chili.
This is where you can really play around with the spices for homemade chili recipe to make it your own. If you like hot, add more chili powder, or mix in some hot pepper flakes (learn how to make crushed red pepper flakes here). This is also a great way to use up those Italian spices that you dried from your herb garden. If you prefer to cook without sugar, you can leave it out.
Step 6: Pour in the juice – The last ingredient to add to your homemade chili is the V8 juice. This is another ingredient that you can experiment with a bit. If you like chunky chili, only add enough juice to make the chili “wet”. If you like a soupy chili, then add more!
Step 7: Simmer your homemade chili – Mix the chili well, and then reduce the heat down to a simmer. Allow the chili to simmer at least one hour, stirring occasionally. This will ensure the beans are soft, and the tomatoes have really cooked down and blended with the other flavors. If you’re in a pinch, let the chili simmer for 30 minutes at a minimum.
Rather than simmering it on the stove, you can put the chili into a slow cooker and leave it on simmer all day. It’s very hard to overcook this chili. The longer it simmers, the more blended the taste of the ingredients.
Depending on where you are from, bake some cornbread, or make your favorite sandwich to complement this delicious homemade chili. I personally prefer the creamy taste of peanut butter sandwiches dipped in chili! Yum!
This is seriously the best homemade chili recipe ever, and it will quickly become a family favorite. It’ll warm you up and make your home smell amazing. It’s truly the perfect hearty family chili for those chilly fall, winter, and spring days! And you can even use up some of your garden harvest!
More Garden Fresh Recipes
- How To Make Basil Pesto Using Garden Fresh Basil
- How To Make Homemade Sun Dried Cherry Tomatoes
- How To Make Homemade Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)
- Fudgy Chocolate Zucchini Brownies Recipe
Share your favorite homemade chili recipe in the comments section below!