This post may contain affiliate links which means I will get a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure for details.

This is the best damn chili recipe, and you’d better believe it! Simmered to perfection and served with cilantro sour cream, it’s comforting and satisfying.

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?

Enter your email below and we'll send the recipe straight to your inbox!

The best damn chili recipe…such a bold name for a dish beloved by many.

Is there really a chili recipe so good that it deserves an expression that some consider a swear word? 

best damn chili recipe

Imagine perfectly tender ground beef with assorted peppers, beans, tomatoes, spices, and seasonings simmered long enough until everything becomes a thick and hearty blend of umami, sweet, and spicy. 

This chili con carne with cilantro sour cream on top will prove the quote, “Good things come to those who wait,” one spoonful at a time.

What Is Chili con Carne?

Chili con carne, which literally translates to “chili with meat,” is a slow-cooked stew believed to have originated in Texas

Chili con carne, or chili for short, typically combines meat, chili peppers, some liquid, tomatoes, spices, and seasonings. But you’re here for the best damn chili recipe, and true to its name, we are going all out for this version.

To make a damn good chili, we’ll prepare a savory-fiery base of onion, garlic, and peppers. Then, we’ll combine it with perfectly seasoned ground beef, tomatoes, white wine, herbs, spices, and seasonings.

Simmer the chili until it thickens, then add the beans and cook it some more. 

What Is Chili con Carne

If you want the best damn chili ever, patience is key!

You’ll be rewarded with a rich comfort food packed with robust flavors. 

Why do you put beans in chili?

When cooking chili, we stir it to prevent possible scorching on the bottom of the pan. But did you know chili itself stirs something else? ?

It’s emotions!

Now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the great chili debate. Are you Team With Beans or Team No Beans? 

We included the controversial beans in our darn good chili recipe, but feel free to omit them if you want to make a traditional red chili

Personally, I think the texture they add to the chili makes the dish heartier and just overall more enjoyable to devour.

Let me know your take on this in the comments below!

best damn chili ever recipe

Why You’ll Love The Best Damn Chili Recipe

  • Dump and Go: The best damn chili recipe may have an intimidating lengthy list of ingredients, but other than cooking the beef and slicing the veggies, it’s a super easy dish to make. Just simmer everything in one pot!
  • The Tastiest Leftover: What tastes even better the next day? Chili con carne, of course! You can make a big batch for meal prep or fuss-free hosting, and rest easy that you’re one reheating away from a delicious meal. 
  • Customizable Classic: Its unique blend of ingredients guarantees that you won’t get a lackluster serving, but the best damn chili ever recipe still has room for tweaks and customizations. Build the chili con carne of your dreams with fun toppings and additions!

What Does Chili con Carne Taste Like?

So what does this damn good chili recipe taste like?

This chili con carne is a delicious blend of hot, sweet, tart, and savory flavors that will leave you wanting more.

What Does Chili con Carne Taste Like

Sure, this recipe requires more ingredients, but once you smell and taste it, it’ll be hard to go back to your quick-fix, 5-ingredient chili. 

And don’t forget the fresh and tangy cilantro sour cream on top!

This rich condiment cools down the heat from the chilis and balances the acidity of the tomatoes. Every bowl is satisfying without being overwhelmingly spicy or acidic.  

Ingredients For The Best Damn Chili Recipe

  • Olive oil – To cook the base for our chili blend. 
  • Yellow onion – Adds some sweetness to our base for the chili pepper blend. 
  • Bell pepper – You can use red or green bell pepper to add a bright flavor to your chili. 
  • Anaheim chile pepper – Our best damn chili recipe features a blend of chiles, including the deliciously peppery Anaheim. 
  • Red jalapeno pepper – This chili is an addictively fiery dish, thanks to red jalapenos!
  • Garlic cloves – Our base for the pepper blend will be incomplete without the aromatic garlic. 
  • Ground beef – Use 80% lean ground beef, so your chili con carne will be full of hearty, beefy goodness without being too greasy.
  • Garlic powder – Chili and garlic go together like tomato and basil. Besides having garlic cloves, we’ll also season our chili with garlic powder!
  • Beef bouillon cubes – An amazing umami booster for our darn good chili. 
  • Worcestershire sauce – Another ingredient that deepens the savory flavor of our hot chili. 
  • Light beer – Forget about broth. Do you want a secret ingredient that’ll make your chili the best damn chili ever? Use beer to balance out the spices and tenderize the beef!
  • Diced tomatoes – This chili con carne uses three types of tomatoes, including fire-roasted tomatoes. They are smoky and sweet, which adds complexity to the stew.
  • Crushed tomatoes – Don’t just use any canned tomatoes! Make the best damn chili recipe with the rich and sweet San Marzano tomatoes.
  • Tomato paste – Adds nuance to the slow-cooked stew with its concentrated tomato flavor.
  • White wine -Beer and wine in one dish? Don’t worry; you won’t end up with a boozy chili con carne. White wine is here to enhance the flavors in the dish as it simmers slowly. 
  • Chipotle pepper sauce  – Adds dimension to the stew with its smokey flavor.
  • Salt – Because this chili is made with a blend of seasonings, make it a habit to taste as you go so it won’t get overly salty.
  • Ground black pepper – Another must-have seasoning on any chili con carne recipe. 
  • Smoked paprika – Imparts a smoky flavor that makes this chili oh-so-comforting. 
  • Chili powder – If you can’t handle too much heat, adjust the amount of chili powder or chiles in this recipe. 
  • Ground cumin – We’ll season the chili and sour cream topping with cumin for some earthiness that cuts through the richness of the overall dish. 
  • Brown sugar – While the chiles definitely kick up the heat in the stew, the sweetness from brown sugar mellows them a bit, so every spoonful tastes balanced and complex. 
  • Dried oregano – This bold, aromatic herb blends perfectly with the flavorful stew. 
  • Dried basil – Minty with a savory punch, dried basil is just delicious for a dish simmered slowly like this darn good chili. 
  • Dark red kidney beans – You can also let your beans sit in the strainer or rinse them before adding them to the chili to tone down their saltiness.
  • Sour cream – You can top your chili con carne with anything you want, but the rich, tangy cream cheese is a tasty way to offset the heat of the stew. 
  • Fresh cilantro – The addition of chopped cilantro and cumin takes a seemingly simple dollop of sour cream for the chili to the next level.

Tools Needed To Prepare Chili con Carne

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Chili

What is the best meat for chili?

Besides ground beef, you can also use pork shoulder for your chili. Cut it into small pieces for the perfect meaty spoonful every time. 

And since our best damn chili recipe is cooked slowly, you can also use cuts of meat like brisket or strip steak

What kind of beans are used in chili?

If you’re pro-beans when it comes to chilis, you might enjoy having a variety of beans in your chili con carne!

Some delicious additions are pinto and navy beans

What can I put in chili besides beans?

Curl up with the heartiest bowl of chili packed with mixed veggies, beef, and beans! Include chopped spinach, zucchini, carrots, and sweet potatoes in your stew. 

How to Make The Best Damn Chili Ever Recipe

Ingredients:

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Gather all the ingredients for the best damn chili recipe.

ingredients for the best damn chili recipe

STEP 2: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir and cook until soft.

step 2 best damn chili recipe

STEP 3: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 7 minutes or until brown.

step 3 best damn chili recipe

STEP 4: Season the meat with garlic powder, bouillon cubes, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the beer.

STEP 5: Continue cooking the ground beef for 3 minutes, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

step 5 best damn chili recipe

STEP 6: Stir in the beef into the peppers.

step 6 best damn chili recipe

STEP 7: Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and white wine. Season with pepper sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, oregano, and basil.

step 7a best damn chili recipe
step 7b best damn chili recipe

STEP 8: Bring the chili to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

STEP 9: Stir in the beans and simmer for 30 minutes more.

step 9a best damn chili recipe
step 9b best damn chili recipe

STEP 10: Blend sour cream, cilantro, and cumin in a food processor until smooth.

step 10a best damn chili recipe
step 10b best damn chili recipe

STEP 11: And that’s it! You just made the best damn chili recipe. Serve it with the sour cream mixture on top, and enjoy!

step 11 best damn chili recipe

What To Serve With Chili

This thick and meaty damn good chili recipe eats like a meal, but you can serve it with different sides and toppings. 

If you’re hosting, set up a chili bar and enjoy this chili con carne with various sauces and cheeses!

Want to relax at home and just enjoy a big bowl of hot chili to yourself?

Pair it with corn ribs, creamy coleslaw, cornbread, baked potatoes, or even rice!

What To Serve With Chili

But for something different to serve with the best damn chili, I have two dishes you can make: Cracker Barrel mac and cheese and Chili’s spicy shrimp tacos.

These copycat recipes prove that anyone can easily replicate restaurant dishes at home. 

Tips About Making A Damn Good Chili Recipe

  • The secret for perfectly thick chili con carne? Simmer it for longer! But if you don’t have the time, you can just stir in a slurry made from a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water to the stew. 
  • If you find your chili too spicy, use seeded or fewer peppers and less chili powder. You can also swap red peppers with green ones. 
  • Don’t you just hate when your ground beef always ends up dry in chili recipes? I discovered that to keep ground beef from drying out, you must stop cooking as soon as it’s no longer pink!

How To Store Chili con Carne

  • Fridge: Chili is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day, and you’ll be pleased to know that this stew can last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days!
  • Freezer: Want your chili con carne to last longer? After cooling, transfer and portion it into freezer-safe bags. Squeeze out the excess air, and they should freeze well for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Simply thaw your frozen chili in the fridge overnight. My preferred way to reheat it is on the stove.
How To Store Chili con Carne

What Is the Difference Between Chili and Chili con Carne?

Chili con carne is Spanish for “chili with meat,” while chili can refer to chili peppers, which are the fruits of Capsicums.

However, the two terms are often used interchangeably by most people when they’re talking about the comforting stew made with chili peppers, meat, tomatoes, seasonings, spices, and sometimes, beans. 

So if you don’t feel like saying the whole phrase “chili con carne,” just say chili. 

Chili con Carne Recipe

What Is the Best Meat Combination for Chili?

You can combine ground meats for chili!

For example, ground sirloin and chuck will make a flavorful combination. You’ll get the perfect balance of tasty fat and hearty lean meat.

If you want a unique flavor for your chili, consider combining ground chuck with ground venison or ground turkey!

These lean meats provide a delicious texture to the thick chili.

What Is the Secret to Really Good Chili?

A secret ingredient that some people swear elevates their chili con carne is cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder might seem like it only belongs to desserts, but it actually complements the peppers in the stew and makes the dish richer.

I’m honestly not surprised that this combination works since I’m a fan of dark chocolate bars with chili. 

But besides adding an unexpected ingredient for depth of flavor, how long you cook the stew is the difference between an ordinary chili and a best-tasting chili.

You can only do justice to the ingredients in this chili recipe if you give them time to meld together. Doing so also means the ground beef can tenderize to perfection. 

damn good chili recipe

FAQ About Chili

Can I freeze this chili?

Feel free to freeze this chili! I suggest portioning it into individual servings in freezer-safe bags.

What liquid is best for chili?

Forget about water. For the most delicious, slow-cooked chili, your liquid should be something flavorful, like beef stock or beer, like what we did in our best damn chili recipe.  

Does chili get better the longer it cooks?

Yes, the longer chili cooks, the better it’ll taste. Simmering it longer also makes it thicker. 

Should you put sugar in chili?

Everyone has preferences, but the sweetness of sugar definitely balances the heat of chili. You can even use maple syrup to add sweetness to chili!

The Best Damn Chili Recipe

Best Damn Chili Recipe

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

This is the best damn chili recipe, and you'd better believe it! Simmered to perfection and served with cilantro sour cream, it's comforting and satisfying.

Instructions

  1. Gather all the ingredients for the best damn chili recipe. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir and cook until soft. 
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 7 minutes or until brown. 
  4. Season the meat with garlic powder, bouillon cubes, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the beer. 
  5. Continue cooking the ground beef for 3 minutes, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  6. Stir in the beef into the peppers. 
  7. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and white wine. Season with pepper sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, oregano, and basil. 
  8. Bring the chili to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  9. Stir in the beans and simmer for 30 minutes more.
  10. Blend sour cream, cilantro, and cumin in a food processor until smooth. 
  11. And that's it! You just made the best damn chili recipe. Serve it with the sour cream mixture on top, and enjoy!

Notes

  • The best way to thicken your chili? Simmer it for longer! But if you're limited with time, you can slowly stir in a slurry made from a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water. 
  • Make the best damn chili recipe as spicy as you want! If it's too spicy, use seeded or less peppers and chili powder. You can also swap red peppers with green peppers.
  • Is your ground beef in chili recipes always dry? Keep an eye on it, and stop cooking once it's no longer pink. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 254mgSodium: 1023mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 10g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

Love this recipe? Save for later!

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Conclusion

Classic chili is good, but you wouldn’t want to miss out on the best damn chili recipe. 

Yes, it requires more ingredients than your typical chili recipe, but once you experience the symphony of flavors from spicy, sweet, tangy, and savory, this will become your favorite chili recipe. 

chili con carne

Besides simmering it for hours, making this chili con carne is also quite simple. After making the chili pepper blend, just cook everything in one pan!

And once the waiting game is over, you’ll be rewarded with the heartiest, most comforting chili that will make you swear and say this recipe’s name. ?

What are your favorite chili toppings? Let us know in the comments below!

And if you love this darn good chili, I highly recommend making these next:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *