Perfectly Easy Chili with Melted Cheddar

A blend of meat and beans with just the right amount of heat topped with melted cheese

A warm bowl of chili on a cold day is amazing. This chili recipe comes together very quickly and then simmers on the stove for an hour. I use two different kinds of beans in this recipe because I like the layers of flavor and texture that they add to the chili. Chili can be made ahead of time and reheated as needed. It’s great to serve when you know that people in your family will be eating at all different times. I also like serving chili on a buffet when there is a sporting event on so people can help themselves when they’re ready to eat and help themselves to seconds if they’re still hungry. If you are serving chili on a buffet put out toppings that will compliment the chili like shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, jalapeño, avocado and chopped tomatoes


It is important to sauté the onions until translucent and then add the ground sirloin. Once the ground sirloin is brown you should drain most of the oil from the pan before adding the spices. My chili recipe is a medium heat chili, you can increase or decrease the chili powder to suit your taste. I like to keep the ratio of chili powder to cumin as 3 to 2. The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of chili powder and 2 tablespoons of cumin so if you increase the chili powder make sure you increase the cumin. I suggest making the recipe as it is written and adjusting the spice after the chili has had time to simmer. The flavor will increase as the chili cooks.

Serving Chili:

Serve the chili with a little melted shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top and sour cream on the side. I like to serve the chili with a salad and homemade cornbread.


  • Vegetarian: omit the meat and use a third type of bean like white beans or you can simply increase the amount of pinto and kidney beans that are already in the recipe.
  • You can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the meat.
  • Add jalapeño to the chili to increase the heat
  • Add crumbled hot and sweet sausage to the meat
  • Corn will add color and flavor to the chili
  • Add chopped kale for a healthy kick

Storing Chili:

Chili will last for 5 days in the refrigerator and two months in the freezer. It reheats perfectly in the oven or microwave. It is a good idea to freeze the chili in portions so you can defrost it as it is needed.

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The Best Chili Recipe

A blend of meat and beans with just the right spice
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex
Keyword: chili, spicy
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 521kcal


  • 2 lb ground meat 90% lean
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped – 2 cups
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth low sodium
  • 15.5 oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded


  • heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven
  • saute onion until soft and translucent
  • add ground meat and stir to brown
  • drain most of the oil out of pot
  • add tomato paste
  • add cumin, chili pepper and stir
  • add crushed tomatoes and beef broth
  • add beans, salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 1 hour uncovered
  • place in oven proof bowls and top with cheese (optional)
  • place in 350 oven for 5 minutes until cheese melts(optional)


Serving: 1serving | Sodium: 1165mg | Calcium: 227mg | Vitamin C: 11mg | Vitamin A: 1295IU | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 9g | Potassium: 1057mg | Cholesterol: 95mg | Calories: 521kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Fat: 33g | Protein: 32g | Carbohydrates: 27g | Iron: 7mg
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Homemade Cornbread

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread, muffins
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 277kcal


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat oven to 425
  • mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, sugar together
  • in a seperate bowl whisk together milk, egg and melted butter
  • mix wet ingredients ito dry ingredients
  • grease an 8×8 pan and pour in batter
  • bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top


You can use this recipe to make muffins as well. If you want the muffins to be a little sweeter increase sugar by 1/4 cup and do not add the pepper.
Some variations:
Add chopped jalapeno to create a little spice or dried cranberries to make the cornbread a little sweeter.


Serving: 1piece | Sodium: 539mg | Calcium: 132mg | Vitamin A: 316IU | Sugar: 14g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 133mg | Cholesterol: 44mg | Calories: 277kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Fat: 11g | Protein: 5g | Carbohydrates: 41g | Iron: 2mg

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