This Dutch Oven Chili Recipe is a hearty meal that's perfect for soup and football season! It's the ideal comfort food and with a little time and prep, this homemade chili will be a fun dinner favorite. The whole family will be wanting this every chance they get!
This stovetop chili comes with the best flavors you've had in a long time. It's smoky, it's savory, it's spicy, and it's everything you want in a chili recipe. The best part is that the taste gets better the next day, so the leftover chili is even more of a treat!
❤️Why we love this recipe
- Perfect for soup season - Love soup season? This recipe is a great choice and will have you craving a bite all year round.
- Simple ingredients - Made with pantry staples, you can find anything you don't already have on hand in nearly any grocery store. No fancy ingredients are needed.
- Easy to make - This chili doesn't require learning any new techniques. Just follow the steps and you'll have a hit!
- One pot meal- This recipe is so simple, it all comes together in one potch. Whether at home or cooking it over a fire on a camping trip, it's delicious every time!
- Easy to customize - Use any of your favorite toppings on top of the chili. This recipe allows a lot of flexibility, so make your bowl exactly how you want and it's guaranteed to be great!
Here are the ingredients we used for this recipe. You can find more information for substitutions below.
- Ground beef
- Pinto beans
- Kidney beans
- Jalapenos - Omit the seeds for a less spicy chili.
- Bell peppers
- Yellow onion
- Beef stock
- Worcestershire sauce
- Olive oil
- Crushed tomatoes
- Diced tomatoes
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Spice blend - We use ground cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano, & red pepper flakes.
- Bay leaves
Visit the recipe card for the full quantities and nutritional information.
✨Substitutions & variations
Here are a few suggestions on additional flavors to try, or simple variations to this recipe.
- Spice level - For a more spicy chili, increase the cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and/or the chili powder. Decrease these for a more mellow chili with low heat.
- Ground beef - Swap ground beef for ground turkey, ground pork, or any other ground meat you have on hand.
- Beans - Swap your kidney and pinto beans with great northern beans and black beans.
- Swap the broth - If you don't have beef broth or stock, you can swap it for chicken broth.
- Vegetarian chili - Swap the beef stock for vegetable broth, swap meat for meatless crumbles or add more beans in place of the meat.
- Swap tomatoes - Use all diced tomatoes if you don't have any crushed tomatoes. You can also use all crushed tomatoes instead of diced. If using all diced tomatoes, you can add in can of tomato sauce for extra concentrated tomato flavor.
- Mince the garlic and jalapeno.
- Dice onions and bell peppers.
- Drain and rinse the kidney and pinto beans.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Measure out all remaining ingredients.
Over medium heat, add olive oil, jalapeños, onions, and bell peppers to your enameled dutch oven. Cook until translucent. (Image 1)
Add the spice blend and fresh garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Image 2)
Add the ground beef to the pot with most of the salt. Reserve the remaining salt for adjusting the flavor later. Break the beef into bite-size chunks using a spoon. (Image 3)
Brown the meat, this should take about 5-7 minutes. (Image 4)
Add the crushed and diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves to the pot. Add the beef stock, reserving some for later in accordance to your desired preferences. We prefer a thicker chili, so we used only 1 cup of beef broth. (Image 5)
Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. (Image 6)
✨Pro Tip✨ - The longer you simmer the chili, the deeper the flavor will become!
Add the beans with more salt and seasonings to taste. Stir to combine. (Image 7) Simmer for 2-3 minutes to heat the beans up. (Image 8)
Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with all of your favorite toppings and enjoy! We like to load our bowls up with sour cream, jalapeño pepper slices, cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips or fritos.
- Use an enameled dutch oven - An enameled dutch oven makes for a much easier clean-up. A cast iron dutch oven is great too but requires seasoning with oil after you are done to prevent rusting.
- Add toppings to your heart's content - So many of your favorite things go great with this classic chili recipe. Saltine and oyster crackers, diced avocado, chips, a dash of hot sauce, green onions & cilantro, there are so many options!
- Use leftover chili for other dishes - Chili dogs, stuffing baked potatoes, topping nachos and cheese fries, and making breakfast bowls are some great ways to give you a lot of bang for your buck with this recipe!
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💭Frequently Asked Questions
The chili can be stored right in the dutch oven inside your fridge. You can store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze, allow the chili to cool completely and in freezer bags or a freezer safe container. It will be good for 3 months. If you freeze without cooling, ice crystals will form on top the container.
If stored in the dutch oven, you can simply heat it up on the stove. Otherwise, heat your leftovers in the microwave!
If you desire a thinner chili, add more beef stock or broth.
If you want a thicker chili, add less beef stock or broth.
Simple and easy!
For a more spicy chili, increase the cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and/or the chili powder. Decrease these for a more mellow chili with low heat.
More Recipes To Consider
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Dutch Oven Chili
- 1 dutch oven
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 2 small onions, diced
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups beef stock
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (1 can)
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes (1 can)
- 15.5 ounces pinto beans, drained and rinsed (1 can)
- 15.5 ounces kidney beans, drained and rinsed (1 can)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt (add slowly and to taste)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 whole bay leaves
- Over medium heat, add olive oil, bell peppers, jalapenos, and onions to a large dutch oven with a good pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the seasonings and fresh garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring often to ensure the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add ground beef and add most of the salt, reserving some for later. Using a spoon, break the beef into large chunks and brown it completely. This will take roughly 5-7 minutes.
- Add crushed and diced tomatoes, along with Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and beef stock. Stir and cover. Simmer for 2 hours, minimum, stirring every 30 minutes.
- After simmering for at least 1 hour, add the beans with more salt and seasonings to taste. Simmer for 2-3 minutes uncovered to warm through and stir to combine.
- Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Adjust your spice level by increasing or decreasing red pepper flakes, cayenne, and/or chili powder amounts.
- Ground beef can be replaced with any ground meat of choice.
- Kidney and pinto beans can be substituted with beans of choice.
- Don't simmer beans for too long or they will lose their structure and turn mushy.
- Simmering for more than 2 hours will deepen the flavor.
- This recipe can made vegetarian by swapping the beef stock for vegetable broth, swapping meat for meatless crumbles and adding more beans in place of the meat.