This thick ground beef chili bowl topped with shredded cheese and green onions also makes perfect topping a baked potato or chili dog.
There are as many chili recipes as there are home cooks, don't you think? Everyone seems to have their own preferences about spice level, consistency, and ingredients.
I stand firmly on Team No Chili Beans. How about you?
While our family normally enjoys this lightened up chicken chili, a classic ground beef chili recipe is essential if you want to top a potato, make chili fries, or chili dogs at home for the kids.
I've used this for an easy chili bowl recipe served plain with Frito chips and as a nacho topping, too.
I love that you can make it as mild or spicy as you can handle.
This is a very simple ground beef chili recipe and you don't need many items to make it.
- Ground Beef: You could substitute ground pork or even ground turkey as long as you brown it in a bit of olive oil.
- Canned Tomato Sauce
- Rotel Tomatoes
- Minced Garlic
- Chili Powder
And then just be prepped and ready with your favorite chili toppings. You can see my recommendations below.
How to Make the Chili
Brown the ground meat in a large pot with a lid. Once it is no longer pink, drain the fat from the pot and return the beef to the stovetop.
Add all the dry seasonings to the pot and stir. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. This will toast the seasonings and flavor the meat.
Add the canned tomato sauce, Rotel tomatoes, and a little water to the pot and stir them in. Bring the mixture to a bubble.
Cook the chili for 1 hour, stirring it once in a while to check consistency.
It is a very thick chili but it should not stick to the bottom of the pot. If it starts to get too thick, just add a ¼ cup to ½ cup of water at a time to thin it out again.
Chili Bowl Topping Ideas
The best part of a chili bowl is mixing and matching your favorite toppings.
Some of my favorites to serve include:
- Shredded Cheese: Especially a good sharp cheddar but blue cheese crumbles would be a fun twist, too.
- Chopped Green Onions: I prefer these milder onions to a harsher raw white onion, but use whatever your family loves.
- Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce: The chili isn't too spicy. You could add hot sauce to kick it up or even a sprinkle more of cayenne.
- Buffalo Sauce: If you really want to add a boost of spice, this 3-ingredient buffalo sauce would be tasty drizzled over the top.
- Fresh Lime Wedges: I love a little fresh citrus with spicy foods like this.
- Fresh Cilantro: If you want to add fresh herbs, this is the one to use.
You could serve this as a thick chili bowl with toppings alongside your favorite chips for dunking:
- Frito Corn Chips
- Tortilla Chips
- Potato Chips
If you want a heartier meal, use this chili as a baked potato topping or spooned over a bowl of mashed potatoes.
You could bake a bag of frozen tater tots and use it to make a chili tot bowl or bake a batch of sweet and spicy roasted sweet potatoes and use those for a base for the chili.
Make Ahead Freezer Tips
The best part is that you can make a big batch of this thick beef chili and then separate it into smaller containers for your freezer.
I love to double this recipe for easy lunches or leftovers.
Defrost just what you need for countless easy recipes all winter long.
Simply reheat the chili in a sauce pan on the stove top. You may need a little water if it is too thick as it cooks. You could also defrost it in the microwave and heat it on HIGH till warmed through.