For a hearty meal that can serve a crowd (and freezes well if you end up with leftovers), look no further than the humble chili. What belongs in the bowl depends largely on where you live. Some say beans have no place in chili, while some vegetarians make theirs with legumes as the star. In Cincinnati, you might find chili served over spaghetti, and many across the country top it with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped chives, or a little hot sauce. It also lends itself well to cooking in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, and stovetop. We've rounded up some of our favorite recipes, so no matter your chili preferences, you'll find a recipe or two to try here.
01 of 22
New Mexico Style Pork Green Chili
Forget the red, make this mild green pork chili for a new take on the theme. Plenty of Hatch peppers give it color and a mild flavor, while pork butt adds protein. Beer levels up the umami, but you can use water or broth if you prefer. Serve with warm corn tortillas to sop up the broth.
02 of 22
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Black beans and sweet potatoes give this vegetarian chili a different twist that anyone can enjoy, even dedicated meat-eaters. Lots of veggies lend it lots of nutrition, but with enough zesty flavor that will fool the kids into forgetting they're eating healthy. If you use water instead of broth, this recipe is even gluten-free.
03 of 22
Hearty Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
For a different twist on classic chili, swap out the ground beef for shredded chicken breasts or thighs. It's a lighter take than the meat version that doesn't skimp on flavor. Pinto and Great Northern beans work well, but you can use whatever you have in the pantry.
04 of 22
Vegetarian and Vegan Chili
Textured vegetable protein stands in for ground beef or turkey in this simple homemade chili recipe. TVP doesn't have much flavor on its own, so canned beans and plenty of spices lend a hand in this one-pot dish. It also keeps well, so you can freeze any leftovers.Continue to 5 of 22 below.
05 of 22
Chicken and Red Bean Chili
Shredded chicken breast has a different texture than ground turkey or beef, but this hearty chili doesn't skimp on flavor. Canned red beans and tomatoes keep things simple and on the quicker side. If you prefer to use dried beans instead, give yourself time to soak them overnight. Top with sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese, or your favorite fixins.
06 of 22
30-Minute Chili With Ground Beef and Beans
For those days when you need to get dinner in some bellies fast, turn to this easy beef chili. A zippy spice mixture, ground beef, canned beans, and diced tomatoes come together for a meal that works great for a weekday dinner or as part of a game-day spread or potluck. It also scales up well, if you have to feed a crowd.
07 of 22
Crock Pot Sausage-Beef Chili
Adding smoked sausage like andouille or chorizo to slow-cooker chili gives it a meat-lovers flare that will please the whole potluck. Turn up the heat with plenty of chili powder and diced peppers. Feel free to omit some if you like yours with a milder flavor.
08 of 22
Best Classic Chili
If you get a craving for chili on your way home from work, this quick and easy stovetop recipe can take care of that. Customize it to your family's tastes by adding chopped peppers, leaving out the onions, swapping in turkey for the beef, or using different bean varieties. We like it with cornbread muffins, but it tastes great solo, too.Continue to 9 of 22 below.
09 of 22
Turkey Green Chili
Try switching out turkey for beef or pork and green chilis for red, and you have a totally new dish the whole family will love. It comes out with a more soup-like texture than the traditional version, but don't let that fool you. This hearty bowl will still hold you over all day.
10 of 22
Easy Crock Pot Pork Chili
Use a pork shoulder instead of ground beef for a hearty chili that has an almost stew-like texture with plenty of umami flavor. For a less spicy chili, swap out the jalapeno for a Serrano or Anaheim pepper or omit in entirely. Serve with a green salad for a well-rounded meal.
11 of 22
Quick and Easy Chicken Chili Stew
This chicken and bean stew has a thinner consistency than your traditional ground beef chili, with the same rich flavor. It also comes together quickly for busy evenings. Use a combination of beans for a more interesting presentation and add some chopped bell peppers to the skillet to sneak in some extra vegetables.
12 of 22
Vegetarian Black Bean and Corn Chili
Black beans have a deep, rich flavor and hearty staying power that will make you forget chili ever had meat in it while corn keeps the texture interesting. This easy recipe comes together in a flash, and even beginner cooks can master it. Serve it with sour cream and shredded cheese, or the nondairy versions if you avoid animal products.Continue to 13 of 22 below.
13 of 22
Ground Beef and Black Bean Chili
If you usually use kidney or pinto beans in your chili, give this black bean version a try. This recipe works great as a traditional bowl, or as a topping for crackers or hot dogs, or even a taco filling. Make a double batch and freeze some, for an easy meal down the road.
14 of 22
Low-Fat Vegetarian White Bean Chili
Lighten up your chili with this cholesterol-free, vegetarian white bean chili that still packs plenty of taste. Lots of vegetables lend both nutrition and texture, while chili spices keep the flavor kicking. Top with shredded cheese or nondairy cheese to keep it vegan.
15 of 22
Basic Chili Con Carne With Beef and Beans
Kidney beans and tomatoes give this classic chili con carne a deep red color, while chili powder and two kinds of peppers turn up the heat. A dash of ground cloves adds complexity but don't go too heavy. They can quickly overwhelm the rest of the pot,
16 of 22
Crock Pot Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
Vegetarians, we've got a satisfying slow cooker chili for you. Two kinds of beans give it plenty of staying power while a potpourri of spices add flavor. It takes just minutes to put together and won't break the bank. Go wild with the garnishes like cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and more.Continue to 17 of 22 below.
17 of 22
Crock Pot No-Bean Beef Chili
Chili purists who believe beans don't belong in the bowl will love this beefy crockpot chili. This simple recipe lets you add your own twist; toss in some chopped onions and peppers, play with the spice profile, or even go wild and add some beans. We won't judge.
18 of 22
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
Making this low-fat turkey chili in your Instant Pot gives it the same depth of flavor as simmering for hours, but in far less time. Fire-roasted tomatoes add some smoke, but you can use the unseasoned kind if you can't find them. Even though it only cooks for 35 minutes, leave another 20-30 for the pressure to build up and release.
19 of 22
Easy Ground Beef Chili
Ground beef provides the protein for this simple and versatile meat and bean chili. Seed the jalapeno before using, if you prefer a less intense heat, and use whichever type of beans you like best. Serve topped with sliced avocado, shredded Monterey or cheddar cheese, sour cream, or other favorite toppings.
20 of 22
Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili
Start with dried pinto beans for this homey chili that also features ground beef, bell peppers, and plenty of spices. Use a high-quality chili powder for best results, and make sure it's nice and fresh so it doesn't lose that punch. Cornbread or muffins would make a great side.Continue to 21 of 22 below.
21 of 22
Chicken, Sausage, and White Bean Chili
Both chicken and sausage give this slow cooker chili lots of meaty flavor, for a stick-to-your-ribs meal that's perfect for chilly nights. We like chicken sausage, but any kind will work. If you choose a spicy sausage, you may want to use less pepper, to keep things balanced. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad for a full meal.
22 of 22
The Easiest Crock Pot Chili
Using pre-mixed chili seasoning, canned beans, and canned tomatoes and sauce means your pantry gets you more than halfway to this simple set-it-and-forget-it crockpot chili. Just brown up the ground beef, toss the rest of the ingredients into your slow cooker with it, and dinner's on the way. Serve with cornbread for a classic meal.