Quick and Easy Ground Beef Chili With Beans

Easy Chili with Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Diana Rattray
Ratings (40)
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 Bowls (6 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
398 Calories
10g Fat
43g Carbs
36g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple chili is quick and flavorful, and it is an excellent choice for a busy day dinner. We like the chili with cornbread, and we usually have some wedges or muffins in the freezer for just this kind of fast meal. If you don't, these cornbread muffins can be ready in about 25 minutes, start to finish.

Besides being ridiculously easy, this chili is quite easy to change or add ingredients to suit your taste. If your family doesn't like onions, leave them out. If they prefer smaller beans, use pinto beans or navy beans instead of the kidney beans. Black beans are great in this chili, too. 

Take a look at the tips and variations for more flavor add-ins and serving ideas.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups kidney beans (cooked, or 1 15-ounce can, drained)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Optional: cheddar cheese (or cheddar Jack cheese, shredded)

Steps to Make It

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place it over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chopped onions.

Cook, stirring and breaking up the beef, until the onion is translucent and the beef is no longer pink.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, drained beans, and chili powder; stir to blend. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer.

Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the chili for 20 minutes. 

Top servings with shredded cheddar cheese or a cheddar jack or pepper jack blend, or top with a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle with green onions or chopped cilantro. Serve with cornbread wedges or muffins.

Tips and Variations

Add green or red bell pepper to the skillet along with the ground beef and onion. 

Just before the ground beef is browned, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of minced garlic; saute for a few more minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. Or, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder to the chili along with the chili powder.

For extra heat, add a few teaspoons of minced jalapeno pepper, poblano, or another hot chile. Or, add about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.

Double or triple the recipe and take the chili along to a tailgating party or potluck event. Serve it hot from the slow cooker.