Stovetop Beef Chili

Stovetop beef chili

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
553 Calories
15g Fat
66g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 553
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 804mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 66g 24%
Dietary Fiber 18g 65%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 23mg 117%
Calcium 167mg 13%
Iron 9mg 49%
Potassium 1617mg 34%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's nothing better on a cold winter day than sitting down to a bowl of hot and spicy chili. And although many of us have gotten used to making our chili in the slow cooker, there is something nice about a simmering pot of comforting chili on the stovetop. You also have a bit more control over the dish, giving it a stir once in a while and checking to see that the meat isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan, as well as tasting it to make sure the seasoning is just right. In addition, stovetop chili comes to the rescue when you haven't planned dinner hours in advance.

In this simple recipe for stovetop beef chili, the onion and ground beef are cooked together, creating a tasty base for the dish. The beef absorbs some of the onion flavors, and the liquid from the onion helps keep the beef moist and tender. Garlic, tomatoes, taco sauce, and herbs and spices help round out this chili, while kidney beans add a nice texture.

This easy version is hearty and filling, and nourishing too. It is also economical as it stretches a pound of ground beef to feed six people. Add a crisp green salad and some warm cornbread or homemade cheese crackers for a complete meal.


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 cup water, or beef stock

  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (8-ounce) can taco sauce

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 or 3 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for stovetop chili recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. In a heavy stockpot, sauté the ground beef with the onion and garlic until the beef is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently to break the meat into small pieces.

    Combined stovetop chili ingredients

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  3. Sprinkle the flour over the beef mixture; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Thickening ground beef mixture with flour

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Add the diced tomatoes, water or beef stock, tomato sauce, taco sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, and red kidney beans. Bring to a boil.

    Tomatoes and beans added to the pot for chili

    The Spruce Eats

  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently until the flavors are blended and the chili is slightly thickened.

    Stovetop chili cooking

    The Spruce Eats

  6. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings. Enjoy.

    Stovetop beef chili in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats

Recipe Variations

  • If you like spicy food, add a can of diced green chiles or diced jalapeños along with the tomatoes. You can also include some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.
  • If you are trying to cut down on red meat, use ground chicken or turkey, or even ground pork sausage in place of the ground beef.
  • Substitute canned black beans in place of the red kidney beans—or use a mixture of both.
  • For extra vegetables, add diced bell pepper, mushrooms, and corn.

Best Chili Toppings

Chili is ideal when served with a variety of toppings:

  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Shredded cheddar, Parmesan, or Monterey Jack cheeses
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sliced scallions
  • Cubed avocado or guacamole
  • Crushed-up tortilla chips or saltine crackers


Make sure your spices and dried herbs are fresh and haven't lost their flavor. To give your chili a boost, make the chili powder from scratch instead of using jarred.

What other ways can I serve chili?

Chili doesn't need to only be eaten in a bowl—consider using chili as a filling for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, or as an ingredient for loaded nachos. Set up a baked potato bar with a variety of toppings, including cheeses, sour cream or yogurt, chives, bacon, and, of course, chili. At your next barbecue, offer chili as a condiment for hot dogs or place a spoonful on a plate of crispy french fries. You can even turn your chili into a comforting casserole, topped with biscuit batter and baked until golden.