Looking for an easy, yet hearty, dinner with little effort? My weeknight chili recipe makes use of pantry staples, so there is little prep work. Starting with canned chili beans and diced tomatoes saves time and provides a base to build the chili. Cooking the ground beef, onion, and garlic is the only side work needed. Round out the chili with your favorite spices.

Jump to Recipe
Quick and Easy Weeknight Chili Recipe
Quick and Easy Weeknight Chili Recipe

Another advantage of this weeknight chili recipe is its flexibility. Whether you like your chili spicy or mild, chunky or simple, this chili recipe is easy to modify to your own taste. I often toss in a can of refried beans for a creamy texture, which is perfect for dipping tortilla chips. A large diced on the onions, and some added green pepper and jalapeno slices, is a great base for making nachos. Start with my recipe and see what you can create at home.

Toppings are also a great way to personalize this chili recipe. Sour cream, shredded cheese, jalapeno slices, raw onion, etc. So many possibilities!

NOTE: The recipe size is flexible. Simply increase the basic ingredients, such as beans and ground beef, to create a larger batch. Feel free to add additional ingredients, such as peppers or other types of beans, to the cooking process.

Bowl of chili

Weeknight Chili

Easy and flexible chili recipe using pantry staples
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine American


  • Large pot or Dutch oven


  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 1 large can (28oz) Chili beans Brooks mild is my go to chili base
  • 1 10-15oz can Diced tomatoes Look for tomatoes with diced chilies and/or herbs
  • 1 medium Yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced Can substitute a half teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili powder This is a mild measure, add more to your taste.
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried herbs, such as cilantro, Italian mix, thyme Can substitute a handful of chopped fresh cilantro


  • In large pot (or separate skillet) brown ground beef. Drain, then set aside.
  • Saute onions over medium heat until translucent and softened; do not brown. Add garlic, herbs, and spices and cook one minute longer.
  • Add beans, diced tomatoes, and beef to pot. Mix and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low simmer.
  • Add optional ingredients, such as refried beans, hot sauce, ketchup, etc. for desired taste.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for thirty minutes to blend flavors.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Keyword chili
Quick and Easy Weeknight Chili Recipe
Quick and Easy Weeknight Chili Recipe