Tips for Making the BEST Homemade Chili


Beefy, hearty, and a little bit spicy,  read on for my tips and secrets on the BEST homemade chili!

Plus a bonus tip!

Always brown your meat first.


Searing meat and developing a browned crust adds so much flavor to any dish.


Make "meat balls."

Roll your ground beef into roughly shaped balls before searing them. This helps the meat get a better sear, which leads to more flavor!


Add your dry spices to the pot and let them cook a minute or 2 before adding the liquids. This is called "blooming" the spices, and helps bring out their flavor better.

Toast your spices.


Always caramelize your tomato paste.

After adding tomato paste to the pot, cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. This lets the tomato paste "cook" and caramelize its sugars, developing more flavor.


I add a little bit of sugar to my chili to give it just a hint of sweetness. This helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Add a bit of sweetness.


Make a double batch!

This one-pot recipe can be easily doubled, and freezes very well to save some for later. The leftovers are even better the next day! Use it for hot dogs, chili nachos, chili mac, Frito pie, hamburgers, or sloppy joes.

bonus tip!

Don't know what to do with leftover chili? Combine it with this creamy cheesy macaroni and cheese for the BEST chili mac ever!

Don't forget the homemade marinara sauce! This sauce is easy to make, and perfect for simmering those delicious meatballs in.

For another fall favorite, try this Short Rib Ragu with Rigatoni.  A rich and hearty sauce made from tomatoes, fresh herbs, parmesan, & slow braised short ribs, served over your favorite pasta.

Lauren shares Cajun cuisine and impressive homemade recipes. She loves teaching people how to make the good stuff, from scratch.