Chunky Chili Recipe

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins

This Chunky Chili is a healthy, filling stew that the whole family will enjoy. The added chunks of stewing beef make this a wonderful, hearty meal for those cool fall and cold winter evenings.

Bowl of chunky chili with cheese sprinkled on top.

A Cozy Chili Recipe Perfect for Fall and Winter

You know when it gets super cold outside and you need a piping hot, stick-to-your-bones meal? This Chunky Chili Recipe will definitely come in handy when you are looking for a bowl full of comfort!

When those chilly evenings do come around, there is nothing like the smell of a hearty stew wafting from the stovetop around the kitchen, or the anticipation of devouring a huge bowl of it. Yes, devour. It’s that good!

This chili recipe slow cooks on the stove top throughout the afternoon, so by the time dinner comes around everyone is incredibly ready to dig in to a bowl. Every time I make it, great memories of family, Sunday afternoons and football comes to mind.

This classic beef chili is a family favorite and a crowd pleaser! Big hunks of chunky beef with beans and tons of seasoning combine to make one delicious meal. Top it with your favorite toppings and watch how quickly it disappears!

Two bowls of chili with cheese and sour cream on top.

How to Make Sure Your Stew Meat Becomes Tender

  1. The first step to the best stew meat is making sure you choose the right cut! I recommend chuck meat with a good marbling because it will become more and more tender as it cooks.
  2. It is also important to sear the meat before adding it to the stew for the most flavorful results—don’t stop at lightly browning it!
  3. The real key is that chuck meat needs to cook on low for about two hours. It’s a tough cut of meat, so it needs time to break down.  The fat in stew meat will slowly render as cooked and that is what will make it tender.
Bowls of various ingredients for chunky chili.

Recipe Ingredients

Ready to dig in to a beautiful bowl of chili? These are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Onions
  • Peppers: Green Bell Pepper & Orange Bell Pepper
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Ground Beef
  • Stewing Beef: You’ll need to cut it into 1 inch cubes.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Make sure you do not drain them.
  • Beef Broth
  • Spices: Ground Cumin, Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder: Adjust accordingly if you like extra spice.
  • Salt
  • Chili Pepper
  • Red Kidney Beans: Drain and rinse these.

What is a chili pepper?

There are many types of chili peppers you can use and they all have different levels of heat. Here are a few commonly found chili peppers you can try:

  • Poblano Pepper: green pepper, mild in heat and flavor
  • Jalapeño Pepper: green pepper, medium heat and flavor
  • Habanero Pepper: red/orange pepper, hot — this one brings the heat
  • Dried Red Chili Peppers: hot and will need to be rehydrated before using.
  • Chipotle Pepper: most commonly sold in a can with adobo sauce, hot with tons of unique flavor
Pot filled with diced onions, peppers, and garlic.
Pot full of vegetables and beef for chunky chili.

How to Make this Chunky Chili Recipe

Prep: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers and garlic and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Spoon the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Brown the Meat: Add the ground beef and stewing beef to the pot. Brown the meat over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

Mix: Return the onion mixture to the pot and add the tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, chili pepper and beans.

Pot of chunky chili with kidney beans added in.
Pot of cooked chunky chili with a serving spoon.

Cook: Cover the pot and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then simmer uncovered until the chili thickens, about 30 minutes.

Serve: Ladle into bowls and serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions for toppings.

Two bowls of chili with cheese and sour cream.

Tips for the Best Chili

Try out these tips as you cook for the best chili:

  • Don’t Add the Vegetables Too Quickly: Vegetables cook fast—make sure the beef has had time to brown before you add the vegetables back in.
  • Choosing Chili Peppers: Use a combination of peppers to bring additional flavor to the chili depending on how much heat and what type of flavor you enjoy (like habanero, Jalapeños, Poblanos, etc.).
  • Don’t Rush It: It’s important to let this chili slow cook for the meat to become tender, the flavors to med together and for the chili to thicken!
  • Stewing Meat: Good pre-cut stew meat or chuck roast work best for this chili. Choose a well-marbled chuck roast if you can.
  • Kidney Bean Substitutes: Pinto beans, cannellini beans and/or black beans can be substituted for kidney beans in this chunky chili, too.

Bowl of chunky chili without toppings.

Serving Suggestions

Toppings time! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Green Onion
  • Tortilla Chips or Corn Chips

This chili is really great with a side of my favorite Beer Bread, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread, or just a slice of toasted Homemade Bread as well! 

You could also serve it over white rice, or with a green salad on the side.

Spoonful of chunky chili with cheese.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Once the chili is done cooking you can store it in an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for a few days. It can also be frozen for a few months, if you want. 

To reheat, warm the chili in a pot on the stove until it reaches the desired temperature, and enjoy once more!

Bowl of chunky chili with cheese and sour cream.

If you are looking for a warm bowl of comforting dinner that the whole family will enjoy, this Chunky Chili recipe is exactly what you need! I bet you won’t have leftovers!

Looking for more tasty beef dinner recipes? Try my favorite flavorful Instant Pot Beef Tips, easy Crockpot Pot Roast and quick Homemade Hamburger Helper!

Yield: serves 6

Chunky Chili Recipe

Bowl of chunky chili with cheese sprinkled on top.

This Chunky Chili Recipe is a healthy, filling stew that the whole family will enjoy. The added chunks of stew beef make this a wonderful, hearty meal for those cool fall and cold winter evenings.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers and garlic and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Spoon the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the ground beef and stewing beef to the pot. Brown the meat over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Return the onion mixture to the pot and add the tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, chili pepper and beans.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then simmer uncovered until the chili thickens, about 30 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions for toppings.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 763mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 30g

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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