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Stovetop Chili con Carne

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This easy stovetop chili recipe is perfect for a quick and delicious meal. It has a rich, zesty flavor with just 3 ingredients (plus our secret ingredient!). Serve it with cornbread or biscuits, and top it with your favorite toppings, like shredded cheese or green onions. You are sure to love this easy stove top chili con carne recipe!

stovetop chili in a white bowl with tomatoes and leeks in the background

Simple Chili Recipe on Stove Top

Simple and healthy dishes are what we all crave, but sometimes we don’t have the time to make them. This easy stovetop chili recipe is perfect for busy weeknights.

This homemade chili is easy to make and the recipe only requires a few ingredients. You can serve it with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese and sour cream. Either way, you’ll love this simple, easy meal.

This easy recipe for chili can be tailored to your liking and is made on the stove top. We like our chili with ground beef and beans, but you could add green peppers or any other vegetables you like.

To make things even easier, we have Crockpot slow cooker and Instant Pot pressure cooker instructions, too! They are below and in the recipe.

The best thing about this hot chili beans recipe is that it can only be made with just 3 ingredients plus our secret ingredient, and served within 30 minutes!

a white bowl of easy stovetop chili recipe ready to serve, a tomato and piece of corn bread is shown in the background

The Best Beans for Chili

Chili is typically made with ground beef and is called chili con carne. Many people like to add beans to it for added texture and flavor.

There are many different types of beans that you can use in stove top chili, but some are better than others. Some of the best beans for chili include black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and small red beans.

For a hearty, rich meal, beans are high in protein and fiber. The protein and fiber will help thicken the chili and makes it more filling. Plus, they are a budget friendly meal.

If you want to add extra flavor to your chili con carne, you can try using different types of beans or a mix of them. For example, you could use black-eyed peas or garbanzo beans. Or use lentils or quinoa instead of beans in this dutch oven chili recipe.

easy stovetop chili on a small bowl with leeks and tomatoes in the background

What is the secret ingredient to good chili?

The secret ingredient to these hot chili beans is a pinch of cinnamon. Cinnamon might seem like an odd choice, but it does bring out the flavor of the chili.

If you don’t have cinnamon or don’t like it, you can still make this chili without it.

4 Ingredient Stovetop Chili Recipe

  • Lean ground beef – I like 85/15 or 80/20
  • Chili beans – use canned for easy stovetop chili
  • Diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel or Zesty Diced Tomatoes)
  • Secret ingredient: ground cinnamon

Optional toppings: shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped avocado, sliced green onions, jalapenos, or crushed tortilla chips.

If you want your chili to be hotter, add some chili powder or cayenne pepper to the recipe. You can add a packet of chili spice seasoning for even more flavor.

Equipment Needed

Cooking the Chili on the stovetop

Add the lean ground beef to a large soup pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon or meat chopper to break it up, and cook until it is browned.

cooking the ground beef in a large pot and stirring using a wooden spoon

Drain the meat, leaving about a tablespoon of fat in the pot. This adds a little extra flavor to the chili.

Add the canned chili beans and diced tomatoes to the Dutch oven. Bring the chili to a boil, then add the cinnamon and reduce the heat.

diced tomatoes, chili beans, and browned ground beef in a large pot with a wooden spoon

Let the easy chili recipe simmer on the stove for about 25 minutes.

TFN Tip: Our secret ingredient, ground cinnamon, brings out the flavor in chili.

Before serving, garnish it with your favorite toppings and a side of garlic bread.

stovetop chili con carne with a spoon in a small white bowl with a cloth, cornbread, leaks, and tomato in the background

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • This easy chili can be made in a crock pot slow cooker: Simply brown the meat in a pan on the stove. Then add it to the crock-pot slow cooker with a can of chili beans, diced tomatoes (undrained), cinnamon, and a cup of water. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Instant Pot Chili: Brown the meat in the Instant Pot. Add all ingredients and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let it naturally release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Make it vegetarian: You can leave out the ground beef and add an extra can of chili beans (be sure your beans are vegetarian). Or use lentils, quinoa, or black-eyed peas instead of ground beef.
  • Use any ground meat: Swap the ground beef for ground chicken, turkey, pork, or lamb for a twist on traditional chili con carne.
  • You can swap zesty chili style diced tomatoes with green chiles for plain diced tomatoes. Then season the chili with a packet of chili seasoning.
chili con carne and a silver spoon on a small bowl with cornbread in the background

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you cook chili on the stove?

Cook chili on the stove for about 25 minutes to allow the flavors to mix and for the chili to thicken. Cover the soup pot and continue simmering chili on the stove to intensify the flavors.

Should you simmer chili covered or uncovered?

It depends on what you like. If you like your chili to be more liquid, then simmer it with the lid on. If you want it to be thicker, let the liquid evaporate as it simmers by removing the lid.

What beans are best for chili?

Many different types of beans can be used for stove top chili. The three most popular types of beans are black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans. We love using canned chili beans for this recipe. But, you can use canned or dried beans.
If you use dried beans, soak them in water overnight before cooking and add extra time to the recipe for them to cook through.

Can I use crushed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes in this chili recipe?

Yes, you can use crushed tomatoes instead of diced in chili. Crushed tomatoes will give your chili a thicker consistency and more tomato flavor.

Should chili be thick or soupy?

Some people like their chili thick, while others prefer it soupy. If you are one of the people who like it thick, this recipe is perfect for you. If you want it to be more liquidy, then add 1-2 cups of water.

Check Out our other Beans Recipes

Make zesty, colorful beans with our slow cooker calico beans recipe. If you want a quick and easy bean recipe, use the pressure cooker to make Instant Pot Calico Beans. This 30-minute dinner uses a mix of canned beans for a tasty, zesty meal.

How about using dried beans to make Instant Pot lima beans and ham soup for a budget-friendly dinner? Another easy dried bean recipe is our Instant Pot navy bean soup which uses a no-soak pressure cooking method.

Here’s the full recipe for Easy Stovetop Chili Con Carne

a white bowl of easy stovetop chili recipe ready to serve, a tomato and piece of corn bread is shown in the background
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5 from 1 vote

Stovetop Chili

This easy stovetop chili recipe is perfect for a quick and delicious meal. With just 4 ingredients (including our special ingredient) you'll love how quickly dinner is on the table! Serve it with cornbread, biscuits, or garlic bread.
Course Main Course, Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef, beans, Ground beef, beans and beef, chili, chili with beans
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 410kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or soup pot

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I like 85/15 or 80/20 ground beef)
  • 15 ounce can chili beans, undraiked
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel or Zesty Diced Tomatoes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar sour cream, chopped avocado, sliced green onions, jalapenos, crushed tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Add ground beef to a large soup pot on medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the meat and cook until fully browned.
  • Drain the meat, leaving about 1 tablespoon of excess grease in the pot for added flavor.
  • Place the soup pot back on medium heat and stir in the cans of chili beans and diced tomatoes. Bring chili to a boil.
  • Add the cinnamon and stir. Turn down heat to low heat or simmer. Let the chili simmer for about 25 minutes. Serve it warm and garnish it with your favorite toppings.

Notes

Crockpot Slow Cooker chili: This chili can be made in a crock-pot. First, brown the meat and add it to the crock-pot with the can of chili beans and diced tomatoes. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Instant Pot Chili: To make this easy chili recipe in the Instant Pot, saute the ground beef meat in the Instant Pot. Then, add all ingredients and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let it naturally release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
You can substitute diced tomatoes (without chiles) and use a chili seasoning packet to spice this to your liking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 986mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 138IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 5mg

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