Delicious Ham Chili: The Recipe You Need Today!

Are you looking for a recipe that is hearty, delicious, and will keep you coming back for more? Look no further than this ham chili recipe. I’m a culinary explorer, and I’ve traveled far and wide to find the perfect recipes to satisfy my cravings. And let me tell you, this ham chili recipe is a winner.

There’s just something special about chili that makes it the perfect meal for any occasion. Whether it’s a cozy night in with the family, a potluck party with friends, or even a tailgate at your favorite sporting event, chili is always a crowd-pleaser. And this ham chili recipe takes things up a notch by adding the delicious flavor of smoked ham.

As someone who has tried their fair share of chili recipes, trust me when I say that this one stands out from the crowd. The combination of smoky ham, beans, tomatoes, and spices make for a delicious and filling meal that will warm you up on even the coldest of nights.

So why settle for mediocre chili when you can have the best? Follow along with me as I take you through each step of this amazing ham chili recipe. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Ham Chili
Ham Chili

Are you looking for a hearty and filling meal to satisfy your hunger pangs? Look no further than this ham chili recipe! I guarantee you will love this dish, not just for its taste but also for its health benefits.

With a combination of spices such as ground cumin and chili powder, this recipe packs a punch of flavor while still being healthy. The sweetness of brown sugar and ketchup complement the savory components of this dish, making it the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. With the addition of red kidney beans and tomatoes, not only does it add texture to the chili, but it makes it an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Moreover, ham is the star of this recipe- Whether it’s leftover ham or fresh ham hocks, they all work perfectly in making this chili recipe. This makes it the perfect way to use up any leftover ham from special occasions such as Christmas or Easter, so nothing goes to waste.

Have I convinced you yet? But wait – there’s more! This recipe can be made in a slow cooker or dutch oven, which means that you can come home to a spicy and flavorful dinner after a long day at work. Plus, with endless variations of toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream or freshly chopped onions, you can customize this dish according to your liking.

So why wouldn’t you love this recipe idea? It’s healthy, versatile and above all – delicious! Give this ham chili recipe a try today and let me know what you think- I bet it’ll become a regular in your recipe book!

Ingredient List

Before beginning the recipe, make sure to have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go. Here is what you’ll need:


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef or pork
  • 1 pound fully cooked ham, chopped
  • 1 glazed honey ham (optional)
  • 6 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can of pork and beans
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Chili Powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Make sure you get the best ham for this recipe to achieve a savory result. Using leftover ham would be great too as it adds flavor to the chili mixture. If you’re not into heat that much, skip the spicy ingredients like chili powder or the spicy ham hock.

The Recipe How-To

Now comes the most exciting section, how to make the spicy and hearty ham chili recipe. This dish is perfect for those who want to use leftover ham from last night’s dinner or for those who love the spicy taste of chili.

Make sure all the ingredients are ready and follow these step-by-step instructions.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups cooked ham, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 28 ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 14 ounce can red kidney beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil.
  2. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft.
  3. Add ground beef and cooked ham. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until meat is browned.
  4. Add in canned tomatoes (with their juice), tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, brown sugar, ketchup and red kidney beans. Stir well until well combined.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.
  7. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until vegetables are tender and flavors are well combined.
  8. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  9. Serve hot with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, or any other toppings you like.

With these easy-to-follow directions, you can make your own homemade chili that will leave your taste buds wanting more!

Substitutions and Variations

The beauty of chili is the flexibility it offers to create customized meals based on different preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations you can make to this ham chili recipe:

– Protein: You can use any protein in place of ham. Ground beef, turkey, or chicken can be used if you don’t have leftover ham.

– Beans: Try different types of beans instead of red kidney beans. Pinto beans, black beans or even chickpeas will add diversity and texture to the chilli.

– Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes come in a wide range of formats, from whole peeled tomatoes to crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes or tomato sauce. You can blend the tomatoes until they’re smooth or leave them chunky.

– Spice Levels: Adjust the spice level of your chili to your taste by increasing or reducing the amount of chili powder and cumin. You could also add some adobo sauce for smokiness and depth.

– Sweetness: If you like your chili on the sweeter side, you can increase the amount of brown sugar, honey or ketchup.

– Veggies: Add more vegetables to ramp up nutrition in this dish. Bell peppers, corn, zucchini or poblano peppers will all taste great in this hearty bowl of goodness.

– Toppings: The sky is the limit when it comes to toppings. Go classic with shredded cheese or sour cream or get creative with green onions, cilantro, avocado or a squeeze of lime juice over each serving.


These are just some ideas for substitutions and variations you could make on this ham chili recipe. Whether you’re making it for a tailgating party, game night at home or a quick weeknight dinner option, there’s no wrong way to make spicy ham bean chili – as long as it’s delicious!

Serving and Pairing

When it comes to serving and pairing this delicious ham chili recipe, you have a world of options at your disposal, but I am going to share my personal favorites with you.

First, let’s talk about the perfect vessel for serving: bowls are the way to go! This is a hearty and comforting dish that begs to be scooped up with a spoon, and a sturdy bowl is the best way to deliver the goods. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even serve your chili in bread bowls for an extra special touch.

Now that we’ve got our serving sorted, let’s pair this ham chili with some amazing toppings. My go-to toppings include shredded cheese, diced onions, sliced jalapenos, and dollops of sour cream. These toppings add an extra layer of flavor and texture that take this already fantastic chili recipe to the next level.

If you’re looking for something on the side, I love serving this chili with some fresh crusty bread or tortilla chips for dipping. And if you want to keep things healthy, a simple side salad will do just fine.

Now let’s talk about drinks! Beer is the classic choice when it comes to pairing with chili. A cold lager or light beer perfectly complements the rich and spicy flavors in this ham chili recipe. If beer isn’t your thing, a glass of red wine or a cold glass of iced tea also work great!

In conclusion, when it comes to serving and pairing this delicious ham chili recipe, the possibilities are endless! Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings and sides for a comforting meal that will leave your taste buds yearning for more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

One of the remarkable qualities of this ham chili recipe is that you can prepare it ahead of time and refrigerate it for later. Chili usually tastes better on the second day as the flavors have some time to meld together. So, if you have a hectic week coming up, plan to cook a batch of ham chili over the weekend and then store it in an airtight container. Just make sure to let it cool down first before transferring it to the fridge.

If you have some leftover ham bone or ham hock, you can throw it into the pot while preparing the recipe, and then freeze the chili for longer shelf life. As always, label your container with the recipe name and date before placing it in your freezer.

The best way to reheat ham chili is to warm it on low heat over a stovetop. You can also use a microwave if you prefer convenience. However, make sure to stir the contents frequently while reheating, to avoid hot spots that could burn your tongue. If you find that your leftover chili has become too thick after refrigerating, you can add some water or beef stock to get back that ideal consistency.

Overall, remember that this recipe is all about simplicity and flexibility; feel free to experiment with your favorite toppings or sides like cornbread or rice. So whether you’re planning to entertain some friends or just satisfying your own hunger pangs, this hearty and delicious ham chili dish is ready anytime – just take caution of its siren call that’ll keep you craving for more!

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to making a delicious ham chili, there are some tips and tricks that can make the difference between a mediocre pot of chili and something truly special. Here are some of my best tips for ensuring that your ham chili is the talk of the town.

Firstly, ensure that you use the best quality ham possible. It makes a huge difference in both flavor and texture. If you’re using leftover ham, make sure that it hasn’t been frozen and thawed too many times, as this can affect the taste and consistency of the meat.

Next, don’t skimp on the spices. The combination of ground cumin and chili powder gives this dish its signature smoky, spicy flavor. Be sure to use fresh spices and toast them lightly before adding them to your chili for maximum flavor.

To add a touch of sweetness to your ham chili, consider adding a tablespoon or two of brown sugar or honey. This will help balance out the spicy notes and elevate the overall flavor profile of your dish.

If you’re looking to make a healthier version of this classic comfort food, consider using ground turkey instead of beef or pork. You’ll save on fat and calories without sacrificing flavor. Additionally, adding black beans or kidney beans is not only healthy but also adds a nice texture to your chili.

When cooking your ham chili, resist the urge to stir it too often as this will break down the meat and result in a mushy chili. Instead, let it simmer gently over low heat for at least an hour to allow all of the flavors to meld together.

Finally, for those looking for an extra kick, add finely chopped jalapeños or habaneros to your ham chili. Be warned though – these peppers pack a serious punch!


Before we conclude this recipe article, let’s take a moment to address some frequently asked questions about this particular ham chili recipe. It’s always reassuring to have some answers handy when any doubts arise!

What is the secret to great chili?

When it comes to enhancing the flavors in our dishes, we tend to stick to classic ingredients like salt or sugar. However, there are certain ingredients that can give our meals a unique twist and take them to the next level. For instance, cocoa powder may seem like a dessert-only ingredient, but it pairs incredibly well with chili, creating a balance between the sweetness and spiciness. Similarly, adding beer instead of water or stock can add depth to your dish, making it a party favorite. Another surprising ingredient that can elevate your meals is coffee. Its bitter and earthy flavor complements the richness of stews and gravies. Lastly, cinnamon, which is often associated with sweet treats, can add warmth to savory dishes and bring out the complex flavors in meaty dishes.

Do you cook the meat before adding it to chili?

If you want to add some intense, savory flavor to your chili, my recommendation would be to sear the meat first. This will help enhance the taste of the dish to another level. It’s essential not to overcook your beef or pork to the point they lose their color and texture. Whether you’re using diced or ground meat, sear them nicely and achieve the perfect taste and texture.

What kind of beans do you put in ham and beans?

For this recipe, we will need one pound of dried white or navy beans, which is equivalent to two cups. We will also require two tablespoons of olive oil, a cup and a half of roughly diced carrot, a cup of diced celery, three-fourth cup of diced onion, two teaspoons of salt, one teaspoon of ground black pepper, and a ham bone or hock to add flavor to the dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this ham chili recipe will surely become your new favorite! It is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for a cold winter night. Whether you have leftover ham or want to make a delicious twist on traditional chili recipes, this ham bean chili is the way to go.

With its unique combination of spices, tender ham, and kidney beans in tomato sauce, every bite will warm your soul. Plus, the recipe is versatile enough so that you can make spicy ham chili or a milder version by adjusting the amount of chili powder and cumin.

So head over to your kitchen and try out this recipe for yourself! You won’t be disappointed. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream, some chopped green onions, or shredded cheese for an even more satisfying meal. Trust me; this recipe is one you won’t regret trying!

Ham Chili

Ham Chili Recipe

I found this recipe on one of those little leaflets that they pass out at the supermarket. It's a great way to use up leftover ham and a great family pleaser. Serve with lots of bread to soak up the sauce.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 690 kcal


  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can pork and beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 ounce) can red kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups chopped ham


  • In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, over medium heat, cook bacon and onions until tender.
  • Add tomatoes, stirring to break up (or use diced tomatoes.) Stir in beans, ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin and hot pepper flakes.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Add ham, cook 10 minutes longer to warm through.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 433gCalories: 690kcalCarbohydrates: 80.1gProtein: 51gFat: 20.9gSaturated Fat: 6.7gCholesterol: 95.2mgSodium: 3303mgFiber: 15.7gSugar: 36.7g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Ham, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Pork, Potluck, Stove Top, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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