Delicious Beef Chili | Perfect for Cold Nights

Are you looking for a comforting meal to enjoy during the chilly evenings that are coming up? As a culinary explorer, I have discovered an easy and delicious option for you to try – my small-batch beef chili recipe. This recipe is perfect for those who want to indulge in this classic dish without making a huge batch that will go to waste.

With just a few ingredients, two hours of your time, and a hearty appetite, you can create the best classic chili that will warm your body and soul. Plus, you can customize it according to your taste by adding or subtracting spices or vegetables to make it more or less flavorful.

As someone who loves to cook, I believe that good food is meant to be shared with family and friends. This small-batch beef chili recipe is perfect for sharing with your loved ones while enjoying a cozy evening together. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Small-Batch Beef Chili
Small-Batch Beef Chili

If you’re a chili lover like me, then you’ll definitely fall in love with this small-batch beef chili recipe. For those who don’t have the time or culinary skills to make a large pot of chili, this recipe is just perfect for you.

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is its simplicity. With just a few ingredients, including lean ground beef, diced tomatoes, red kidney and pinto beans and some select seasonings such as chili powder, chipotle pepper and cumin, you can create a hearty and flavorful chili that will satisfy your cravings.

What’s more appealing about this small-batch beef chili is that it can be ready in just 30 minutes. In no time at all, you’ll have delicious homemade chili whenever you want it without having to compromise on taste.

This recipe also provides flexibility when it comes to customizing the level of heat and flavor to suit your personal preference. Best of all, with its versatile nature, you can serve it as an accompaniment to any dish or incorporate it to make other recipes such as tamales or layered dips.

For health-conscious individuals looking for high-protein meals or for anyone who just loves good food, this small-batch beef chili has everything going for it. It’s the perfect solution for those looking for easy dinner ideas or wanting to meal prep on a busy weeknight.

So why not give yourself a treat by trying out this easy and delicious small-batch beef chili recipe? You won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 Rich and flavorful beef chili with a kick of spice
Rich and flavorful beef chili with a kick of spice

Here is a list of ingredients you will need to prepare the small-batch beef chili recipe. Make sure you have all of these items before beginning the cooking process.

Meat and Beans

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can red kidney beans (16 ounce), undrained
  • 1 can pinto beans (8 ounce), drained


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Canned Products

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce


  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper

Water and Oil

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon oil for cooking

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect for cozy evenings and game day gatherings
Perfect for cozy evenings and game day gatherings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

Step 1:

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Make sure to break up the beef into small pieces while it cooks.

Step 2:

Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

Step 3:

Stir in the chili powder, cumin and chipotle pepper until evenly distributed.

Step 4:

Add in the cans of undrained diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained red kidney beans, and tomato sauce. Stir until everything is well combined.

Step 5:

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately one hour with the pot partially covered.

Step 6:

After an hour of cooking, give a quick taste test to see if any additional seasoning is necessary. If so, add some more salt, chili powder, or cumin – whatever is needed to your taste preference.

Step 7:

Cook for an additional five minutes with any additional seasoning added.

This easy-to-follow recipe creates a rich and flavorful chili that will warm you up on even the coldest evenings. It feeds four people comfortably, but this recipe can also be easily doubled to make more servings. I hope you enjoy this delicious and hearty dish!

Substitutions and Variations

 A small-batch recipe that doesn't compromise on taste
A small-batch recipe that doesn’t compromise on taste

If you are looking to mix things up and put your own spin on this recipe, consider some of these simple substitutions and variations.

– Ground Turkey or Chicken: For a lighter version of this recipe, swap out the ground beef for an equal amount of ground turkey or chicken. This will help reduce the overall calorie and fat content while keeping the protein levels high.

– Vegetarian Chili: To make this dish completely vegetarian, simply omit the ground beef and substitute in additional beans or other plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh. You could also try using chopped mushrooms to add some meaty texture to the dish.

– Homemade Chili Powder: If you can’t find pre-made chili powder at your local grocery store, consider making your own by mixing together equal parts of ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. You can adjust the ratios based on your personal preferences, but this homemade mix will give you plenty of flavor without any added preservatives.

– Different Beans: While this recipe calls for red kidney beans and pinto beans, feel free to experiment with other legumes like black beans, navy beans, or even chickpeas. Just be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly as different types of beans will cook at different rates.

– Heat Level: If you prefer a milder chili, reduce the amount of chipotle pepper or chili powder used in this recipe. To kick up the spice factor, consider adding in some additional diced jalapeno peppers or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Remember that cooking is all about exploring and having fun in the kitchen. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make this small-batch beef chili recipe truly your own.

Serving and Pairing

 Packed with tender beef, beans, tomatoes, and aromatic spices
Packed with tender beef, beans, tomatoes, and aromatic spices

Now that your small-batch beef chili has been masterfully crafted, it’s time to serve it up! I recommend ladling this hearty dish into individual bowls and topping each with a generous helping of shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

This dish is incredibly versatile when it comes to pairing options. Some traditional options include a side of warm cornbread or a basket of tortilla chips. Personally, I like to serve my small-batch beef chili over a bed of rice for added texture and substance.

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try serving your chili alongside a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette or some fresh steamed vegetables. For those who want to take it up a notch, pair this dish with a crisp lager beer or a robust red wine.

No matter what you decide to pair with this savory bowl of goodness, just make sure you have enough to go around because everyone will definitely be coming back for seconds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A deliciously hearty meal that screams comfort food
A deliciously hearty meal that screams comfort food

Are you looking for a chili recipe that can be prepared ahead of time? My small-batch beef chili recipe is perfect for those who want to get ahead with their meal prep. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Once you’ve made the chili, let it cool down completely before storing it in an airtight container. Don’t forget to label the container with the date you made it to help you keep track of when it needs to be used or discarded.

When reheating, there are several ways to go about it. You could gently reheat it on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Or, if you’re short on time, you could pop the frozen chili into your microwave and defrost for approximately 5-7 minutes before reheating on high power until piping hot.

Also, this chili is versatile enough to be enjoyed on its own or as part of other meals such as burritos, tacos or rice bowls. Try pairing it with some crusty bread or cornbread for a hearty and comforting meal.

As always, I recommend storing any leftovers in individual portions so they can be conveniently reheated when hunger strikes. The make-ahead and storing capabilities of this dish make it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you need a quick meal without any fuss. Don’t hesitate to give this easy-to-make but oh-so-delicious chili recipe a try!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Top it off with shredded cheese, sour cream, and fresh herbs for added indulgence
Top it off with shredded cheese, sour cream, and fresh herbs for added indulgence

When it comes to making Small-Batch Beef Chili, technique is just as important as using the right ingredients. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect chili every time:

1. Double the spice, if you dare. The recipe calls for a moderate amount of chipotle pepper, chili powder, and ground cumin – perfect for those who like their chili mild or medium-spicy. If you prefer your chili on the hotter side, double the amounts of these spices.

2. Use fresh spices. Remember that spices can lose their flavor over time, so it’s best to use fresh ground black pepper, kosher salt, and onion powder in this recipe.

3. Brown the beef evenly. Make sure to crumble the ground beef into small pieces as it cooks to ensure even browning and flavor distribution.

4. Don’t skimp on simmering time. This chili needs at least an hour to simmer and develop its flavors fully.

5. Let it cool before storing or reheating. To prevent spoilage and bacteria growth, let the chili cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

6. Freeze leftovers in individual servings. This makes it easy to defrost and reheat for a quick meal later on.

7. Customize with toppings. Top your chili with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions or avocado slices for extra flavor.

By following these tips, you will make sure that your Small-Batch Beef Chili turns out perfectly every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this small-batch beef chili recipe is perfect for those who want a hearty and flavorful meal without having to cook up a big pot of chili. With its perfect balance of spices such as chipotle pepper, chili powder, and ground cumin, this recipe truly brings the heat. The combination of juicy ground beef and savory beans meld together perfectly in a tomato sauce base that will make your taste buds sing.

Whether you’re looking for an easy dinner recipe or trying to please a crowd, this chili is sure to impress. Don’t forget to pair it with some rice, tamales, or chips for the ultimate comfort food experience. This recipe is also customizable with substitutions such as ground turkey or vegetarian alternatives for those with dietary restrictions or personal preferences.

By following these detailed instructions and utilizing the helpful tips provided, creating a perfect batch of small-batch beef chili has never been easier. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Small-Batch Beef Chili

Small-Batch Beef Chili Recipe

Small batch recipe, not too hot.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 458.5 kcal


  • 10 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans, with juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, with juice
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or 1/4 onion, diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 canned chipotle pepper, chopped fine (optional for extra heat)


  • Brown ground beef (and onion, if not using onion powder) in medium sized pot.
  • Drain grease, if needed.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  • Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  • Cover pot and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Thicken with cornstarch mixed with water, if needed.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 457gCalories: 458.5kcalCarbohydrates: 61.5gProtein: 35.6gFat: 8.8gSaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 46.1mgSodium: 656.7mgFiber: 20.4gSugar: 4.8g
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