Home » 13th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #4 – Best Beef Chili

13th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #4 – Best Beef Chili

A classic chili enters the scene for this year’s chili contest. It’s got everything there is to love about chili: beef, beans, tomatoes, and a bit of heat. The best part? It comes together super quickly making it perfect for a weeknight meal even for the busiest of people!


I’m trying out a few new things on the blog. First, being a food/recipe blog style. Two, these pictures were taken with my iPhone 13 Pro. Apple, you’ve officially caused me to feel as though I was a DSLR failure for the past decade and a half, but hey…technology can finally help those who can’t help to learn how to use a DSLR properly. Ever met someone with 13 years of experience…in auto mode? Well, now you have. And don’t even think to ask if I edit RAW images. Um, no. The answers is…NO!

What’s also new? I met up with the beautiful and talented blogger and fellow southwest Michigan dietitian, Tori of Easy Chickpeasy. Last Friday we met up for a beer and sat and talked about all things blogging. She’s in the know about ALL.THE.THINGS that I’m not and as a fairly new blogger, I couldn’t be happier for her to take the leap into blogging and all the fun that can be had! As I shared with Tori, I’m basically a founding father mother of the blogging world and yet between a full-time job, 2 kiddos, and the excessive number of hobbies and interests I have…my blog limps along, at best. And yet, interestingly enough, after allllllll these years, I have such loyal, loving readers that my little blog survives and once in a while even has a post that thrives. XOXO

Tori and I left feeling geeked about our creative outlets on the WWW and I left with a plethora of insights into blogging. Blogging in 2022! It’s a work in progress and after thinking through my wants and wishes, I’ve decided to go a little hybrid – get more detailed with the recipes I post, but to keep the personal touch that my readers expect and value. Why y’all come back for the blah-blah-blah is beyond me, but I’m totally flattered! TikTok confirms I am the least interesting person around.

Anyway, here we go! You can expect a little “What’s New?” as an update on whatevs, and more on the recipe, too! 


  • Classic flavors. Chili peeps, you feel me here. I’m all for a little twist on a classic, but when it comes to chili, some things are just…home. Give me all the chili powder, cumin, tomato paste, and other classic flavors of chili.
  • One pot. ‘Nuff said. Aint no one got time for dishes!
  • Just right amount. Not feeding an army? This recipe makes a nice amount while still allowing for leftovers. Yet, you can easily double or even triple the recipe (with a LARGE pot!).


  • Maple Syrup: A little sweetness cuts the acidity of tomatoes beautifully. While this recipe calls for syrup, you can most certainly swap in sugar, honey, or a sweetener of your preference. The little bit of sweetness adds depth to the flavors and pulls the tomatoes and tomato paste together with the other ingredients perfectly!
  • Beans: You can add more, less, or any combination of beans your little heart desires. Chickpeas? Black beans? Chili beans? Anything goes and goes perfectly!
  • Veggies: While this recipe calls for onion and tomato, you can certainly add bell pepper, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, whatever you please!
  • Ground Beef: Go for any ground meat or meat substitute…or skip the meat, if you please! In place of meat you can increase to 3-4 cans of beans, more vegetables, or some combination of!


  • Beans really are magical – packed with fiber, protein, folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Soluble fiber is incredibly helpful in lowering cholesterol and providing satiety.
  • Chili is a wonderful balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat making it an ideal all-in-one meal!


  • Total weeny with heat? Cut the chili powder down a bit. Want things fiery? Add in ½ to 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cayenne.
  • Get creative with chili toppings and ways to serve. As is with fun toppings is always perfect – green onions, cheese, Fritos, oyster crackers, bacon, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt…the sky is the limit! Also fun? Chili mac (serve the chili over pasta) or loaded baked potatoes with all the fun toppings!


  • Chili is often best reheated, after flavors have melded. So, don’t be surprised if you love this dish more as leftovers. That’s one of the many things I love about chili!
  • Store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Best Beef Chili

Best Beef Chili

Yield: 6 servings (about 1.5 cups each)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A classic chili -- it’s got everything there is to love about chili: beef, beans, tomatoes, and a bit of heat. The best part? It comes together super quickly making it perfect for a weeknight meal even for the busiest of people!


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef and cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon into a crumble as it cooks.
  2. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until beef is cooked through. Add garlic and stir; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the pinto beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and maple syrup to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. Add the seasonings, chili powder through black pepper. Stir and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the broth.
  5. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened and serve with desired toppings.


Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Fit Foodie Finds and submitted by Myra T.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 9.5gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 942mgCarbohydrates: 40.5gFiber: 12.2gSugar: 9.1gProtein: 32.8g

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Looking for more GREAT chili? These have been some killer chili contest submissions of the past!

Be well,

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