Homestyle Beef Chili

A beefy, flavorful homestyle beef chili that is the ultimate comfort food recipe.  Richly flavored, hearty, and slightly spicy, this chili is just what you want on a cool, fall evening – even here in sunny Florida.

A pot of Homestyle Beef Chili, a classic comfort food.

My mom used to make a chili that she referred to as ‘slumgullion’. It was not at all spicy, full of beans and ground beef, and very tomato-rich.  I have no idea where she got the name, but we had it in the winter months at least once a week. When I Googled ‘slumgullion’, I found recipes that were basically chili with the addition of elbow macaroni.  Mom’s never had pasta in it.

I liked her chili, but it seemed too heavy and dense.  So, once I started cooking for myself, I set upon a mission to change it up a bit. The recipe, I thought, should have more beans and a less tomato heavy base.

This recipe does a great job of making a great chili that isn’t as thick or tomato heavy.  It has more of a broth, making it more like a thick soup. It also has lots of beans, which not only makes it economical but also full of fiber and nutrients.


  • Finely mince your vegetables, or better yet chop them in a food processor.   The vegetables will cook more evenly and the final texture of the chili will be much nicer than chomping down on a half soggy, slightly crunchy piece of onion or celery.
  • Getting a good caramelization to the ground beef greatly enhances the flavor of this chili.  You want some deep brown specks on the ground beef.
  • Since you are going to drain the excess fat and liquid off of the ground beef, I like using a lean ground sirloin.
  • The sugar in the recipe accentuates the tomato’s natural sweetness and also balances out the tomato’s acidity.  If you don’t want to use sugar, just omit it.
  • Be sure to cook the chili at a simmer for the full two hours to fully develop and meld the flavors together.  A simmer is lower than the low setting on your stovetop. You should see tiny bubbles around the sides of the pot.
  • Make sure you stir the pot often.  You want to move the solids around so that they don’t scorch.

A pot of Homestyle Beef Chili, a classic comfort food.


I like to serve this homestyle beef chili with a slice or two of my Cheddar Jalapeno Bread or Southern Hushpuppies.  Then end your meal with a scoop of cool, creamy Caramel Macchiato Gelato.  You can thank me later.


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A rich and flavorful chili full of beef and beans.  This is the ultimate comfort food that is perfect on a chilly fall evening.

  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American



2 pounds of ground beef

2 stalks celery, finely minced

1 large sweet onion, finely minced

1 red or green bell pepper, finely minced

3 (14-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, chopped with the juice

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I like Rotel)

1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce (I love the Mutti brand of imported Italian tomatoes)

1 cup beef stock

1 cup water

2 (1.25 ounce) packages McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 (14-ounce) can small kidney beans, undrained

1 (14-ounce) can white beans, undrained

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 tablespoons butter


In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, spread and pat down ground beef onto the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Allow to brown and carmelize – about 5 – 6 minutes. Flip, using 2 spatulas and cook the other side for 5 -6 minutes.  Use a spoon or ground meat chopper to break up the meat into small pieces.  

Dump the cooked beef into a colander in your sink to drain off excess fat and liquid.  Add the beef back to the Dutch oven.

Add the celery, onion and bell pepper to the beef.  Cook, stirring until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the chopped stewed tomatoes, the tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, beef stock, and water.  Stir well to combine. Bring it to a simmer. Stir in the chili seasoning, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and sugar.

Mix in the kidney and white beans with their liquids.  Bring the mixture just up to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 1 ½ hours, stirring often.

Stir in the white vinegar, hot sauce, and butter.    Simmer another 30 minutes and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced scallion, and tortilla chips as a garnish.

Keywords: ultimate comfort food, chili recipe, ground beef recipe, homestyle chili, chili recipe