The Best Chili Recipes, According to Real Simple Food Editors
Our food editors hand-picked the best chili recipes, including turkey and vegan options, just in time for game day and sweater-weather.
As the season shifts colder, your kitchen is going to shift hotter as you start cooking up warm and comforting foods and taking advantage of fall favorites. We rounded up our best chili recipes, including everything from the steps you should follow to make turkey chili to how you can whip up a vegan chili in your slow cooker.
Even if you're no expert chef and have never owned a Crock Pot, these recipes are easy to follow and at least one will be just right for you and your family. Besides, there's no better time to learn to make amazing chili than as temperatures dip and all you want is to stay cozy at home.
RELATED: 25 Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes
Below are the best of the best—the nine chili recipes that get an A+ from our Real Simple food editors.
Beef and Bean Chili Recipe
Get back to the basics with this straight-forward, no-frills chili. Green bell pepper, garlic, and onion are the base for flavor, then ground beef chuck goes in with the beans and classic spices that make chili, well, chili. Hey–if it ain't broke.
Get the recipe: Beef and Bean Chili
Slow-Cooker Cuban Black Bean Vegan Chili Recipe
The stellar combo of black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, and spices cook in the slow cooker while you whip up the part that makes this vegan meal a real win: the fried plantains. Black beans and plantains are the best flavor friends, as you’re soon to find out, and even people who aren't vegans will enjoy this meat-less rendition.
Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Cuban Black Bean Vegan Chili
Turkey and Bean Chili Recipe
For a lighter take on chili, ground turkey is the star of the show in this favorite recipe. Ground chipotle adds a touch of smokiness, keeping this bowl of chili bold and rich just like the others in our top picks.
Get the recipe: Turkey and Bean Chili
Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole Chili Recipe
The flavors of irresistible mole snuck their way into this mouthwatering slow-cooker chicken chili recipe. Mole, a rich Mexican sauce usually containing raisins and chocolate, makes everything better. Leftovers love to play with tacos and enchiladas, so this is basically the chili that keeps on giving.
Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole Chili
Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Harissa Vegetarian Chili Recipe
This recipe for vegetarian slow-cooker chili with sweet butternut squash and tender chickpeas has a middle-eastern twist. Harissa, a spicy chili paste, is used instead of the standard chili powder for a real treat. A dollop of Greek yogurt, crumbled feta, fresh cilantro leaves, and crunchy pepitas will keep you coming back to this recipe time and time again.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Harissa Chili
Sunday-Night Chili Recipe
A simple chili anyone can make and will surely stay on rotation. Double this easy recipe to feed a crowd, whether it’s a rowdy game day crowd or a snug movie night gathering. A side of cornbread here would be A-ok.
Get the recipe: Sunday-Night Chili
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe With Sweet Potatoes
The secret ingredient in this slow-cooker vegetarian chili recipe will knock your game-day socks off. The meal is loaded with sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and not one, but two kinds of beans. Set the toppings in separate bowls and have everyone line up buffet-style to serve themselves.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes
Chili Recipe for a Crowd
This easy chili recipe feeds at least eight people. Made with two bottles of lager beer, the dish takes things up a notch from the standard fall chili recipe while still remaining super traditional. Top this one off with sour cream, radishes, avocados, scallions—whatever your heart desires! You really can't go wrong.
Get the recipe: Chili for a Crowd
Southwestern Beef Chili Recipe
Poblano peppers and corn look good on this southwestern chili. Packed with flavor, this tasty recipe is not only one of the best chilis, but it also freezes well. Serve with tortillas and extra cheese for major bonus points.
Get the recipe: Southwestern Beef Chili