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This Red Chili Recipe with Ground Beef is a thick, classic red bean chili with just a touch of red wine for an elegant depth of flavor! A balanced blend of chili powders and paprika add unforgettable layers of warmth and complexity.

Red chili with sour cream mixed in.

Hearty browned beef, rich kidney beans, caramelized onions, and just a dash of smoky spice meet a splash of pinot noir–and you’re on another chili level! Set a pot of chili to simmer, step away for a couple hours, and come back to a comforting meal. Honestly, make a double batch, because it’ll be gone in no time!

Go on, dollop on some sour cream and put a hunk of sweet southern cornbread right inside. I mix it all up into one hot, delicious mess. Plus, if you make some healthy beef stroganoff the next night, it cancels out the calories? Girl math at its best.

Why you will love this beef chili recipe:

  • The flavor is rich, complex, and comforting. With tender beef, savory beans, bright, acidic tomato,  red wine, and smoky spices, every spoonful is rich and mouthwatering.
  • It has the perfect blend of spices. With a blend of chili powders and vibrant paprika, the seasoning blend used in this recipe is deeply aromatic and has a wonderful depth of flavor. 
  • Customizable heat level. You’re in control! For a hotter chili, add some chopped chipotles in adobo sauce or sliced jalapeño. For a milder chili, substitute some of the chili powder with sweet paprika.

Professional tips for the best chili recipe:

  • Cook the spices. Adding the spices after sautéing the onion but before the liquid ingredients, will bloom the spices in the oil and unlock their flavors. This will make a more flavorful chili without emptying your spice cabinet. .
  • Include the kidney bean juice. Adding the juices from the beans actually contributes to the overall texture and thickness of this chili. 
  • Be patient. Letting the chili cook low and slow is worth the wait. By letting the chili simmer for a longer period, the flavors will blend and develop in a way they would not over high heat.
Red chili in a white bowl.
stuffed shell on spoon in dish.
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Ingredients

  • Ground beef: I like to use 96% lean ground beef for this recipe. It has all of the savory flavor of ground chuck with a lower fat content. The resulting chili will still be flavorful but healthier.
  • Onions: I recommend using yellow onions or sweet onions for this recipe. Both provide a mild but savory flavor.
  • Pinot Noir: I suggest using a wine that you would enjoy drinking. This will add the best flavor to your dish. If you don’t like Pinot Noir or can’t find it locally, feel free to use another red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or chianti I use this same technique in my steak chili recipe, but if you want to omit it, try the best turkey chili recipe!
  • Kidney Beans: Use an undrained can of kidney beans for this recipe. If you’d like, you can also try using black beans or pinto beans in this recipe. I like the sweetness that kidney beans add to the dish. Save your black beans for some Ground Chicken Tacos!
  • Tomatoes: I recommend using roasted diced tomatoes and their juice. They add more smoky flavor while imparting sweetness. This is a useful ingredient to have around the house. For example, you can also use these in the tomato sauce for a Baked Chicken Marinara! Or add an avocado and some tortilla chips for a little pre-chili appetizer. 
  • Chili Powder: You will use both ancho and regular chili powder in this recipe to build a complex, rounded flavor. If you can’t find ancho chili powder, add chipotle chili powder or Mexican chili powder.
  • Paprika: Paprika adds a smoky flavor and a beautiful red color to the overall dish. You can use either sweet, smoked, or spicy paprika depending on your preference.
  • Canola Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Slow cooker chili and other variations:

  • Slow Cooker: To make slow cooker red chili, follow the first 3 steps in the recipe. Then add all of the ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  • Instant Pot: To make Instant Pot chili, set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Sweat the onions and brown the ground beef. Deglaze with the wine. Then, add all of the remaining ingredients and cook for about 20 minutes on high pressure. Allow to naturally release.
  • Different Meat: Instead of using ground beef, you can use chicken or ground turkey in this recipe. If ground poultry is your thing, be sure to check out my Turkey Burger Recipe or Ground Chicken Burgers next!
  • Different Spices: Try using different spices in this red chili to see what you like best. Some of my favorites are oregano, garlic powder, cilantro, cayenne pepper or ground cumin for an extra bit of heat, and bay leaves for a more savory, earthy flavor.

How to Make this Chili Recipe with Ground Beef

Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!

Step 1: Dice the onions while you heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Add canola oil and swirl to coat. Cook onions until they begin to release their juices. Stir frequently, cooking until onions are translucent and a little caramelized. 

Keep the onion root intact for easier dicing.

Step 2: Add the chili powder, ancho chili powder, and paprika, and stir to coat with oil. Cook over low heat until fragrant. You don’t want to burn them, just amplify the flavor! It will only take a minute or two.

Step 3: Add the ground beef, break into crumbles, and brown until all the beef has been cooked. If needed, drain excess fat.

Step 4: Pour the wine into the pot and stir to get up all the delicious browned bits on the bottom; cook down until the wine is barely visible. 

Be sure to use a Pinot that you enjoy. If you wouldn’t serve it in a glass, don’t put it in your food! 

Step 5: Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Step 6: Taste for salt and pepper. Continue simmering over low heat, the longer the better. I typically cook mine in a Dutch oven for at least 4 hours. I like to taste every hour and adjust the salt and spices as needed.

Be sure to taste for seasoning during the cooking process. This will let you know whether the chili is balanced and seasoned to your tastes, but always allow the flavors to meld for about 10 minutes before adding more. Salt intensifies over time and is easy to overwhelm tomato based dishes like this easy tomato pasta sauce

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

The longer it cooks, the better it will taste. Sometimes I let it simmer all day, the day before serving! I then refrigerate it overnight and reheat before serving. This makes for the most robust chili possible.

Red chili in a pot with a corn bread side.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store leftover chili?

Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Chili can also be frozen. Place cooled chili in a freezer-safe container like a plastic bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

How do you reheat red chili?

To reheat this chili, place leftovers in a stockpot on the stove over medium to medium-high heat. Bring the chili up to a boil and down to a simmer until it is heated through. You can also reheat chili in the microwave at 30-second intervals until hot. No need to thaw in advance!

What do you serve with red chili?

I love serving red chili with some fresh cornbread and topped with my favorite toppings, like Greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and some sliced chives or green onions. I sometimes serve it over a bed of roasted cauliflower, with a baked potato, or even stuffed roasted sweet potatoes.

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

Pinot Noir Chili in bowl with sour cream and cheese.
5 from 2 ratings

Red Chili with Ground Beef

This Red Chili Recipe with Ground Beef is a thick, classic red bean chili with just a touch of red wine for an elegant depth of flavor! A balanced blend of chili powders and paprika add unforgettable layers of warmth and complexity.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Dice the onions while you heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Add canola oil and swirl to coat. Cook onions until they begin to release their juices. Stir frequently, cooking until onions are translucent and a little caramelized.
  • Add the chili powder, ancho chili powder, and paprika, and stir to coat with oil. Cook over low heat until fragrant. You don't want to burn them, just amplify the flavor! It will only take a minute or two.
  • Add the ground beef, break into crumbles, and brown until all the beef has been cooked. If needed, drain excess fat.
  • Pour the wine into the pot and stir to get up all the delicious browned bits on the bottom; cook down until the wine is barely visible.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste for salt and pepper. Continue simmering over low heat, the longer the better. I typically cook mine in a Dutch oven for at least 4 hours. I like to taste every hour and adjust the salt and spices as needed.

Video

Notes

Flavor Tips – Be sure to use a Pinot that you enjoy. If you wouldn’t serve it in a glass, don’t put it in your food!
Variations – Slow Cooker: To make slow cooker red chili, follow the first 3 steps in the recipe. Then add all of the ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Storage – Store chili in a sealed, air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 1397mg | Potassium: 969mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1542IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Calories: 470
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed classic chili recipes, or make a Dutch Oven Pot Roast next!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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2 Comments

  1. Hey, Lindsey! I had this delicious beef chili last Saturday. It was very easy to cook, and so flavorful! The quantity of spices is just right. Perfect. Huge success!!! Thank you for sharing!!