Our 9 Best Chili Recipes, Ranked

If you love chili, you're in the right place.

February 15, 2023
Photo by Rocky Luten

Chili should be eaten, not debated. We will not be prosecuting recipes for bean possession. There will be no sanctions for turkey endorsements. This is a peaceful space dedicated to honoring the delicious, warming flavors of the world’s greatest accompaniment to an ice cold beer: chili. If you’re chili positive, you’re in the right place.

Here are our nine most popular chili recipes of all time.

9. Tempeh Chili

A unanimous First Team, All-Bean selection, this tempeh chili lets the legumes shine. If you don’t have kidney beans, don’t worry—black beans work just as well.

8. The Coziest Light White Chicken Chili

Light but deeply flavorful, this white chicken chili is ideal for when you know you’ll be heading back for a second (or third) bowl. Top with tortilla chips, hot sauce, and scallions for an extra kick.

7. Our Favorite Chili

After chopping onion and garlic, you’re left only with the rigorous task of dumping ingredients into a pot. This recipe is simple, its ingredients are accessible—and somehow, its final form is the meaty, spicy, chili that you’ve long been searching for.

6. Weeknight Chili

This weeknight chili comes together in an hour, but tastes even better a day later. Best practice: Make it on Thursday night, then start your weekend early with a bowl of chili and an ice-cold beer on Friday afternoon.

5. Short Rib Chili

Normally an ingredient list this long scares me off (I don’t like scrolling, reading, or shopping), but this recipe won Food52’s Best Chili contest for good reason. This rendition combines the smoky, beefy components of a classic chili with innovative upgrades like cocoa powder and dark beer to create an entirely new (yet undeniably delicious) flavor.

4. Smoky Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

The partnership of sweet potatoes, black beans, and chipotle peppers is flawless and entirely capable of winning any chili cookoff you may find yourself in. Garnish with avocado and scallion for a vibrant finish.

3. Busy Weeknight Bean Chili

With five ingredients and 15 minutes, you can make a solid vegetarian chili. Ideal for when you’re exhausted (or when your friends decide that your couch would be the perfect place to watch the game).

2. Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Chili

Complex chili flavors facilitated with Instant-Pot-ease. Top with lime juice, avocado, and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper for an additional layer of brightness.

1. Best Ever Turkey Chili

Turkey chili is our most popular chili ever. Ground turkey is cheaper than ground beef but—when combined with spices and a dark brew—still plenty rich in flavor. Serve with a cold drink and tortilla chips, then find your favorite couch for a well-deserved nap.

Let us know what your favorite chili recipe is in the comments below!
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Paul Hagopian

Written by: Paul Hagopian

Content @ Food52


lkshedlin February 22, 2023
Made Dave’s turkey chili. It was excellent but there were no measures for the chili powder. Had to experiment
Smaug February 16, 2023
I love chili, but New York is clearly not the right place.
BillinSDCA February 15, 2023
The city of Cincinnati is insulted!!