Dutch Oven Chili ⋆ 100 Days of Real Food


This Dutch oven chili is hearty, savory, and incredibly flavorful! This one pot recipe is simple and easy to make. Both kids and adults love this homemade chili recipe. Make it for family dinners, holidays, parties, and more!

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This classic Dutch Oven chili is hearty, flavorful, and so easy to make! The flavors are so warm and cozy. Great for a family dinner, meal prep, and leftovers. It is a great way to eat high-quality protein and more vegetables. This recipe for Dutch Oven Chili is sure to become a new family favorite!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This Dutch oven chili is easy to make.
  • The Dutch oven does all the hard work for you.
  • It is hearty and flavorful.
  • The combination of ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and spices creates chili that is full of flavor.
  • It is versatile.
  • You can customize the chili to your liking by adding different beans, vegetables, or spices.
  • It is perfect for a crowd.
  • This recipe makes enough chili to feed a large group of people.
  • Great for family dinners, holiday gatherings, entertaining, meal prep, and leftovers.
  • In fact, the leftovers taste even better!
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and sugar-free.
  • For a vegetarian version, try this Meatless Chili!

Ingredients & Substitutes

These are the ingredients and substitutions for Dutch oven chili.  Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe.

Olive oil helps the beef cook. Feel free to use avocado oil.

Ground beef is great for this chili recipe. If desired, use ground pork, chicken, turkey, or pork. For vegetarian or vegan, omit the meat.

Onion, garlic, and peppers add a hearty flavor.

Kidney beans and black beans add plant-based protein. Drain and rinse the beans.

Diced tomatoes add a delicious flavor.

Tomato paste helps thicken the broth.

Use beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. Look for broth that contains no added sugar.

Chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper add additional flavor. Adjust these seasonings to suit your taste.

Lastly, top with your choice of toppings. Some great options include cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, jalapeños, and avocado.

Ingredients for Dutch oven chili.

Taste & Texture

The taste of this Dutch Oven Chili is hearty and flavorful.

The ground beef adds a savory flavor, the beans add a hearty texture, and the tomatoes add a sweetness that balances out the spices.

The chili is slightly thick and chunky, with just the right amount of liquid.

Feel free to adjust the seasonings to make it more or less spicy.

How to Make

Step 1

First, place your Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.

Step 2

Add the chopped onions to the hot Dutch oven and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they become translucent.

Diced onion in skillet.

Step 3

Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.

Onion and garlic in pan.

Step 4

Push the onions and garlic to one side of the Dutch oven, and add the ground beef to the other side.

Onion and beef in skillet.

Step 5

Cook the meat, breaking it apart with a spatula, until it’s browned and cooked through. Drain off any excess grease if necessary.

Crumbled beef and onion.

Step 6

Stir in the diced red and green bell peppers, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the peppers begin to soften.

Step 7

Add the kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef or vegetable broth to the Dutch oven. Stir everything together until well combined.

Step 8

Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and let the chili simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 9

Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or spices as needed to suit your taste.

Step 10

Finally, ladle the Dutch oven chili into bowls. Add your desired toppings and enjoy!

Bowls of healthy chili.

Expert Tips for Success

Here are a few expert tips and tricks for making the best Dutch oven chili.

Use a good quality Dutch oven. A well-seasoned Dutch oven will help the chili develop a rich flavor.

The longer the chili simmers, the more flavorful it will become.

Taste the chili and adjust the flavor as you cook. This recipe is very forgiving.

Serve the chili with your favorite toppings. Some popular toppings include sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped onions, and avocado.

Flavor Variations & Add-Ins

This recipe is a great starting point, but you can easily customize it to your liking. Here are a few ideas for flavor variations and add-ins.

Use different beans. You can use any type of beans you like, such as kidney beans, black beans, or pinto beans.

Add vegetables. You can add other vegetables to the chili, such as corn, carrots, or zucchini.

Spice it up. If you like your chili spicy, add more chili powder or cayenne pepper.

Add a smoky flavor. Add a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the chili for a smoky flavor.

Add a sweet flavor. Add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies or a tablespoon of brown sugar to the chili for a sweet flavor.

Close up of Dutch oven chili.

How to Serve & Store

This chili is best served hot and fresh!

Serve it with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped onions, and avocado.

This chili can be served by itself or with whole wheat bread.  Serve with whole wheat dinner rolls, homemade cornbread, a side salad, or as an appetizer.

The chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze this Dutch oven chili for up to 2 months.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, you can use any type of ground meat you like, such as turkey, chicken, pork, or lamb.

Can I make this chili vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can make this chili vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth instead of beef broth and omitting the ground beef. You can also add other vegetables or grains, such as quinoa or lentils, to make the chili more substantial.

How do I make this Dutch oven chili ahead of time?

You can make this chili ahead of time and reheat it before serving. To do this, cook the chili according to the recipe and then let it cool completely. Store the chili in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When you are ready to serve, reheat the chili over low heat until warmed through.

Is it spicy?

No, this chili is not very spicy. Feel free to add in jalapeños for more heat.

Chili with beans and cheese.

Equipment Needed

Dutch Oven: This cast iron Dutch oven is great for this Dutch oven chili recipe.

You May Also Enjoy

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Enjoy this Dutch oven chili recipe!


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