Sunday Chili

Sunday chili in a bowl with a spoon.
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RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU LOVE CHILI!

Here’s the thing – I do love chili. But here’s the other thing – I’m kind of picky about chili. I like chili that is:

  • Thick! Mega thick.
  • Chunky, but small, even chunks – no huge pieces of tomato, please.
  • Spicy, but not like fire-in-your-mouth spicy. Just the cozy, warming, winter afternoon kind of spicy.
  • Beany in moderation. I want to know that the beans are there, but not be thinking about beans with every bite.

So… with that, I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite Sunday Chili.

Ingredients for Sunday chili.

What I Love About This Chili

It’s thick and appropriately chunky, spicy and extremely flavorful without being hot, balanced just right between meat, beans, and vegetables, and excellently scoopable (what else is chili for, really).

And not to mention it does that chili magic thing where it GETS BETTER AS LEFTOVERS.

What Deliciousness Is Stewing In This?

We have a really simple and delicious ingredient list for you.

  • Ground beef
  • Bacon
  • Jalapeño, onion, and garlic
  • Carrots (if you want)
  • Spices
  • Crushed tomatoes and tomato paste
  • Beans
  • Broth

Let’s Get Cooking!

We’re going to start by getting those bacon slices nice and crisped up. Very important step here – make an extra slice of bacon to crisp up and munch on while the rest of the chili cooks. This is essential.

Now, save that bacon grease in the pan and plop your chopped veggies right in there. Your onions, your garlic, your carrots, your jalapeño – all of that goes in the pot.

Next, add in your ground beef and spices. Ooooo! Things are smelling really good!

Toss in the tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, broth, and crispy bacon bits (you know, the ones you have left at least after snacking). Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and go grab a magazine and a glass of wine. Or maybe more realistically in your household, unload the school backpacks, fold the laundry, and listen to the dog bark at a random squirrel in the yard because dinner is pretty much cooking itself at this point.

Get your toppings together (maybe cilantro, probably avocado, definitely chips!) and let’s gooooo!

The Secret Ingredient To Make This So Good

The bacon! Did the bacon get mentioned yet?! You need it. It’s crispy, and smoky, and provides just the right amount of surprise. Plus, bonus! You can just sauté your veg right up in that bacon grease.

Bless it.

Plus, spices! It’s all in the spices here, friends. Use really fresh spices. Just trust! Go into your kitchen cabinet or spice drawer right now and make sure you don’t have any spices that you’re still using that are from 1986 because, yes, the hairstyles were boppin’, but no, your spices are most definitely not still boppin’ from then. We’re using chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and salt, which are such kitchen staples that you’ll go through them really quickly.

Sunday chili in a dutch oven with a spoon.

Thick Or Thin? Your Choice!

Either beef or chicken broth will be perfect here for the liquid in this chili. Low-sodium broth can work in a pinch if that’s what you have on hand – just add a bit more salt to balance everything out. Personally, thick chili is the way to go IMO, but just add a bit more broth if you need to thin it out.

All About The Toppings

The toppings – do we even need to discuss? – are a heavenly salad bar of possibilities. Avocado, cotjia cheese, cheddar cheese, cilantro, green onion, red onion, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, crumbled cornbread, Fritos if you’re classy… yes, yes, and yes.

What Goes Well with Chili

As you know, I’m currently obsessed with one-ingredient socca, and I think the golden/crispy/bready texture makes it a great dipper with this chili. But there’s always the miracle no-knead bread for something a little more crusty, hot, buttery, and traditional, a classic cornbread situation, or good ol’ tortilla chips for a little crunch.

Sunday chili in a bowl with a spoon.

This hearty, meaty, chunky, slow-simmered Sunday chili has BEEN THERE for me and it can be there for you, too.

Grab your toppings and your dippers and your biggest soup spoon.

Sunday + Chili + You = A Very Good Thing.

Sunday Chili: FAQs

Can I use diced tomatoes?

Sure! I really like using crushed tomatoes here, but you can also use canned diced tomatoes.

I have everything except bacon on hand. Will this work without bacon?

It will. The bacon is optional, but SUPER good! A faster alternative is skipping the bacon but sauteeing your veggies in reserved bacon fat – you keep bacon fat in your fridge, right?! TIME TO START.

Can I make this chili in the Instant Pot?

You sure can! See the recipe notes below for instructions.

Whew! Looks like a lot of veggies to chop. Any tips to speed this up?

Speedy tip coming your way! You can buy pre-chopped veggies or just chop all your veggies up in the food processor! Less precise, but super fast and easy.

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Source notes: Chili recipes that helped me come up with this version: Oh Sweet Basil’s Instant Pot Chili and Pressure Cook Recipes Instant Pot Chili. (The last few weeks I started making a Sunday chili in the Instant Pot but realized I preferred a regular stovetop version better, which is how I got here!)

Print

Sunday chili in a bowl with a spoon.

Sunday Chili


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (a generous 1 1/2 cups each)

Description

This is the BEST Sunday Chili! Beef, bacon, tomatoes, chopped veggies, beans, and spices – it’s a cozy weather weekend essential!


Ingredients

Units

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • half of an onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 4 carrots, minced (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 34 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 14ounce cans beans, rinsed and drained (I like black beans and pinto beans)
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth (plus more to thin as needed)
  • toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, red onion, cilantro


Instructions

  1. Mix salt with ground beef. Set aside so it can get nice and salty while you prep the other ingredients. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, fry your bacon pieces until crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plates. Pour off most of the bacon fat, but leave 1-2 tablespoons for sautéing.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and carrots. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef and spices. Brown until fully cooked.
  4. Add the tomato paste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, and bacon. Bring to a low simmer. Cover it and let it hang out over low heat for at least 30-45 minutes, but ideally 2+ hours (this helps the flavors develop and this is why it’s Sunday chili). You can alternate between  keeping it over a low flame and just letting it rest in the hot pot. It will thicken, so use extra water or broth to thin it out to desired consistency.
  6. BOOM! Top with all your favorite toppings. Make plans to revisit this again next Sunday.

Equipment

Notes

Instant Pot Instructions: Once everything is browned up, you can add it to the Instant Pot and pressure cook it for 20-30 minutes to concentrate the flavors in less time.

Slow Cooker Instructions: Once everything is browned up, you can add it to your crockpot on low for 3 hours. Enjoy! 

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chili recipe, beef chili with bacon, classic chili



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One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our coziest comfort food recipes page. Check it out!

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