Skip to Content

21+ Best Classic Chili Recipes


Chili is one of those dishes that has so much nuance and range that people all over the world hold chili cookoffs each year to narrow down the best recipes.

Classic Chili Recipes

Family and friends gather around steaming, spice-packed pots that are full of tradition. Here we’ve compiled some of the most interesting and creative ways you can experiment with chili!

1. Creamy White Chicken Chili

Standard chili usually has a beef an tomato base with plenty of beans (depending on your taste or region). However, as you’ll see in this list, there are so many alternatives! Creamy chicken chili will be your new favorite comfort food.

2. Classic Chili

This classic chili has beef, beans, and tomatoes with other veggies hidden in there too. This recipe will give you a great base to create your own unique recipe.

3. Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

While chili dogs might seem like a guilty pleasure, they are also a wonderful way to use leftover chili! You can stick to the normal chili dog, or use this recipe to make a crowd-pleasing casserole for any potluck or party.

4. No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili

Like the first recipe, this option is a twist on the traditional. Turkey is an awesome, lighter alternative to beef. If you’re looking for a sweet and savory alternative to the standard heavy and spicy chili, this is it!

5. Instant Pot Chili

One of the most important ingredients in any chili or stew recipe is time! Thankfully, instant pots have become a staple just as well as slow cookers. This recipe will give you all the flavor you’re looking for in a fraction of the time.

6. Chili Cheese Dip

If you’re looking for more party invitations, chili cheese dip will make you everyone’s favorite guest. What could be better than chips and chili?” This addictive snack will be a hit!

7. Vegan Chili

Of course, a majority of chili recipes are heavy on animal protein. Thankfully, we’ve evolved to a point where just about anything can be replicated with just as much flavor and less fauna. Vegan chili is a hearty, nutrient-dense meal-prep option too.

8. Vegetarian Chili Mac

If you’re open to dairy but still want to avoid meat, this recipe is for you. All the flavor and savory goodness of chili mac with plant proteins. If you’re looking for a way to do meatless meals, this will become a staple.

9. Wendy’s Chili

To break up our list of veggie chilis, we’re going to offer you a copycat of one of the favorite fast-food chilis out there. This one is so popular, you’ll be air-frying some extra fries for everyone to dip in it.

10. Vegetarian Chili

While we’ve already covered vegetarian chili mac, we realize that you may be interested in making the chili alone and using it your way! You could make some awesome chili veggie dogs with this and even swap it in the chili cheese dog casserole recipe.

11. Keto Chili

Aiming for low-carb options? This one will keep you in ketosis without leaving you craving carbs. It’s an awesome meal-prep option if you’re looking for ways to stick to your diet during the week.

12. Paleo Chili

Of course, we can’t forget that low-carb isn’t the only alternative out there. Paleo chili will have you daydreaming of stewing it over an open fire with your cave-people friends.

13. Chili Mac

We covered vegetarian chili mac, but if you’re interested in the original, here it is! Chili mac is a great side dish to bring to any dinner. It’ll be a family favorite. It’s a great dish that adds a little protein and spice to everyone’s favorite mac and cheese.

14. Turkey Chili

Although we’ve covered one turkey recipe already, this one leans more into the traditional. This is a great alternative if you’re still looking to maintain classic flavors.

15. Slow-cooker Chili

If the instant pot isn’t your thing, but you still want to build your chili and walk away, get out that slow cooker we mentioned before! This recipe will make your house smell cozy and incredible all day long. Everyone will be looking forward to dinner.

16. Pulled Pork Chili

While we’ve covered beef, chicken, and turkey, we’ve yet to make pork the star of our chili recipe. This is a special option if you want to impress. No one will see this twist coming at the cookoff!

17. Texas Chili

Recipes often have regional roots. If you want to return to true classics, try this Texas-inspired option. Find your new favorite chili recipe down south!