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Southern Chili Recipe

Are you a chili orphan? Someone left to wander the world without their own version of this hearty classic? If so, well welcome home. You just found your place in the world with a southern chili recipe that’s not too hot, and never too hard to throw together. 

a bowl of southern chili on a white and red striped napkin

I used to hate to see my brother come into the living room with a bowl of chili. He ate it year round by the gallon–even as a teenager a bowl of it required an entire sleeve of crushed crackers mixed in and a half gallon of milk to drink. I would guess he still eats it that way to this day. It was like a religious event for him to get that bowl mixed to just the right chili-to-cracker ratio.

And no matter how you eat yours, there’s one fact we can be sure of: no one makes it exactly the same way.

Some people like spaghetti in theirs–like my husband does. Other people would challenge your sanity if a noodle went in.

Some people want it a little sweet with some brown sugar or raging hot with every spice and pepper in the pantry. No matter how you take yours, I won’t knock it.

Because you might be one of those wandering lonely people who doesn’t have a go-to version in your hip pocket and this recipe is for you.  This southern chili recipe is a perfect place to start. Just right if you never change a thing about it–or ready to take on whatever adjustments you want to throw in the pot.

a bowl of southern chili on a red and white striped napkin seen from the top

It can take it.

So step in without fear and grab your chili by the beans. Uh–the can of beans–and make a big batch so it can be on hand all week. It’s sure to fill you up and give you plenty of gas nights sleeping alone on the couch.

It will be worth it! Learn how to make cornbread so you can serve that alongside and you’ll have the perfect meal!

Sometimes you just need a good basic bowl of chili. Not too hot, and not too many fancy ingredients. This easy version is guaranteed to deliver it all.

Southern Chili Recipe

A good basic chili recipe is something every cook should have up their sleeve. Make this version your own with your family's favorite additions.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 pound ground beef ground chuck works too
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 package chili seasoning mix of your choice
  • 1 16 ounce can chili beans any spice level
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans diced chili-ready tomatoes with the juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup dry pasta like spaghetti broken into short pieces


  • In a large pot, brown the ground beef with the onion until no pink remains in the meat. Drain as much of the grease as you can with a spoon. 
  • To the pot, add the seasoning, tomatoes, beans and water and stir to combine. If it's still too thick, you can add 1/2 cup more water until you get to a thickness you like. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. 
  • Add the pasta, return to a simmer and stir occasionally until the pasta cooks through--8-11 minutes or so. Turn off the heat and serve warm or you can cool your chili to room temperature, refrigerate and reheat as needed. 




Calories: 285kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.