Sunday Chili

79 reviews / 4.9 average


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.

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.

Bless it.

Sunday chili in a dutch oven with a spoon.

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 corn bread, Fritos if you’re classy… yes, yes, and yes.

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.

Sunday chili in a bowl with a spoon.

Through all the snow these last few weeks (like, many feet of snow), and all the stuck-inside-the-house vibes that go along with it, this hearty, meaty, chunky, slow-simmered Sunday chili has BEEN THERE for me.

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

Sunday + Chili + You = A Very Good Thing.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Sunday Chili:

More Chili Goodness

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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) 1x


A winter weekend essential! Thick, hearty, slow-simmered chili makes for the BEST comfort food (and leftovers)!


  • 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 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 14-ounce 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


  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.



Tomatoes: I like to use crushed tomatoes. But you can also use canned diced tomatoes.

Bacon: 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.

Speedy Tip 1.0: 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.

Speedy Tip 2.0: Chop all your veggies up in the food processor! Less precise, but super fast and easy.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American

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

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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!)

One More Thing!

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

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Recipe rating


  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is such a GREAT recipe for this wintery craziness here in the Midwest! Makes me all warm and cozy. Thanks for the post!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This recipe was fabulous. I did not use the bacon or bacon fat but added extra beans and seriously everyone couldn’t stop raving about it. I did add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Texture was great. I simmered first three hours and the best flavors ever.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    YUMMM!!! We gotta do what we gotta do to survive all this snow here in MN!

    Also – have you ever tried chili with a side of hot, buttered white rice? A college classmate used to bring it for lunch and I thought it was so odd until I actually tried it. Now I cannot eat chili without it!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Love this recipe! Added about a half a beer to it. Yum. I eat it over buttered rice.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I grew up in Hawaii and that’s the ONLY way I eat chili!!! I love it over jasmine rice. My fiance always wants me to make pasta . . . . So sometimes I make both but it’s always rice!!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Stephen Tyrrell

    Now that’s a chili recipe! I might just cook it tonight, although it’s the tail end of summer in the Land of Oz.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Delicious and so refreshing not to see “Instant Pot” in the title. I realize the “Instant Pot” is convenient, but it really isn’t cooking. I prefer the slow cooking method that the Instant Pot supposedly replaces (reserved for the weekend.). We all like to TALK about socializing over food and how COOKING builds our character – but the Instant Pot takes that away. The Instant Pot is also incredibly priviledged – what about those who can’t afford an Insta Pot? What about those who don’t have access? The Insta Pot is simply the next “hot thing” that we wont remember 5 years down the road. We’ve always had pressure cookers but now that we have a name brand we feel pressed to buy it. Websites make you feel as if you are a loser and an outsider if you DONT have an Insta Pot. Or you a poor. I LOVE this website so much, but I tire of the Insta Pot recipes.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I agree. I use the Instant Pot for making fast steel cut oats and very occasional time-saving recipes, but really I like to cook and I always get better flavors when I actually cook on the stove. The time and layers of additions at different points really develop flavors.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Cynthia Orum

      Your aggression needs to be directed to rants and raves!! Seriously, this is supposed to be about our thoughts on the recipes and and how well we liked them. It sounds like you need some serious counseling and your aggressiveness is making readers uncomfortable, please seek out the help you need.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Really! The person needs counseling because they simply state that the instant pot is overrated and probably a bit over used?!
        You need to take a chill obviously…

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Any way I can sub beef for chicken here? Should I use ground chicken or cook whole thighs for example and shred?

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Another Minnesotan here! I’m wondering about the crockpot…would i just throw all the ingredients in there instead of simmering it on the stove? Thanks in advance!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        So leave the other ingredients (onion, jalapeño, etc) uncooked, throw in the crockpot, and cook for how long? 2 hours on high?

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Cassie Autumn Tran

    Chili is one of my favorite go-to’s for dinner or lunch! Mine is generally loaded with vegetables and beans. But hey, any excuse to dump a salad on top of chili is totally magnificent to me!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum!! I really enjoyed reading this post because I love chili and it’s the winter. During the winter time, it’s always nice to enjoy soups and that is why I wanted to read this post. Especially right now it’s recently been snowing so I’ve been craving a warm bowl of soup. I really enjoyed the lay out of this post especially with all of the pictures and the break up of paragraphs. I’m pretty picky with chili as well so I’m excited to try this recipe. One part that caught my eye is the fact that bacon is in this recipe which makes it sound fantastic. I can’t wait to try cooking this!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Would it still thicken nicely if I left out the carrots? Love me some chili that a spoon can stand up in, but not the biggest fan of cooked carrots. Thanks!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh, your recipe made me feel so cozy! Thank you for sharing. Wanna make it for my family, so wait for feedback. 😀

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I used ground turkey instead of beef, sweet potatoes instead of carrots and a poblano pepper instead of a jalapeño (was feeling more smoky than spicy- added some paprika too) and loved it. This really is a stand your spoon straight up chili. Also, kudos on bacon in chili!! I had never added that before, but it’s a game changer for sure.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We ALWAYS have Fritos with our chili (must be a Minnesota thing?) so we’re all class over here too! I am picky about my chili too but love so many beans, and a little of the meaty texture. This does look lovely, and my burger loving daughter might actually enjoy it if I made it this way! I’ll give it a try.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Shelby B

      In my husband’s words “perfect” chili. So glad we finally found a winner!!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Teresa B.

    YES YES YES. This chili is the actual perfect chili. It’s got that warm and hearty feed-your-soul goodness you need in a chili, but it’s also really well balanced, chock full of good stuff, and pleasantly light. Served it for dinner tonight with some cheddar cheese, and sour cream mixed with lime and cilantro, and I am already dreaming about eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this yesterday and it got rave reviews even from the 4 year old. We had smaller portions and are having leftovers later this week and I froze a few servings in ziplocks for snowstorm emergencies! Also, I made the first half of the recipe as instructed and then threw it all in the slow cooker for 3 hours while we went sledding. It was perfection.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So yummy! looking so delicious and mouthwatering. I want to make this recipe…. this Sunday chili but can you suggest which oil would be best for frying beef…
    Thank you so much

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Cheryl Long

    I have been looking for a chili recipe that fulfilled all of my ideas of what chili should be and I do believe I found it! My husband is of the opinion that chili shouldn’t have beans; I think he is wrong. But when I made this last night his words were “this is good!” And let me tell you, this is HIGH praise coming from my reserved man. Saving to my favorites now!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Fire roasted tomatoes are hard to come by here in Canada let alone crushed ones to I went with regular crushed tomatoes, added some chipotle & red pepper flakes and it was delicious! Definitely going to be making it again 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This recipe for chili is my new favorite! Thanks for helping me to spice and flavor things up;)

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    made this today in the slow cooker and it worked great! 3 hours on low. so, so, so good! maybe the best chili ive ever had? not fancy, just really good.