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World’s Best Southern Chili

By Jamie Deen


Featured in:

Jamie Deen's Good Food

This southern chili recipe is the world’s best for a reason!
This southern chili recipe is the world’s best for a reason!

Difficulty: Easy

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers (green and red), diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14½-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) can of beer
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • chopped green onions, for serving (optional)


Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, peppers, and celery and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, just until fragrant. Stir in the beef, breaking it up with the back of your wooden spoon, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and sauté for about 2 minutes more. Stir the tomato paste into the beef; this will intensify the flavor. Add both cans of diced tomatoes with their juices, the beer, and all the beans, stirring to combine.

Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook on medium-low for a good 2 hours, stirring on occasion to keep the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Cook’s Note: One of the best things about making a big pot of chili is that you can freeze the leftovers. All the flavors will continue to marry together so it’ll be even better when you reheat it.