This thick and flavor-packed chili recipe has tasty sausage with juicy ground beef and spices. It’s perfect for a family meal or for entertaining, and it’s easy to make.
As chili is a one-pot meal, clean-up is simple, too. A heavy Dutch oven like this Uno Casa model, or another heavy-bottomed pot, will do the job beautifully.
Easy Dutch Oven Chili recipe
This recipe serves 12 people.
Note: We’ve included here the ingredients for making your chili seasoning from scratch, but if you’d rather use store-bought seasoning, use 1/2 a cup.
Ingredients for the Chili
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or another type of fat)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 5 links of sweet Italian sausage (remove the meat from its casing)
- 2 green bell peppers, cored, deseeded, and diced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- One 8-ounce can of tomato sauce or passata
- One 8-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- One 8-ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Ingredients for the Chili Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (or 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1/8 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon dried coriander
Optional serving ingredients (chili toppings)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Sliced scallions
- If you’re making your chili seasoning from scratch, do that first in a separate bowl. Otherwise, get out 1/2 a cup of prepared chili seasoning.
- Heat your Dutch oven over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Once it’s hot, sauté the onion in the bacon fat for about 2 minutes.
- Add the sausage and the ground beef, breaking it up in the pot. Let it cook till it’s almost cooked through.
- Add the chopped green peppers and stir for 2 minutes.
- Next, add the chili seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and tomato sauce or passata. Stir well. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add both cans of beans and stir. Allow your chili to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with your chosen chili toppings, and enjoy!
Easy Dutch Oven Chili Recipe FAQs
What can I serve with my chili?
Chili is a meal in itself, but you can serve it with any of the following:
- Cooked rice, quinoa, or another grain
- Cornbread or homemade biscuits
- A green salad or kale Caesar salad
- Sweet potato fries
What are the best beans for chili?
Any beans are delicious in chili: fava beans, white beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans… they are all good. The most usual combination is black beans and kidney beans.
How do I store leftover chili?
Chili keeps very well and tastes even better the next day, as the flavors will merge over time.
Your chili will keep good for a few days in the fridge (let it cool down first before storing in airtight containers). Otherwise, frozen chili keeps for up to three months in either containers or freezer bags (leave room for the chili to expand as it freezes).
To reheat your chili, you can use your stovetop, a slow cooker, or a microwave. If you are reheating from frozen, let your chili thaw overnight in the fridge first.
Can I use other kinds of meat?
If you want to use other types of sausage, try chorizo, chicken sausage, or kielbasa.
Tough cuts of beef work well, too, such as chuck or brisket. If you use a tough cut, make sure to simmer your chili on low for at least one and a half hours for best results. Short ribs also work well in chili.
How do I make cornbread?
Cornbread is simple to make. Here’s a recipe that will serve 10 people.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup oil or melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- Grease a round 9-inch cake pan and preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then make a well in the middle.
- Add the remaining ingredients into the well and whisk to remove any lumps.
- Pour into the greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or till the top is lightly browned and a toothpick or fork comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Serve warm.