Spicy Beef Chili Cheap & Easy

Introduction: Spicy Beef Chili Cheap & Easy

About: I'm a camper and home cook. I'm a teacher and learner.

This is my Cheap and Easy Chili. When I am making it for myself, I make it extra spicy.

These ingredients are often the cheapest options. Besides being cheap, canned tomatoes are often picked at the peak of ripeness and are often more flavorful than fresh tomatoes. I used Cheap 'Walmart' ground beef sold in a five pound tube. It is cheap and higher in fat, that's a win-win.

This easy recipe is all made in one pot. Feel free to add or subtract ingredient to adjust the amount or to incorporate other flavors.


  • Ground Beef, 4 lb. or more (Whatever is cheapest, higher fat tastes better.)
  • Canned Beans, 1 or more cans
  • Canned Tomatoes, 3 or more cans
  • Canned Tomato Paste, 1/4 cup
  • Onion, 2 or more cups, chopped
  • Jalapeño Pepper, 2 or more
  • Green Chili Peppers, 3 or more
  • Habanero Pepper, 1 or more
  • Oil or Fat, whatever you like to saute onions, I use bacon grease
  • Spices, whatever you like
    • 4 Tbsp. Chili Powder
    • 1 Tbsp. Salt
    • 1 Tbsp. Pepper
    • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
    • 1 Tbsp. Paprika
    • 1 Tbsp. Ground Coriander

Step 1: Sauté Onions

Sauté the onions directly in the large pot, you are making all the chili in.

You can use any onions you like. I chopped one and a half large yellow onions to make about two cups.

Heat the pot on medium heat with some fat like vegetable oil or butter. I used three spoons of bacon grease.

Drop your onions in the fat and give them a stir every few minutes to prevent burning.

Step 2: Spicy Peppers

While the onions cook chop your peppers, and add them.

Cut off the stem and remove the seeds from each pepper. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Do not pull the seeds out with your fingers, and then wipe sweat off your face. The spicy oils in the pepper can sting your eyes.

I chopped up two Jalapeño Peppers, three Green Chili Peppers, and one Habanero Pepper. That is enough for a mildly spicy chili. I recommend you add more if you like spicy food. I use a variety of peppers because they all add different flavor. Peppers are not just for heat, but for spice.

Stir your peppers into the onions.

Step 3: Beef

The onions should be translucent by now, and the peppers are added, so drop in the ground beef. I used five pounds of cheap ground beef.

Keep stirring the ground beef while it browns. Mix it up to check there is no pink left.

The video file shows the consistence of the cooked, browned beef.

Step 4: Add the Cans

Add the beans, I used two cans of mixed beans. For a low carb. chili, skip the beans.

Add the canned tomatoes, I used four cans of diced tomatoes.

Add the tomato paste, I used about a quarter of this can.

Stir everything together.

Keep the heat up to medium; just bubbling, not boiling. When you add ingredients it lowers the temperature of the total pot, and it needs time to heat back up.

Step 5: Spice

Spice your chili as you like, everyone has different opinions.

This is a simple spice mix that I find is generally pleasing.

  • 4 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. Ground Coriander

Stir everything together.

Step 6: Mix and Simmer

Once everything is in the pot turn down the heat to simmer. If you have a lid for your pot, use it.

Give it a stir to make sure it cooks evenly every 10 to 15 minutes.

Let the chili simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

This recipe also works if cooked in a slow-cooker for 10 hours on low.

The video file shows the thickens of the finished chili. I did not add any water, the liquids all came from the beef, and cans.

Step 7: Eat!

Serve the chili hot.

This simple chili is great on its own, I like to melt some cheese over it.

If you want to make this for chili dogs, I recommend not adding the beans.

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    3 years ago on Step 7

    This looks just like the type of chili I grew up eating along the whole Pacific West Coast since the 1960s. I can adjust the seasonings, but wow. I'm impressed. And being a pepper-freak, chile-head, I love the idea of making this bitingly piquant.
    I must admit I use my food processor to chop my own burger from roasts, chuck-round steaks, etc. I do it because unless hamburger is on sale it runs at least $4 per lb here.


    3 years ago

    An interesting recipe. I'll have to try it. I must disagree with you however about the beef. I cut corners on a lot of things but not on food. I will go to my butcher and by an inexpensive steak and have him grind it for me, then I know exactly what's in it! I'm not as much into hot so I might cut back slightly on the peppers. Have you ever tried cumin in it? I find it gives a chili an interesting flavour.