I don’t know about you, but I consider chilli a year-round food. I am just as happy to eat chilli in June as I am in January. Sure, the warming effects of a big bowl of chilli are sooo nice when it’s cold outside… but when it’s a little warmer outside, all you have to do is let your chilli cool off a bit more. (When it comes to good food, you just have to be adaptable, right?)
What I’m saying is, although the weather is getting a little bit warmer (although not nearly warm enough here in the UK), there is still plenty of time to eat chilli. So this made me think… why not put together ultimate guide to homemade chilli? And share it with all of you because who wouldn’t want to read an ultimate chilli guide?
Types of Homemade Chilli (Homemade Chili)
There is no better way to start a post about homemade chilli than to talk about the different types of chilli. There are really four main types:
- Chilli con carne: This is your typical chilli with meat (most often beef), tomatoes and beans.
- Vegetarian chilli: Veggie chilli obviously admits the ‘con carne’ (with meat) element and relies heavily on beans and sometimes a meat replacement.
- White chilli: Oh how I love white chilli. White chilli uses white beans and either turkey or chicken instead of red meat.
- Chilli verde: This type of chilli is also called ‘green chilli’ and is full of spices but contains no tomatoes.
What kinds of meat can be used in homemade chilli?
There are so many variations of chilli out there, I am quite sure you could eat a new chilli recipe every day for the rest of your life and never run out of choices. When it comes to meat, here are the kinds of meat you can add to chilli:
- Beef cuts of any kind – beef mince/ground beef is a standard of many chilli recipes, but you really can add any cut of red meat
- Venison – another red meat choice (more flavourful than beef in my opinion)
- Chicken – use my Instant Pot Chicken Breast, Instant Pot Chicken Thighs or Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipes if you are making a quick chilli recipe that calls for pre-cooked chicken
- Turkey – like chicken, another mainstay of white chilli recipes
- Pork – pulled pork is excellent in chilli and is often used in chilli verde
What are the best chilli toppings?
I confess my favourite part of homemade chilli is not finding (or creating) the recipe and it’s not making the chilli. My favourite part of the whole process is topping it with fab toppings before I dig in. I could go on for ages about chilli toppings, but here are a few for you to try:
- Instant Pot rice (four lovely rice recipes at that link)
- Avocado (especially good with white chilli)
- Cheese of all sorts
- Sour cream
- Crumbled cornbread (try my Spring Onion and Bacon Cornbread)
- Chopped bacon
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese (yeap, you can make a chilli-mac combo dish)
- Chilli oil
What goes well with chilli?
So you have your lovely homemade chili topped with your favourite toppings… now what? Serve it with your favourite chilli sides, of course. Here are a few chilli sides ideas:
- Instant Pot Sweet Potato
- Polenta Chips
- Plantain Chips
- Grilled Comté Cheese Sandwich
- Cheesy Baked Plantains with Chilli
- Easy Coleslaw
And of course an ice cold Ginger Beer.
Can you freeze homemade chilli?
Yeap you can. I have 6 different types of chilli stored in my freezer right now. (I like to be prepared, what can I say?)
Chilli will store well in the freezer (in an airtight container) for at least 4 to 6 months. It is still safe to eat after that time, but for the best flavour, eat it within 6 months.
Chilli freezing tip: Do not put hot chilli in the freezer. It can partially unthaw adjacent foods and alter their texture and/or flavour. Fully chill your chilli in the fridge first before later placing it in the freezer.
The Best Homemade Chilli
Okay folks, now we’re getting on to the chilli recipes. What is the best homemade chilli? That all depends on your personal preference. I personally loooove white chilli recipes, so the ‘best’ to me is…
White Chicken Chilli – If you want a warming, filling and comforting meal, you will love this White Chicken Chillci recipe. It is so easy to make and includes a regular, Instant Pot and slow cooker version.
You may love this chilli or you may find your best homemade chilli somewhere else on this list. (No judgment from me, peeps, if you don’t like my personal best. More white chicken chilli for me…)
Traditional homemade chilli
Chilli Con Carne with Meatballs – This recipe is traditional chilli con carne using beef mince made into meatballs.
Dad’s Famous Chilli Con Carne from Don’t Go Bacon My Heart – If dad made it, it has to be good, right?? This traditional homemade chili is served alongside rice and lime wedges.
Instant Pot homemade chili
Instant Pot Three Bean Chilli – This vegetarian chilli recipe is gluten-free and vegan and contains black-eyed beans, kidney beans and pinto beans. For this recipe, visit the recipe card at the end of the post.
Instant Pot Chilli – This easy chilli recipe made in the Instant Pot can be made with pantry staples in just 25 mins. Post includes a slow cooker version too.
Homemade chilli without beans
Turkey, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chilli from Not Enough Cinnamon – A hearty and healthy chilli recipe that is made from turkey, quinoa and sweet potatoes.
Chicken Tikka Masala Chilli from 40 Aprons – This rich and flavourful homemade chili is fully Whole 30 and Paleo compliant.
Homemade chilli without meat
Instant Pot Three Bean Chilli (recipe card at the end of the post)
One-Pot Lentil Butternut Squash Chilli from Yay for Food – This healthier one-pot vegan chilli is ready in only 1 hr.
Homemade chilli without beef
Hearty Venison Chilli – This is is a comforting, filling chilli that will warm you up from the inside out. Made with venison, it’s lower in fat than traditional beef chilli. Post includes a slow cooker and Instant Pot version too.
Chicken Chilli – This is an easy, beef-free chilli that is full of flavour and can be made easily from pantry staples. Post includes a regular, Instant Pot and slow cooker version.
Homemade chilli without tomatoes
Chicken and Bacon Green Chilli from TasteAbounds – This chile verde recipe is hearty and nutritious as well as gluten-free, low carb, Paleo and keto.
Chile Verde with Physalis and Padron Peppers from Vikalinka – Despite its exotic ingredients, this slow cooker chilli recipe is very easy to throw together.
Slow cooker homemade chilli
Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli Bowls from Delicious Table – This recipe is an easy and healthier turkey chilli with black beans made in the slow cooker.
Healthy Slow Cooker Taco Chilli from What the Fork – This chilli makes a fab weeknight meal and it’s easy to do in the slow cooker.
Smokey Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Chilli from Killing Thyme – Another unique homemade chilli, this recipe features young green jackfruit.
Low carb chilli
Cauliflower Chilli from Divalicious Recipes – This low-carb chilli recipe features cauliflower instead of beans.
Low Carb Chilli Con Carne with Pepperocini from Low Carb with Jennifer – This flavourful low-carb chilli uses tomatoes but is still low in carbs.
The Best Homemade Chilli Tips
Chilli can be used as a part of a meal without being the meal. I made 20 Minute Chilli Bacon Pies using bacon chilli as the pie filling. You can also use chilli as a great burrito filling with rice and lettuce.
It’s nearly impossible to ruin chilli. It’s a food that is easy to adjust. If something isn’t right, don’t worry – make an adjustment here and there until you get it right.
You can add in a very small piece of dark chocolate for a chilli flavour boost. Let it melt and stir to combine.
Try using beer instead of stock. This will give the chilli a richer flavour.
Sauté veggies before adding them to the chilli. And always use fresh veggies when you can.
Folks, do you have any awesome homemade chilli tips?? If you do, please share them in the comments.
Thank you for reading my homemade chili post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you.
Here is how to make this Instant Pot Three Bean Chilli recipe. Please do try it and if you do make it then please do tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter so that I can pop over and have a look. It is really, really awesome for me when you make any one of my recipes. You can also share it on my Facebook page.
This three bean chilli is naturally gluten-free and vegan.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 pepper (bell) deseeded and diced
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or less if making for kids
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2.5 tsp ground cumin
- 400 g (14oz) tin kidney beans drained
- 400 g (14oz) tin black-eyed beans drained
- 400 g (14oz) tin pinto beans veggie ones, drained
- 200 g (7oz) frozen corn kernels thawed
- 250 g (8.8oz) peeled and diced butternut squash
- 400 g (14oz) chopped tomato
- 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
- Set your Instant Pot to Sauté and add in the olive oil until hot.
- Add the onion and pepper and sauté for 5 mins until softened.
- Add in the stock and quickly deglaze the inner pot (by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon) in case anything is stuck on.
- Then add in the remaining ingredients ending with chopped tomatoes and beans on top. Do NOT stir.
- Cover your Instant Pot, set the vent to seal, select the manual setting and set the timer to 8-10 mins (bigger squash pieces take 10 mins; smaller pieces may only need 8-9 mins - try and see which way you like it), and let the chilli cook under high pressure until done.
- When done do a quick pressure release (QPR). When the chilli is ready, stir it thoroughly before serving with some rice, corn tortilla and fresh coriander.
Please note 8-10 mins is the time it cooks under pressure in the Instant Pot. This does not take into account the time it takes to come to pressure.
Weight Watchers Points in Instant Pot Three Bean Chilli
If you replace the 2 tsp olive oil used for frying with a calorie-controlled cooking spray, there are:
- 0 Freestyle points per serving
- 5 PointsPlus points per serving