If you're looking for the perfect cold-weather meal to have for dinner, look no further than this Wendy's chili recipe. It's made with simple ingredients like seasoned ground beef, tender veggies, canned tomatoes, beans, and chili seasoning, and everything gets cooked in one pot. How awesome is that?! So, not only is this chili super delicious, but it's super easy to make too.
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The Best Wendy's Chili Recipe
I know, chili isn't the first thing that you think of when you think of Wendy's, but it should definitely be the second. Wendy's chili is loaded with meaty chunks of ground beef, beans, and bits of tomatoes and it's seasoned to perfection. Honestly, I'm obsessed with it - I might even like it more than their burgers.
So, that's exactly why I decided to make this copycat Wendy's chili recipe. I wanted to be able to make it at home, so I could eat it whenever I wanted to. And I also wanted to skip the pesky drive-thru line too.
Now, not only is this Wendy's chili recipe delicious, but it's also really easy to make too. So if you love Wendy's chili, you'll love this recipe! In only about 30 minutes, you'll end up with enough servings of chili to feed the whole family. Plus, everything cooks in one pot so clean up is a breeze.
Also, this chili makes the best leftovers. So if you can't finish it the first day you make it, don't worry. You can always reheat for lunch/dinner the following day/s after you make it and have a delicious ready-to-go meal.
By the way, and as good as this copycat Wendy's chili is on its own, it's even more delicious with this sweet potato cornbread on the side. So, I highly recommend making that to go along with it.
If you've ever cooked homemade chili before, you'll recognize this list of ingredients. They're all pretty standard chili ingredients and I bet you probably have most - if not all - of them in your kitchen/pantry already.
Anyway, here's everything you need to make this Wendy's chili copycat recipe:
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1 Celery Stalk, chopped
- ½ Onion, chopped
- ½ Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 (14 oz.) Can Stewed Tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
- 1 cup Water
- 4 tbsp. Chili Seasoning
- 1 (14 oz.) Can Kidney Beans, drained
- 1 (14 oz.) Can Pinto Beans, drained
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tbsp. White Vinegar
- Cheddar Cheese, to top
Pretty simple chili recipe, right? And if you want to make another chili recipe that's just a little different than this Wendy's chili, you can use most of these ingredients to make this Texas Roadhouse chili.
Ingredient Substitutions and Additions
Now, there's plenty of room to modify this Wendy's chili depending on what you have in your pantry. When it comes to the tomato sauce ingredients, stewed tomatoes make the best sauce, but crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or even your favorite jar of tomato sauce will work too.
Also, if you like your chili to be on the spicier side, add cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, or even a little hot sauce. We love adding a splash of Frank's Hot Sauce to this chili recipe from time to time to give it a little kick.
And for an elevated flavor, I recommend adding in a sprinkle of McCormick mild chili seasoning.
When it comes to the fix-ins, this recipe calls for cheddar cheese, but you don't have to stop there! I like to add sour cream, bacon bits, and sometimes sliced avocado, and green onions to my chili too.
By the way, you can use a lot of these same ingredients to make this Carrabba's lentil and sausage soup. So you might want to check that soup recipe out next if you end up with some leftover ingredients after making this Wendy's copycat chili recipe.
How To Make Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe
The steps required to make this Wendy's chili recipe could not be easier. Honestly, this is the easiest chili recipe you'll ever make from scratch.
As I mentioned, everything cooks in one pot, making the cooking process seamless and clean-up super quick. That's a win-win for a busy weeknight meal.
Now, let's stop wasting time and dive right into this recipe for the best Wendy's chili!
Step 1: Cook The Ground Beef and Veggies
First, grab your favorite large pot - or Dutch oven - and set it over medium heat on your stovetop.
Then, add the olive oil to the pot, followed by the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon if necessary. Cook the ground beef until it's browned on all sides.
Once it's cooked, add in the celery, onion, and green bell pepper. Cook the veggies for about 15 minutes or until they're fork-tender.
Step 2: Make The Tomato Sauce
Now, we're going to make the base for this chili. To do that, add the stewed tomatoes (or tomato sauce or diced tomatoes), water, and chili powder to the pot with the beef and veggies.
Then, let everything cook together for about 15 minutes. And don't worry about putting the lid on the pot since the chili will continue to cook down and condense, making for an even richer and more flavorful chili.
Anyway, once that cooks, it's time to add the kidney beans and pinto beans (combo of chili beans), followed by the vinegar. Cook everything for 5 more minutes or until your family starts asking what smells so good!
Step 3: Serve The Wendy's Chili
When your Wendy's copycat chili recipe is done cooking, serve it in about four individual bowls.
Then, you can add a little salt and pepper on top if you want, followed by some shredded cheddar cheese. Additionally, you can top your hearty chili off with whatever you want, like some tortilla chips and sour cream. Enjoy!
How To Store This Wendy's Chili
As good as this recipe for Wendy's chili is right after making it, it's honestly even better leftover!
So, since that's the case, I always like to double or triple the recipe when I make it.
Also, storing the chili is a breeze. You can store the leftover cooked chili in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 4 days. And if you want to keep it for longer, you can store the chili in an airtight container - or freezer-safe bag - and freeze it for 4-6 months.
How To Reheat Chili
To reheat your leftover chili, you can place it in the microwave and heat it in 20-second increments, stirring between each one, until thoroughly warm. With that said, I recommend placing a plate over the top of your bowl while it's microwaving to avoid any potential messes.
Alternatively, you can place your leftover chili on the stovetop set to medium heat, and heat for a few minutes - stirring regularly - until it reaches your desired temperature.
Wrapping It Up
Well, that's how to make Wendy's chili at home.
Seriously, of all the homemade chili recipes I've tried, this one by far is the simplest and most richly flavored one yet.
Honestly, it gives this Texas Roadhouse chili recipe a run for its money - and that's saying something.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this copycat Wendy's chili recipe as much as I/we do.
More Copycat Recipes
Craving more copycat recipes from your favorite restaurants?
Well, if you are, we have you covered!
Try some of our other copycat recipes next:
- Olive Garden chicken alfredo
- Outback mac and cheese
- McDonald's spicy chicken sandwich
- McDonald's snack wraps
- Chick-Fil-A nuggets
One Pot Homemade Wendy's Chili Recipe Made In Just 30 Minutes
If you're looking for the perfect cold-weather meal to have for dinner, then look no further than this Wendy's chili recipe. With simple ingredients like seasoned ground beef, tender veggies, canned tomatoes, beans, and chili seasoning, you end up with a one-pot chili recipe that's too good to beat!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Wendy's
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 pound Ground Beef
1 Celery Stalk, chopped
½ Onion, chopped
½ Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 (14 oz.) Can Stewed Tomatoes
1 cup Water
4 tbsp. Chili Seasoning
1 (14 oz.) Can Kidney Beans, drained
1 (14 oz.) Can Pinto Beans, drained
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp. White Vinegar
Cheddar Cheese, to top
- In a big pot, heat the olive oil and add the ground beef.
- Cook until the meat is browned. Add the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
- Add the tomatoes, water and chili seasoning and cook for 15 more minutes.
- Add the kidney beans, pinto beans and vinegar. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Top with cheddar cheese.