Wendy’s-Inspired Homemade Chili


2 pounds fresh ground beef
1 quart (4 cups) tomato juice
1 (29-ounce) can tomato purée
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 medium-large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 packet (1.25 ounces) chili seasoning mix (or make your own with a blend of chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper)
Salt and black pepper, to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, start by browning the ground beef over medium-high heat. Break it apart as it cooks to ensure even browning. Drain any excess fat.

Add the chopped onions, diced celery, and diced green bell pepper to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

Stir in the tomato juice and tomato purée. These will form the flavorful base of your chili.

Add both drained kidney beans and pinto beans to the mixture, incorporating them thoroughly.

Season the chili with the packet of chili seasoning mix (or your homemade blend of chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper). Stir well to distribute the spices evenly.

Let the chili come to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and allow it to simmer for at least 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure that all the flavors meld together.

Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper to your liking. You can also add more chili seasoning if you desire extra spice.

Continue simmering the chili for another 15-30 minutes, or until it reaches your preferred thickness and the flavors are well developed.

Serve your homemade Wendy’s-inspired chili hot in bowls, garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Enjoy this comforting bowl of homemade chili on a crisp fall day, and savor the heartwarming flavors! ❤️🍁🍲