Skip to Content

Dutch Oven Chili

My easy Dutch oven chili is a hearty and delicious dump-and-go recipe perfect for gatherings, potlucks, or a comforting meal at home – you can also pack the ingredients to make campfire Dutch oven chili. My family loves chili, especially during the cooler months, so check out 25 of the best chili recipes!

Dutch oven chili in a dutch oven with a spoon in it.

Can You Cook Chili in a Dutch Oven?

A Dutch oven is a perfect way to make chili since the pan distributes heat evenly and retains it well; the heavy, thick walls of the Dutch oven help to simmer the chili, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully for even cooking. Whether you cook on the stovetop, oven, or over a campfire, a Dutch oven is an excellent way to prepare hearty chili recipes.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Onion: Yellow or white onions work best in this recipe.
  • Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – measure with your heart.
  • Tomato Paste: Adding a spoonful of tomato paste intensifies the flavor and deepens the color of the chili.
  • Spices: Finish our Dutch oven chili recipe with chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
  • Ground Beef: We use ground beef, but you can replace it with chicken or turkey. If you’re vegetarian, use ground Beyond Meat or lentils as a replacement. For more ideas, try one of these ground beef recipes!
  • Chicken Broth: Give the chili an ideal consistency and flavor by incorporating a cup of chicken broth; if you prefer thinner chili, stir in another cup.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire enhances the flavor of the other ingredients in the chili, especially beef.
  • Kidney Beans: You can decide for yourself what the best beans for chili are. I love using kidney beans in this recipe.
  • Tomatoes with Green Chilies: I like using canned tomatoes with green chilies for a little more flavor, but any canned diced tomatoes will work. You can also use freshly diced tomatoes, but you will want to simmer the chili longer so they soften and combine with the other ingredients.

How to Make Dutch Oven Chili

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften and become translucent, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Onions and garlic cooking in a dutch oven.

Step 2: Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper; stir to combine.

Spices and tomato paste added to the onions cooking in the dutch oven.

Step 3: Next, add the ground beef and break it up with a meat chopper; cook until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.

Ground beef cooking in the dutch oven.

Step 4: Pour the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans into the pot, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Remaining ingredients for dutch oven chili added to the pot.

Step 5: Ladle the chili into bowls, and garnish with chopped fresh onion and shredded cheese.

A bowl of dutch oven chili topped with shredded cheddar, onions, and chilies.

Should I Cook Chili in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven?

Any Dutch oven, including those made of cast iron, can be used to make delicious one-pot chili. However, if you decide to go that route, there are a few things to consider. Cast iron Dutch ovens are known for their heat retention and even heat distribution, making them an excellent choice for cooking chili (especially if you’re camping). 

However, acidic ingredients in chili, like tomatoes and tomato paste, can react with the iron and give the dish a metallic taste; I learned this the hard way preparing sugo al pomodoro in my cast-iron Dutch oven once. To prevent this reaction, learn how to properly season your cast iron beforehand or use a Dutch oven with an enamel coating.

Expert Tips

  • Ensure your Dutch oven is large enough to hold all the ingredients; I use a 5-6 quart Dutch oven to make chili.
  • After adding all the ingredients to the pot, bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat and let all the flavors meld together by gently simmering over medium heat.
A bowl of dutch oven chili topped with shredded cheddar, onions, and chilies.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy a soothing bowl of chili piled high with toppings like freshly chopped onions, jalapeños, diced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, scallions, or a squeeze of lime for extra flavor. And here are a few suggestions for what to serve with chili:

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Like other stew and soup recipes, chili tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to combine. Store leftovers in an airtight container; it will keep for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze  Let the dish cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Dutch oven chili freezes for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost chili in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat  Warm the leftovers on the stovetop or microwave, and enjoy!
  • Repurpose – Make walking nachos, chili and rice casserole, chili cheese fries, chili spaghetti squash casserole, chili dogs, chili and tater tot casserole, Frito chili pie, and chili cornbread casserole.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to cook chili in dutch oven?

The cooking time for chili varies depending on the ingredients you use. In general, you will want to take the time to soften the onions and brown or sear the beef. Once you add the ingredients to the pot, simmer the chili for 20-30 minutes for a tasty, full-flavored Dutch oven chili.

However, if you’re using stew meat as we do to make our chili con carne with beans, you will want to cover the Dutch oven with the lid ajar and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, allowing the beef to become tender.

What size dutch oven for chili?

A 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven has enough room to comfortably cook a chili recipe that serves 4 to 6 people; having a slightly larger Dutch oven offers you the flexibility to double the recipe for larger gatherings or planned leftovers.

What are the best beans for chili?

There are many different beans that can be used in chili, but some of the most popular include: kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, and black beans.

More Dutch Oven Recipes:

Your Feedback is Valuable

Did you try this recipe? Consider leaving a ⭐️ rating and comment below. And for more healthy international recipes for everyday cooking, sign up to have recipes emailed right to you.

A bowl of dutch oven chili topped with shredded cheddar, onions, and chilies.

Dutch Oven Chili

Tressa Jamil
Our easy dutch oven chili is a hearty and delicious dump and go recipe that's perfect for camping, potlucks, or a comforting meal at home.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup, stew
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 285 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cans kidney beans, 15-ounce, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, 15-ounce
Instructions
 
  • Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften and become translucent, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper; stir to combine.
  • Next, add the ground beef and break it up with a meat chopper; cook until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans into the pot, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls, and garnish with chopped fresh onion and shredded cheese.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • Ensure your Dutch oven is large enough to hold all the ingredients; I use a 5-6 quart Dutch oven to make chili.
  • After adding all the ingredients to the pot, bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat and let all the flavors meld together by gently simmering over medium heat.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Bowl | Calories: 285 kcal | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Protein: 24 g | Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Cholesterol: 49 mg | Sodium: 1099 mg | Potassium: 298 mg | Fiber: 9 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 56 IU | Vitamin C: 21 mg | Calcium: 6 mg | Iron: 19 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating