Mild chili recipe using ingredients in your pantry and fridge right now! Instructions for your Crockpot, stovetop, or Ninja Foodi pressure cooker so dinner is perfect.
Who doesn’t love a hearty mild chili recipe you can spice up in separate bowls for those daring to go the distance??! 😉 We do!! I think we probably have Ninja Foodi chili for dinner about once a week. (originally published 5/19, affiliate links present)
Homemade chili topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream, inside potatoes or spooned on top of a bed of rice is our favorite easy dinner. Let me share where our whole chili journey began….
- When I first started blogging way back in 2012 I made this 5 ingredient crock pot chili recipe that was a huge hit!
It is not only a mild chili recipe, but one with very few ingredients for those busy mom days!
Still to this day I use that as a base and tweak things from there. Like this one I found in the Mealthy cookbook here. I used their spices, minus the chili powder, and added things like the can of diced tomatoes we always like to make it a bit chunkier.
That’s the thing with recipes. You can make all of them your own. Most of the time when you’re searching for something to make, you don’t have to make it exactly as stated, I never do. My mom hates onions with a passion so she’d always omit those, where I think they’re necessary in everything!
- The same goes with our slow cooker chili recipe with Manwich that you can make as spicy or mild as you want.
Here are the directions to make slow cooker chili:
- Precook your ground beef or sausage and drain – Can you put raw ground beef in a slow cooker? My short answer is no. You always want to make sure your meat is browned and drained before adding it in with your other ingredients.
- Add all other ingredients – Once everything is in there give it a good stir so everything melds together while it’s cooking. Do you add water to chili? It depends on the recipe but you will need liquid. I’d opt for beef broth vs. water for way more flavor. Then close your lid.
- Set your time – I recommend using low for all crockpot recipes. The whole point of a slow cooker is to cook everything SLOOOOoooooW so don’t rush it. The flavor will be better the longer it’s in there.
How to make Instant Pot chili?
First off this is my method of choice! Whether you have an Instant Pot, Crockpot Express, Power Pressure Cooker XL, or Mealthy it’s just the way to go.
- If you have a Ninja Foodi you can go an extra step with their air crisp lid and even make this cheesy chili mac version!
This is how quick and easy it is:
- Turn your pot to saute and add your olive oil, meat and onions (bell peppers could be added too). Cook until meat is no longer pink. Then turn off.
- Add all other ingredients and stir.
- Close your pressure cooker lid and steam valve.
- Set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Quick release and done!
- Remember to top with cheese, sour cream chives and more!
What can I add to chili for flavor?
We have quite a few spices in the recipe card below but here are a few more to try:
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Seasoned salt like Lawry’s
- Chili seasoning mix
- Chili powder and cayenne pepper can be added for heat
- If you’re making this mild chili recipe but 1 person in your house likes it spicy just add a bit in their bowl only so everyone is happy.
Some have been known to add a bit of honey or dry sherry to the mix too to make it sweet! Others use carbonated soda instead of water or broth to thin it out.
How can you thicken chili?
- Add a few tablespoons of cornmeal or polenta!
Ingredients needed to make Ninja Foodi chili (or using any other method listed)
- I like 1/2 lb. ground sausage and 1/2 lb. ground beef
- Could use ground turkey
- Chopped onion
- Olive oil
- Can of diced tomatoes
- Can of black beans
- Sometimes I add a can of kidney beans too
- Beef broth
- Can of tomato sauce
- Garlic, minced
- Garlic salt
What do you eat with chili?
We serve it on top of these two things:
Best sides to serve on chili night:
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Or add a bit into the mix at the end to make it creamy!
- Diced chives
- Tortilla chips – these are the best for scooping
What if you want to make stovetop chili?
- Just use a large pot on the stove, set to medium heat and add meat, onions and olive oil.
- Once that is browned add all other ingredients, stir, and reduce heat to low.
- Cover pot and allow to cook for at least 10 minutes stirring intermittently so it doesn’t get overheated on the bottom.
- 20 minutes on very low heat is ideal for the flavors to really become enhanced.
- Then serve!!
I actually add 1/4 tsp. of chili powder to this classic chili recipe myself. It still stays mild in my opinion but adds a bit of wow. If you are very sensitive to all spices then omit completely. Then make chili stuffed peppers or 3 bean chili and enjoy!!
Mild Chili Recipe
- 1 can black beans 15 oz, drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes 15 oz.
- 1 lb ground beef or 1/2 lb. ground sausage and 1/2 beef
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2-1 c beef broth more for a thinner chili
- 1 can tomato sauce 8 oz.
- If using a pressure cooker set to saute and add olive oil, diced onions, and meat. Cook until no longer pink. Turn pot off. If using stovetop do this in a pot on med. heat. Slow cooker method needs meat precooked so use a skillet and then put cooked meat into your Crockpot.
- Add all other ingredients into your pot and stir. On a pressure cooker close lid and steam valve. Set to pressure cook, high, for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release. If on stovetop put on low with lid ajar and allow to simmer for 10-15 min. stirring intermittently so it doesn't burn on bottom.
- The slower and longer it cooks the more the flavors will be enhanced. So, using your slow cooker is a great method. Just add cooked meat and all other ingredients, stir, and set on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Do not cook on stovetop longer than 20 minutes on low.
- Serve immediately topped with cheese, sour cream and chives!