Best Easy Ben’s Chili Bowl Chili Recipe

Ben’s Chili Bowl is an iconic restaurant located in Washington D.C. and known for its delicious chili. Their chili recipe has been a favorite among locals and tourists alike for decades. If you are a fan of this hearty and flavorful dish, you’re in luck! We’ve got the best easy Ben’s Chili Bowl chili recipe for you to recreate at home.

– 1 lb ground beef
– 1 large onion, diced
– 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 green bell pepper, diced
– 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
– 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
– 2 cups beef broth
– 2 tbsp chili powder
– 1 tbsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp paprika
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Optional toppings: shredded cheese, diced onions, sour cream, chopped cilantro


1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.

2. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and diced green bell pepper to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.

3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste, beef broth, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

4. Reduce the heat to low and let the chili simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more chili powder or cumin for a spicier flavor, or salt and pepper for more depth.

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6. Serve the chili hot with your favorite toppings. Shredded cheese, diced onions, sour cream, and chopped cilantro are popular choices.

Now that you have the recipe, it’s time to answer some common questions about Ben’s Chili Bowl chili:

1. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?
Yes, you can substitute ground turkey for a healthier option. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time as turkey cooks faster than beef.

2. Can I make this chili in a slow cooker?
Absolutely! Brown the ground beef and sauté the vegetables before transferring everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

3. Can I freeze the chili?
Yes, this chili freezes well. Let it cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

4. How can I make the chili spicier?
If you like it hot, add some cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeños to the chili. You can also use a spicier chili powder or add hot sauce to taste.

5. Can I make this chili vegetarian?
Certainly! Just omit the ground beef and add more beans or your choice of meat substitute, such as tofu or tempeh.

6. How can I make the chili thicker?
If you prefer a thicker chili, simply let it simmer uncovered for a longer time until it reaches your desired consistency.

7. Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?
Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes, but you will need to peel and chop them before adding them to the chili.

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8. What can I serve with Ben’s Chili Bowl chili?
Some popular side dishes to serve with chili include cornbread, rice, tortilla chips, or a fresh green salad.

9. Can I adjust the recipe for a larger crowd?
Absolutely! Just double or triple the ingredients accordingly and adjust the cooking time as needed.

Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to get cooking and enjoy the delicious flavors of Ben’s Chili Bowl chili right at home.