This Wendy’s copycat chili tastes just as good as the restaurant version! Make this easy chili recipe for dinner tonight in only 30 minutes.
Wendy’s Copycat Chili
Not only does this dish burst with flavor, but the green chiles really give it character, with subtle smokiness and heat.
Plus, it’s a fraction of the cost to make at home, and there’s plenty for leftovers! You can make some homemade cornbread too!
If you prefer poultry instead of beef, try my Slow Cooker Turkey Chili. It has similar ingredients to this Wendy’s chili recipe, and it’s ready to serve at the end of a long day.
Or, make vegetarian chili for a plant-based option that is just as filling. Jalapeno and bell peppers add heat and texture, while a secret ingredient ties all of the flavors together perfectly.
How To Make Wendy’s Copycat Chili
First, brown the ground beef in a large pot. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until done. It’s that simple!
I like to drain and rinse the canned beans when I make this dish, but it’s not required. Keep in mind that the extra liquid will affect the consistency, so you may need to leave out the additional water.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Customize the spices. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes based on how spicy you like your food. Cumin and chili powder also adds some heat, so feel free to experiment with those amounts as well. Taste as you go and add more until it’s just right.
- Develop those flavors. The longer chili simmers, the more the flavors come together. While this recipe tastes delicious either way, you could easily leave it on the stove for 3 to 4 hours if you’d like.
- Want to save some time? I love making a big batch of crockpot ground beef as meal prep for future recipes. Just portion it out into storage bags and freeze. Then, add it to your chili, soup, or baked dishes without even having to thaw it first!
FAQ – Common Recipe Questions
How long does chili last in the refrigerator?
When kept in a sealed container, it should stay fresh for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 6 months and thaw them in the refrigerator before reheating.
Be sure to allow the chili to cool before storing it, and leave space in the freezer containers for it to expand. Want an amazing salad to go with it? Try my Apple Pecan Salad copycat and you have the perfect meal!
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
Wendy’s Chili Recipe Video
To see us make the recipe from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this post.
Wendy’s Copycat Chili + Video
- 2 pounds 93% lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 32 ounces tomato sauce, 4 8-ounce cans
- 30.50 ounces pinto beans, 2 15.25-ounce cans, rinsed and drained
- 30.50 ounces kidney beans, 2 15.25-ounce cans, rinsed and drained
- 29 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes with garlic, 2 14.5-ounce cans
- 7 ounce can roasted green chiles, diced and peeled
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons New Mexico chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
- 1 cup water
- In a large 12-quart, heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat, add ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook until browned, drain drippings if necessary. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published January 2014, updated and republished January 2021
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