This Easy Beef Chili Recipe is part of the $5 dinner series. To see more $5 dinner ideas, check out my complete list of Budget Meals.
Chili…few things beat a good bowl of chili. Not only is it cheap and easy to make, it’s filling and delicious too! Paired with a slice of cornbread (slathered with butter of course) or served on top of pasta, a bowl of chili is a classic, budget friendly meal your whole family is sure to love.
The ingredients in this easy beef chili recipe are simple – beef, beans, tomato sauce, and spices. For the beans, I like the flavor of the kidney beans along with the firmness of the black beans (plus, I almost always have these on hand). If you have other types of beans in your pantry, that should be fine as well.
Homemade Chili Cost Breakdown
Since this is recipe is part of the $5 dinner series, let’s see how much this meal really costs.
Here is the breakdown:
- 1 can Kidney beans $0.69
- 1 can Black beans $0.69
- 1/2 lb Ground beef $2.77
- 8 oz tomato sauce $0.33
- ½ small yellow onion $0.20
- Spices $0.15
- Diced garlic clove $0.10
We come in at just under $5! Cheap meals that taste great are the best, aren’t they?
Upgrades: If I have one available, I love to add some diced bell pepper to give the chili some sweetness. If I don’t have that handy, I’ll add a half a tsp of sugar. A second upgrade that I almost always use is a handful of grated cheese on top. Finally, I also like adding some kind of starch to the dish to break up the consistency–angel hair pasta is my preference (sometimes called Cincinnati style).
Easy Beef Chili Recipe
- Kidney beans - 1 can
- Black beans - 1 can
- Ground beef - 1/2 lb
- Tomato sauce - 8 oz
- Small yellow onion - 1/2
- Cumin - 1/2 tsp
- Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander - 1/2 tsp
- Oregano - 1/2 tsp
- Salt and pepper to taste (or Cayenne if your family likes some heat)
- Garlic Clove - 1 clove diced
- Cook onions in olive oil over medium heat until tender and translucent.
- Add the ground beef in with the onions and continue to cook.
- Once the beef is close to being finished (hardly any pink), add in your tomato sauce, diced garlic, and spices.
- Add salt and pepper to taste - not too much salt will be necessary.
- If you have time, let the chili simmer on med-low for 10-15 minutes. However, it will still taste great if you serve right away.
This easy beef chili recipe is one of those meals that you can easily throw together when you are running short on time. You basically just put everything in a pot and let it cook! The ingredients are things many of us keep in our pantries already, as well, so it’s the perfect option for busy evenings.
I hope your family enjoys this $5 dinner! For more recipes, check out my other budget dinner ideas.