Signature Chugwater Chili

Flavorful best describes our Signature Chugwater Chili. Not too spicy. Not too sweet. And just like your favorite coat, our quick chili recipe goes with just about everything, cleanup is easy, and it keeps you warm.  This easy beef chili recipe is easy to make any time of the year using only a handful of ingredients.  

Bowl of chili on plate with crackers and cheese

Chili is a nutritious and delicious meal that you can easily create. It is perfect for when the weather turns cold or at other times of the year. You can eat chili alone or make a variety of dishes with it. Our Buffalo Nacho recipe is the perfect example of our Chugwater Chili being used to make nachos.

This easy chili recipe is perfect for a quick meal. The hardest part of making this chili is browning your ground beef. If you can open a can opener and measure our chili seasoning you are set. This chili recipe can be made in less than an hour or you can make it and put it in a slow cooker to serve at a party or event.

This chili recipe is an award-winning chili recipe. It started around 34 years ago and has grown to be a favorite chili for many around the world. Here is how you can make it from the comfort of your home.

How to Make Chugwater Chili

The first step in making our chili is to brown 2 lbs. of ground beef in a pot medium sized pot. As the meat cooks you will need to chop it into smaller pieces using either a pastry blender or spoon.


Ground beef browning in a pot with a pastry blender

Next you will need to season the meat. A key part of making our chili is that we season the meat before adding the other ingredients. Add in 3 Tablespoons of Chugwater Chili Seasoning and stir until the meat is coated with the chili seasoning.

3 Tbs of Chugwater Chili Seasoning being added to ground beef

Next add in 1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce. This can be any brand of tomato sauce just as long as it is regular tomato sauce.

tomato sauce being added to pot of ground beef

It is time to add in a can of water. You can clean the can with water this ensures that the rest of the sauce is added to the chili. Plus, the can is the perfect measuring instrument for the water without having to dirty up a measuring cup.

Water being added to pot

Stir the contents of the pot. Start bringing it to a simmer then add two 15-ounce cans of pinto beans. You do not have to drain the bean juice but if you want a thicker chili you can. Stir in the beans.

2 cans of pinto beans added to pot of chili

Simmer the chili for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to not burn the chili. After 30 minutes serve the chili.  

Toppings to Use with a Beef Chili

There are may different toppings that people use when eating their chili. If you want to make a fun experience eating Chugwater Chili, then you can create a chili bar by setting out different toppings. This way guests can choose how they wish to eat their chili. Here is a list of recommended topping to eat with your chili.

What To Do With Left Over Chili?

There are many things you can do with chili. If you have leftover chili you can add it to chili cheese fries, hot dogs for chili dogs, top corn chips and add cheese, and much more.

Instant Pot Chugwater Chili 

Brown 2 lbs hamburger on the sauté setting, add in 3 Tbs Chugwater Chili       Seasoning and stir into the meat, add in 15 oz tomato sauce, 1 can of water, and 2 -15 oz cans of pinto beans. Then cook on manual or soup mode for 20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Chugwater Chili 

Brown 2 lbs hamburger in a skillet and stir in 3 Tbs Chugwater Chili Seasoning, add the meat to the slow cooker with 15 oz tomato sauce, 15 oz water, and 2 - 15 oz cans of pinto beans. Then cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Texas Style- Chugwater Chili 

To make our chili Texas style, simply brown up 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef, add in 3 rounded tablespoons Chugwater Chili Seasoning, 15 ounces tomato sauce, and 15 ounces water. Let simmer and enjoy. 

If you enjoyed making our Signature Chugwater Chili, here are a few other chili recipes that you might enjoy making next.


Chugwater chili, chili, quick chili, easy chili, chili seasoning
Beef, Soups
How to make Chugwater Chili
Yield:9 cups

Signature Chugwater Chili

Flavorful best describes our Signature Chugwater Chili. Not too spicy. Not too sweet. And just like your favorite coat, our quick chili recipe goes with just about everything, cleanup is easy, and it keeps you warm.  This easy beef chili recipe is easy to make any time of the year using only a handful of ingredients.  
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 40 M


  • 2 lbs. of ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans of pinto beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chugwater Chili Seasoning


How to cook Signature Chugwater Chili

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan, brown the ground beef. Break it into pieces about 1/4 of an inch.
  2. A pastry blender or spoon also doubles as a handy way to break up ground meat.
  3. Add in Chugwater Chili Seasoning and mix together.
  4. Add in can of tomato sauce.
  5. Clean the can with water and add desired amount to Signature Chugwater Chili.
  6. Give the mixture a good stir, and add two cans of pinto beans.
  7. Gently stir in the beans. The liquid from two cans of pinto beans is almost one cup, so for a thicker Signature Chugwater Chili, drain the beans. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes serve the chili.  



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14 Responses

Doug Doty

Doug Doty

February 04, 2022

What I would do different is add one chopped yellow onion, a can of black beans and a can of beef broth instead of water. Water just dilutes and adds no flavor. Great chili!

John In Texas

John In Texas

October 25, 2019

Being from Texas we know you never add beans to chili… LOL… with that said will it change the recipe if I leave the beans out? Should I add more water? or what do you suggest?

Chugwater Chili

Chugwater Chili

May 09, 2019

Hello John,
We added in the cook time for the chili. Once you combine the ingredients then you simmer for 30 minutes and can enjoy a nice warm bowl of chili. Thank you for pointing out that we did not have a time on the recipe.

John McIntosh

John McIntosh

April 05, 2019

There are no times in the Signature Chugwater Chili recipe. I would appreciate it if you added them.

Sally Berg

Sally Berg

February 25, 2019

I added Mexicorn (drained). Makes a real meal. And, sweet peppers are not a
bad idea either.

ROd TRebelcock

ROd TRebelcock

February 06, 2019

I am fixin to order a container of chili mix. Are the 1 oz. Packets three table spoons. I need to know so I can figure out how many pots of chili each size will make. Please let me know. Thanks

Linda Helm

Linda Helm

November 08, 2018

I have used Chugwater Chili for several years and absolutely love it! I always get compliments at group gatherings, so thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe. The entire reason that I decided to try this mix in the first place was because of the name Chugwater which reminded me of the town of Chugwater, WY, which I drove through several times a year from Sheridan, WY to Fort Collins. I ALWAYS smiled when I went through Chugwater. Loved the terrain. Loved the name. It all screamed “Western Romance Novel” in my brain! (Hmmmm…maybe you all should get a weekly show on cable …. something like
“Chugwater Chili …. Saucy….” OK – I did see that handsome Western man in the video on your home page ….. he did set my heart a flutter but then I thought – Oh wait! I’m a grandma….
ANYhow, I really, really, really love your seasoning mix and share my accolades at every opportunity. I like to send packets in holiday cards – heyyy…. that’s a good advertising promo:-) Keep on!



October 27, 2017

Gave this to my brother in law several years ago. One of his favorite stories is how he enjoyed it so much he decided to enter it into his town’s chili cook off and he came out the winner! We love Chugwater Chili and gift it often.



November 27, 2016

I love the chili flavor. I add to my chili: diced onion and green bell pepper as ground beef is being browned, and a can of finely diced tomato and its juice with the tomato sauce. I use all of the bean liquid, since I like to crumble my crackers into the chili and let them soak up the flavor.

Kerry A

Kerry A

October 27, 2016

Its my first time I hope its good. But if Leslie is promoting it must be good chili….

Shane Wagner

Shane Wagner

February 05, 2016

I really enjoy this with medium grilled steaks cubed and substituted for 1/2 the burger. Won’t make chili without this seasoning.

Linda Vieke

Linda Vieke

February 02, 2016

A potato masher breaks up hamburger too!

Good weather for chilli!



February 02, 2016

I’ve made chili about 1,000 ways, and this one really is easy and great!



February 02, 2016

Love this chili ! But, I’ve been using steaks that we smoke in place of hamburger meat! Everyone loves it!

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