Here it is; the best small-batch classic chili recipe made with ground beef, beans, and chili seasoning. A fast and easy dinner to make any night of the week.  With just one pot or Dutch oven and a few simple ingredients, you have a hearty meal for any night of the week. You will want leftovers, but if you don’t, just cut the recipe in half!

Other tasty chili recipes include the small batch spicy weekend chili and a small slow cooker veggie chili that goes great with my homemade skillet cornbread.

classic chili recipe for two

Growing up my father was the  Chili maker in our house and he made the best classic chili with just a few simple ingredients.  He always said the secret was to use ground beef in the chili that has enough fat,  a good choice is to use 80% lean beef with 20% fat.

  • Chili tastes even better the next day or even a few hours later, so make a pot of chili on a Sunday morning and reheat it for Sunday dinner. 
  • Cooking the Chili in a Dutch oven makes this recipe a simple one-pan meal. 
  • If not everyone likes spicy Chili, leave out the red pepper flakes, and those who want can add it afterward.

What to Serve with Chili?

  • Top your Chili with a dollop of sour cream and serve freshly baked cornbread on the side.  Simple, Classic, and Easy.
  • Another way I love to serve chili is to make chili burritos, use a large flour tortilla and fill with Chili then top with sour cream and avocado.  Roll up the filled tortilla the same way you would a burrito.  So Yummy!!

How to Make Homemade Chili Seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. If you are not using it immediately, store it in a small, air-tight container. For the best flavor, use it within three months.

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classic chili recipe for two

Classic Chili Recipe for Two

The Best Classic Chili – This simple chili recipe uses just one pan and a few simple ingredients and seasonings.
4.18 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 -3 servings
Calories: 618kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ pound ground beef 20 percent fat
  • teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 –1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 5 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Heat oil in a 3 quart dutch oven  over medium-high heat and saute the onions, green pepper and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and using a wooden spoon break up the meat, then add  the cayenne powder and chili powder, cook the ground beef  thoroughly stirring occasionally to brown and cook evenly.
  • Add the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, lime juice, and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
  • Sprinkle the red pepper flakes over the chili. Lower heat to medium and continue cooking for 30 minutes


Serve with warm cornbread or flour tortillas.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 618kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1043mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 13g
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Small bowl of chili and cornbread on side.

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 My Other Chili Recipe

2-quart slow cooker chili

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