You are going to love this simple Wendy’s Chili Recipe. The best part is that it is easy to make and the best copycat recipe. It will become you go-to chili recipe.

Close up image of Wendy's Chili in a dutch oven.

Wendy’s Copycat Chili Recipe:

We love a good chili recipe. Now that the weather is getting colder, we are always looking for different soups recipes and chili recipes. This Wendy’s Copycat chili recipe just hit the spot when we were craving chili.

I really like to find restaurant style food and try and recreate it with better and simpler ingredients. This one wasn’t very hard to recreate as you really can’t go wrong when making chili.

Can you make this recipe in the Crock Pot?

Yes, you can make this recipe in the slow cooker. We usually make this recipe on the stove top, but you can definitely make this in your slow cooker.

Add all your ingredients to the crock pot. Just cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

Can you make it in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make this chili in the Instant Pot. It is important that you use an 8 qt to make sure that the chili is below the line.

You can turn on the sauté option and brown you ground beef, then drain. You will add remaining ingredients and stir.

Cover the instant pot and turn knob to sealing and set to the device to manual for 30 minutes. Then do a quick release to release the pressure from the Instant Pot after the cook time.

Close up image of Wendy's Chili in a white bowl with a side of crackers.

Is it really a “top secret” recipe?

Some may think that recipes that restaurants create are top secret. But really most of them can be recreated. When I have had the chili at Wendy’s, I knew just what I need to do to recreate this but in an even better version at home.

I actually wanted it to taste better. Don’t let these ingredients listed below scare you. Really most of the spices you already have in your pantry. So it would be very easy to pick up the other ingredients to make this chili.

Ingredients for Wendy's Chili - Ground Beef, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Celery, Green Bell Pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Diced tomatoes Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt and Pepper.

Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef – Brown and drain your ground beef. I usually try and use a lower fat content for ground beef. You can even use ground turkey and mix the two.
  • Pinto Beans – You can also use chili beans or ranch style beans. We do not drain.
  • Kidney Beans – Light or dark kidney beans. We do not drain these beans.
  • Celery – Chopped
  • Green Bell Pepper – Chopped
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce – Use regular tomato sauce. I have also added in some tomato juice.
  • Diced Tomatoes – You can buy just a can of diced tomatoes, but I usually grab a can with diced green chilis in them.
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin – If you are out, check out Best Substitute for Cumin.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheddar Cheese (for serving)
  • Saltine Crackers (for serving)

How to make Wendy’s Chili Recipe

Close up image of Wendy's Chili in process.
  • Brown the ground beef until no longer pink in a large stock pot. Halfway through the cook time, add in the celery and bell pepper and cook until they are tender. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Add in the remaining chili seasoning ingredients except for the cheese and the crackers. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes to combine all the flavors.
  • Serve topped with the shredded cheddar cheese with the crackers and enjoy!
Close up image of Wendy's chili in a white bowl with two spoons and crackers.

Variation Ideas:

My mom always made the best chili. So I am always trying to figure out what her secret ingredient to make the best chili. Here are some of the variations I have tried:

  • Kidney Beans – I usually tend to use light kidney beans but have also used the dark kidney beans.
  • Pinto Beans – You can use chili beans instead of pinto beans.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Need a little kick to your chili, mix in some cayenne pepper. We usually do a small amount so the kids will still enjoy the chili.
  • Add some bacon – Everything is better with some bacon. Mix some in to make it even more of a hearty chili. I usually add in cooked bacon so it’s still crispy.
  • Vegetables – Do you have some vegetables that need to be cooked? Throw them in this chili to change the texture of the chili and to make it healthier.
Close up image of chili in a red dutch oven with a side of saltine crackers.

What to serve with Copycat Wendy’s Chili

Chili is great by itself but here are some of our favorite sides when we have chili.

Close up image of a white bowl of wendy's chili and a side of crackers.

Chili Topping Ideas:

We love to serve chili when we have game day parties or just getting together with friends. This is the chili recipe I always make as it always satisfies everyone’s craving for chili.

We setup a chili bar with all of these yummy toppings. Which ones are your favorite? The options are endless and we make sure we have all kinds of variety.

  • Slice Jalapeños
  • Diced Onions
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Hot Sauce
  • Tortilla Strips
  • Avocado
Close up image of Wendy's chili in a red dish with a side of saltine crackers.

How to use leftover chili

We love having leftover chili. I intentionally will make a double batch so I can have leftover chili for lunch.

I actually think chili taste better the next day. It really gives it time for all the spices to marinate together.

Here are some of our favorite ways to eat leftover chili in a different way.

  • Have you made a Frito Chili Wrap? This is one of my favorite ways to eat leftover chili. You need a tortilla, spoon a serving of chili, top with Frito’s and cheese. Wrap it up and it becomes the perfect snack or lunch.
  • Top your plain bake potato with a serving of chili. Add some cheese and sour cream and it becomes another dinner idea.
  • We also like getting some bread bowls and serving chili in it. The chili really mixes with the bread.
  • Make a chili mac dinner. Have some pasta that you have leftover? Mix it with some chili and you now have another yummy dinner idea.
  • Have chili dogs one night. My kids love this idea and makes for any easy dinner idea.
Close up image of wendy's chili with a serving spoon of chili on it.

How to store Wendy’s Chili?

Chili can be easily store in the refrigerator or freezer. After you chili has cooled, simply place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

If you want to freeze your chili, place in a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. We like to freeze individual serving so it is a quick lunch for my husband and I.

Having leftover chili really saves me time and money. I know I am getting a great lunch with good ingredients and I avoid fast food.

Close up image of a bowl of Wendy's Chili topped with cheese and a side of saltine crackers.

Print Recipe here for Wendy’s Chili:

Wendy’s Chili Recipe

4.84 from 6 votes
This simple Wendy's Chili Recipe is easy to make and the best copycat recipe. The entire family will love this easy copycat chili recipe.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Chilis, Main Course
Calories 386
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 cans Pinto Beans 15 oz. each, not drained
  • 2 cans Kidney Beans 15 oz. each, not drained
  • 3 Stalks Celery Diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper Diced
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 cans Tomato Sauce (15 oz. each)
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes 15 oz. each
  • 1/4 cup Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese for serving
  • Saltine Crackers for serving

Instructions

  • Brown the ground beef in a large stock pot. Halfway through the cook time, add in the celery and bell pepper and cook until they are tender. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients except for the cheese and the crackers. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes to combine all the flavors.
  • Serve topped with the shredded cheddar cheese with the crackers and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5-7 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 386kcal, Carbohydrates 22g, Protein 25g, Fat 23g, Saturated Fat 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 73mg, Sodium 722mg, Potassium 739mg, Fiber 8g, Sugar 2g, Vitamin A 1757IU, Vitamin C 14mg, Calcium 210mg, Iron 5mg

Pin This Now to Remember It Later

Pin Recipe

More easy chili recipes:

Check out 20 of our favorite beef chili recipes.

This simple Wendy's Chili Recipe is easy to make and the best copycat recipe.  The entire family will love this easy copycat chili recipe that tastes just like the one from Wendy’s!  #eatingonadime #chilirecipes #copycatrecipes
5 Secrets to the Easiest Dinners

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Try these other recipes

To All the Moms who Struggle with Dinnertime

Save hours in the kitchen every week and reclaim precious family time without blowing your budget. Join the Lazy Day Cooking Club.

Categories

About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments