Can the Best Canned Chili Compete with Homemade?

We love chili, but making it can be a labor of love. Here are the canned chili brands our testers thought came closest to the real deal.

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There’s no doubt about it: A good chili is one of our favorite comfort foods. However, we know that many comfort foods—like biscuits and cakes—all take a bit of extra time to make. That’s why we often turn to store-bought versions to help us on busy weeknights.

At Taste of Home, we’ve already found our favorite versions of those comfort classics I mentioned (you can check them all out here), but we were curious about chili. Could we find a canned version that would satisfy us when time is tight?

We hit up our local grocery store and bought every canned chili we could find. Here’s what we purchased:

  • Amy’s Organic
  • Campbell’s Chunky
  • Chilli Man
  • Hormel
  • ShurFine
  • Skyline Chili
  • Stagg
  • Wolf Brand

Let’s see how they ranked in our blind taste test.

Honorable Mention: Amy’s Organic Medium Chili

Taste of Home

Score: 5.4/10

If you like a bean-forward chili, you might want to grab Amy’s Organic. This chili was packed with beans which was a pro for many testers (others preferred fewer beans). Testers enjoyed the spices and seasonings in this chili, though they thought it was on the mild side.

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Runner-Up: Chilli Man Chili with Beans

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Score: 6/10

With its muddy texture, Chilli Man didn’t gain any points when it came to appearance—some testers didn’t much care for its looks—but it got good scores for flavor. This chili was full of savory flavor and spices. Folks really enjoyed the extra dose of cumin this brand packed. This spice gave the chili a nice smoky flavor that kept testers going back for more. The chili itself was a bit on the thin side, though, so you may want to bulk it up with extra beef or beans if you have them on hand.

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The Best Canned Chili: Wolf Brand Chili with Beans

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Score: 6.7/10

Our favorite chili in this test came from Wolf Brand. It gave us the right balance of savory beef and pork flavors, plus beans and spice. Folks enjoyed the smoky chili taste along with a hint of garlic (garlic lovers, try out these recipes). Wolf Brand felt substantial with good consistency—something that was difficult to find in the other competitors. This brand would be our go-to on a camping trip or to use to make this quick chili dip or chili dogs.

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The Bottom Line on Canned Chili

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After testing eight brands of chili and finding a promising option in Wolf Brand, testers agreed: When you can make it, homemade chili is best hands down. If you’re in need of a quick lunch at work or something to top your chili dogs, our favorite brands here would work just fine. However, if you’re craving chili quick, we’d recommend these quick chili recipes instead—many of which can be made in about a half-hour.

For even more interesting comparisons, check out the best canned chicken noodle soup brands.

Try Our Top 10 Chilis
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This blind taste test was performed by our staff and was not part of a sponsorship. All opinions shared are our own, and have not been influenced by advertisers.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.