Joanna Gaines’ Chili Recipe Needs to Be in Your Winter Recipe Rotation

It's official. After testing the Joanna Gaines chili recipe, we can declare with absolute certainty that the woman really can do it all.

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Build a real estate empire? Check. Launch a successful home furnishing brand? Check. Restaurant and bestselling cookbook? Double check. Media empire? Heard of a little something called Magnolia Network? It’s all in a day’s work.

It seems the only thing left to do for the Gaines family is to get dinner on the table for their family of seven. Which, coincidently, can be achieved with the Joanna Gaines chili recipe from her aforementioned bestselling cookbook Magnolia Table. If you loved Joanna Gaines’ beef tips recipe, you’ll know what we’re talking about when we say this chili is outstanding.

Since everything Chip and Joanna touch pretty much turns to gold, let’s see how her famous chili recipe stacks up to their other impressive accolades.

How to Make Joanna Gaines’ Chili

Bowl of chili topped with cheese and sour creamLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home, Getty Images

This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.


  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef (80% lean)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10 ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (Joanna recommends Rotel)
  • 1 (26 ounce) can Southwest-style beans, undrained (Joanna recommends Ranch-Style brand)
  • 1 (10.25 ounce) bag Fritos
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese


Step 1: Saute

Add the oil to a large Dutch oven or deep stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 8 minutes until translucent and tender.

Step 2: Brown the beef

Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and no pink remaining, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.

Step 3: Combine

Add the tomatoes and beans with their juices. Bring the chili to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes to let the flavors marry.

Step 4: Serve

Before serving, season the chili to taste with additional salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with Fritos (also a necessity for Frito pie), cheese and other chili toppings of your choice.

Here’s What I Thought

If you’re looking for a great mild-flavored chili that’s crowd-pleasing and won’t turn off picky eaters, this is the chili recipe for you. It’s also a good option for those sensitive to spicy foods. (Try it served with a batch of Joanna’s biscuits.)

While I tend to gravitate toward spicy chili recipes, I found Joanna’s to be the perfect family recipe. Not only are its flavors mild, but it comes together in under 45 minutes and requires only a few affordable everyday ingredients. Perfect for a busy working mom of 5 kids!

With that being said, if you’re like me and prefer a spicy chili recipe, you can easily doctor up your bowl with a few dashes of hot sauce and diced jalapeno. You could also opt for chili beans canned in a spicy sauce rather than mild.

To summarize, we can add an award for Best Easy Family-Friendly Chili Recipe to the Gaines family’s long list of lifetime achievements.

Become a chili master like Joanna by following these other pro chili tips.

Lauren Habermehl
Lauren is a recipe developer and food photographer. At Taste of Home, you’ll find her putting famous celebrity recipes to the test, from Dolly Parton’s stampede soup to Stanley Tucci’s six-ingredient pasta casserole. She’s also known for her FoodTok finds and sharing tips for how to re-create Internet-famous 15-hour potatoes, apple pie cinnamon rolls and chamoy pickles. When she’s not trying out a recipe-gone-viral, she’s developing copycat recipes and new twists on comfort food for her food blog, Frydae.