Recipe: Hearty, Homemade Chili

Ever since I can remember, Wendy’s chili was one of my most favorite meals. It was hearty, flavorful, and could warm you up with your first bite! I’ve been determined to work on making chili that can be somewhat comparable to this fast food chain restaurant (since they closed down by my home back in NY haha) and I think I’ve got a pretty close recipe that I want to share 🙂

This recipe is awesome for when the weather gets chilly (haha, get it?!) and you can make a pretty decent portion to last you a few days!

I’ve made this recipe twice, one with ground meat, and one without, so this is definitely a recipe that will suit both meat enthusiasts and vegetarians.


  • 2-3 green bell peppers
  • 1-2 red onions (you can use white onions too, I just prefer the red ones since they don’t make my eyes water up as much loll)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 big tomatoes (you can also buy canned tomatoes and tomato paste, but if you have the option to make something with fresh ingredients, your meal might taste better :P)
  • 1/2 pack of ground beef or pork (optional)
  • 1 cup of quinoa (optional if you need a meat substitute, thanks to my friend’s suggestion!)
  • a bowl of red kidney beans
  • 2-3 serrano peppers (or any spicy kick you want in your chili)
  • seasonings (I used garlic salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, dried oregano, dried basil)

I followed a recipe from Food Network realllly roughly (their recipe seems so much more complicated than mine haha) and then winged it since my intuition and taste buds never steered me wrong 🙂


  1. (A day before) Soak your beans of choice in water overnight it’s easier to digest and so you won’t be gassy after you eat your yummy chili. How many of y’all knew to soak beans before this?! I never really cooked with beans before so this was a new fun fact!
  2. Prep your mise en place (learned this on Worst Cooks in America, which BTW is the most entertaining cooking competition show, hands down!) by dicing your tomatoes in large cubes, and green bell peppers, onions, garlic, and peppers into smaller cubes. When they cook down, they’ll be hardly discernible, but it’s definitely up to you how chunky you want them to be.
  3. IF you want meat in your chili: Start your fire on medium and add the ground meat and “chop” it up in the pot so it’ll be fine little pieces and cook quickly.
  4. Set your fire on low, and add your bell peppers, onions, and garlic in and stir it around and let it sit for a few minutes until they look almost cooked. **I was pretty eager to get my chili to start cooking, so I threw everything in besides the quinoa and beans and let it cook down for about half an hour**
  5. Add your tomatoes and hot peppers, stir again, and cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour.
  6. Add seasonings to taste, and then add the beans (they take FOREVER to cook if you don’t soak them, so please remember that!)
  7. If you are substituting meat for quinoa, add 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water to a separate pot (i.e. 1 cup of quinoa, and 2 cups of water, according to the box) and let it cook for about 15 minutes and turn off the fire.
  8. You can decide how long you want the chili to stew, but I would say give it about another hour or two (depending how soft you want your beans to be).
  9. At the very end, you can add your quinoa!
My first time cooking with quinoa, and it was a success! 🙂

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