Wendy’s Chili Copycat recipe is hearty, versatile and full of flavor! Adjust it to your taste and enjoy it at home with your favorite toppings!
Copycat recipes like this are enjoyed by families wanting to eat their fast food favorites more frequently minus the hassle of going out. Well, at least in my family, that is why I have many of these copycat versions! Try my recipes for Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake, PF Chang’s Crispy Honey Shrimp, and Chipotle Black Beans!
Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe
This Wendy’s Chili Copycat recipe is a close match to the real thing! It is hearty, rich, and comforting. I even get rave reviews from friends telling me how spot on my version is, or better even!
I love Wendy’s Chili and I always have it when we eat there. It is a tasty addition to baked potatoes or French fries. No wonder that people of all ages order this best-selling menu item.
It took me only a few visits though to make me try making it at home. And I am sharing this with you now in perfect timing with the popular fast-food chain’s 50th-year celebration this 2019!
What’s in Wendy’s Chili soup?
It is made with unused hamburger patties that were frozen properly to preserve and then later turned into this awesome dish. And that is a good way for them to repurpose the patties to lessen their waste.
But, did you know that the large serving contains only 250 calories? It has 23 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of fiber.
Hence, it is a low-fat dish that can make you feel fuller for longer. Pair it with a vegetable salad and you get yourself a complete meal. Skip the croutons and dressing if you want to cut more calories.
How to Make Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe:
- Brown the meat: In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, place the meat and allow the fat to render. When the beef is no longer pink, discard any fat, and then, add in the onions to sauté.
- Add the ingredients: Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot then, do a quick stir.
- Simmer: Allow the whole dish to simmer, occasionally stirring.
- Serve: Ladle portions in small bowls and top with your favorite toppings. Then, serve.
How to Make Wendy’s Chili Copycat in the Crockpot:
Using the crockpot allows maximum flavor extraction over the long hours of cooking. Just place everything in it then, cook on HIGH for 7 hours or so, or LOW for at least 4 hours.
You can brown the meat and saute the onions, too, before adding them in the crockpot. But you can skip it, too.
Great Topping Suggestions:
You can put any topping that you like and here are some suggestions:
- cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- green onions
- tortilla chips
- sliced avocado
- white onions
- black olives
- lime wedge
- dark chocolate chips
How to Store
- Refrigerate: Store leftovers within two hours of sitting out. Put them in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- Freeze: Put leftovers in freezer bags and store for 4 months or more. To reheat, thaw first the frozen ones in the fridge.
- Make a double batch to serve half for now and store the other half in the freezer for later use.
- Feel free to adjust the heat in this dish by varying the amount of chili and cumin powder.
- Use ground turkey instead of beef if you like, or tofu in place of the meat to make it vegetarian.
- Get a small amount of liquid from the chili and put it in a small bowl. Dissolve some flour in this liquid, and then, put the liquid back into the pot. This will result in a thicker chili.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes Total time: 1 hr 40 mins
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 onion (diced)
- 2 ribs celery (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 cans 10 ounces each - diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 2 cans 14 ounces each - stewed tomatoes
- 1 can 14 ounces - tomato sauce
- 1 can 14 ounces - kidney beans (not drained)
- 2 cans 14 ounces each - pinto beans (not drained)
- 1 cup water (optional)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Diced avocado
- Diced jalapeno peppers
- Chopped green onions
- Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the ground beef and cook it unmoved for about 5-8 minutes, until you get a nice sear on it.
- Use a wooden spoon to break the ground beef into crumbles and cook it until no longer pink, about 5-7 more minutes.
- Stir celery, onion, and green bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour in stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, and water (only if you want a more brothy chili).
- Stir in the Seasoning ingredients.
- Add kidney beans and pinto beans, season with salt and black pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
- In the end, mix in the vinegar into the chili, taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Serve with your favorite toppings.