Easy Cowboy Chili: Our Favorite Fall Recipe

Cowboy Chili

For years this Cowboy Chili has been my go-to choice for an easy, quick, warming, fragrant, filling, and savory meal — especially on a chilly fall or snowy winter evening! Here’s why I love it:

  • It’s easy. It requires very little planning, preparation, shopping, dishes. etc.
  • It’s affordable. It’s just beef, onion, spices, and canned goods. Grocery shopping in a big city (which is our situation) can be expensive when you’re aiming to buy mostly whole foods.
  • It’s quick. I don’t have to spend much time on this meal at all. I can let it simmer on the stove while I do other things. 
  • If you’re cooking for two, this is great for leftovers. Not only do we have enough for a filling dinner, but we also have delicious and easy-to-pack lunches for a few days. You could easily serve this to a family of 4, 6, or double it to serve more people with hardly any extra effort! 
  • Your kitchen will smell good
  • It’s macro-friendly! (I’ve estimated the nutrition information below)
  • Most importantly, it’s delicious!

Nutrition Info

Serving SizeCaloriesProteinCarbsFat
The Full Pot
Serves 4-6
Per Serving
Divided by 4
Per Serving
Divided by 6

You Will Need

  • Cutlery and a cutting board to dice the onion
  • Can opener
  • Large pot (with a lid)
  • Strainer, if you will be straining excess fat from ground beef (optional)
  • Ladle or large spoon


  • 2 lbs lean ground beef. I normally use 80% lean ground chuck. You can use more or less. Depending on your preference, you can use extra kidney beans and less meat if you wish. 
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, NOT drained 
  • 1 cup water (or ½ can)
  • 1 cup Pace Picante sauce. I use mild or medium. Feel free to spice it up if you prefer!
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar (optional)
  • Scallions, chopped (optional)

5 Steps to a Delicious Meal

Prep: Dice the onion. Drain canned kidney beans and corn.

Saute Beef:  Turn the stove to a medium-high setting. Place the pot on the stove and add the ground beef and diced onion. Saute, stirring frequently until the beef is fully cooked. I like to add a pinch of salt, a few shakes of cumin, and a sprinkle of garlic powder to the meat and onions as they cook for extra flavor.

Combine: Once the beef is fully cooked, add the corn, kidney beans, and the undrained can of diced tomatoes. Add 1 cup water, the Pace Picante sauce, and the measured portions of cumin and garlic powder. Stir well to combine all ingredients, and bring the contents of the pot to a simmer. 

Simmer: Once the chili is heated to simmering temperature, place the lid on the pot, adjust the heat to a low-medium setting, and allow it to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serve: Once the chili has simmered and thickened to a desirable consistency, it’s ready to serve or portion into containers for meal prep! 

Add Extras (Optional): Top your bowl of chili with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or chopped scallions, if desired. Calories from these toppings are not included in the macros table above.

I hope you love and enjoy this recipe (over and over again) as much as we have! 

With Love,


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