Traditional Chili Recipe

True Comfort Food Recipe

Real Restaurant Recipe

This page features a restaurant's traditional Chili Recipe that has been used successfully with restaurant customers for well over two decades. 

They love it so much it is a favorite restaurant recipe for traditional chili. It is real comfort food.

There is a "secret" to this restaurant recipe, however. To achieve the perfect result you want, use ancho chili powder as called for. It does make a difference.

Other than that, this traditional restaurant recipe for chili is easy. The longest time you spend on this chili is the time it takes to soak the beans.

Traditional Chili Recipe

Secret Restaurant Recipe No Longer

Favorite Restaurant Recipe

Preparation time: 25 minutes


  • 2 l/2 cups dry pinto beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or ground chuck
  • 1 1/4 chopped onions
  • 2 l/2 cups liquid from cooked beans
  • 2 pounds canned tomato sauce
  • 2 pounds canned tomatoes, whole, squeezed
  • 1/3 cup Ancho chili powder
  • Scant teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Scant teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt (add half at a time) and taste
  • Scant teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste



  • Drain soaked beans
  • Cover beans with water and cook in large soup or stock pot  keeping water 1 inch above beans by adding water as it cooks down
  • When soft, remove from heat, drain and save the liquid
  • Brown ground beef and onions in 3 cups of water
  • Drain and add tomato sauce, whole tomatoes and spices
  • Simmer 30 minutes
  • Add beans and cook 10 more minutes
  • Add saved liquid to correct consistency
  • Correct seasoning to your taste

 Serve this chili with a fabulous cornbread.

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Please remember to "stop by" frequently. More real restaurant recipes are being added to the website every month.

ENJOY the favorite restaurant recipe - this chili - and all the real restaurant recipes on the website and the company of those you share them with! - Donna

"Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili."

Harry James