Copycat Wendy’s Chili is just like the one at the fast-food restaurant, and it’s perfect for those cooler nights! It is thick, hearty, and full of ground beef, beans, and tomatoes – it really hits the spot!
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Oh, chili! A constant favorite of mine, especially Chili – Like Wendy’s. It not only tastes good and fills you up, but it’s also handy if you’re a mom with picky eaters in the house.
Personally, this is one way I can get a bunch of veggies into my family without much complaint. However, my youngest son, who swears he “doesn’t like tomatoes,” will devour this Wendy’s Copycat Chili! That’s a definite score in my book! Especially when you see how tomato-packed this chili is. It’s almost a miracle!! Though I’m sure, you’ll love it regardless of your loved ones’ pickiness.
By the way, it’s worth a mention that this Wendy’s Chili recipe is award-winning. I know that it may be hard to believe a fast food copycat recipe could be so good, but trust me, it’s incredible! It has won numerous chili cook-offs, and people beg for the recipe!!
Wendy’s Chili Recipe: Ingredients & Utensils
To make chili like Wendy’s does, you’ll need …
- Ground beef, tomato juice, tomato sauce: These ingredients form the tasty base of your chili.
- Diced tomatoes, celery, green pepper, onion: The veggies that make this chili really “pop”!
- Chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, white sugar, dried oregano: This exact combination of spices will give you a flavorful chili like Wendy’s!
- Pinto beans, kidney beans: Classic chili beans. A chili just doesn’t feel right without them.
- Your choice of toppings: Think bacon, shredded cheese, Frito’s corn chips, sour cream, hot sauce, crackers, black olives, green onions … the list goes on and on. Bring out your faves!
Utensils & Other Items:
- knife and cutting board: to prep the veggies
- measuring spoons and cups: to get the measurements and taste just right.
- soup pot: For browning the ground beef and prepping the rest of the chili.
- meat chopper or wooden spoon: for browing and crumbling the beef
- spatula or spoon: for stirring the chili.
- ladle: for serving.
Dietary note: Wendy’s Chili is actually gluten-free, and this recipe is also making this a fantastic meal when you have folks in the family with special dietary needs. Of course, be sure to always read the nutrition facts on all your ingredients to ensure no wheat products have made it in. (You can never be too sure.)
Wendy’s Chili Recipe: FAQs
This is probably the number one question I’m asked! A quarter of a cup of chili powder may sound like a lot, but you will need a bunch to counteract the amount of tomatoes in this recipe. Feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder to your family’s personal taste.
It will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Then, you’ll take 15 minutes to prep the chili and an hour and a half to cook it.
About ten servings, give or take, depending on portion size. More than enough to feed your family, though, I imagine!!
It’ll vary depending on what kind of soup pot/appliance you use, but overall you’ll want to ensure your chili is just simmering. If the heat is too high, a lot of the water will evaporate, and it won’t taste quite like Wendy’s chili.
Yes, you can! Brown the ground beef and then combine all of the soup ingredients in your crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Note, your chili will not get as thick since the liquid can’t evaporate away making it thicker – but it’ll still be just as delicious!
Other recipes you may enjoy
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 48 ounce can tomato juice
- 29 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained
- 1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained
- Your choice of toppings, optional
- In a large soup pot, cook and crumble the beef over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
- Return meat to the pan and place all remaining ingredients, except toppings, in the soup pot, stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Stir every 15-20 minutes.
- Serve hot with your choice of toppings!
- crackers, Fritos corn chips, cheese, sour cream, green onions, chopped white onions, jalapeno slices, crushed red pepper, crumbled cornbread, avocado slices, bacon, tomatoes, black olives, cilantro, lime wedges, Corn Nuts, hot sauce, cooked elbow macaroni, or a few dark chocolate chips.
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
- Yes, you can! Brown the ground beef and then combine all of the soup ingredients in your crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Note, your chili will not get as thick since the liquid can't evaporate away making it thicker - but it'll still be just as delicious!
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Silicone Pot Holder Trivet Mats - Hot Pads Spoon Rest, Multipurpose Trivet for Hot Dishers Heat Resistant Food Grade Silicone Set of 4
Lock N' Lift Manual Handheld Can Opener with Locking Mechanism
Oversized Cutting Board, 3 Piece, Non-Slip, Extra Large Thick Chopping Boards, Dishwasher Safe, Non-Porous, Set of 3
Chef Knife - 8 Inches
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups - 5 Piece Stackable Measuring Set
Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons, Fits in Spice Jar, Set of 6 with bonus Leveler
Calphalon 5-Piece Nylon Kitchen Cooking Utensil Set
Silicone Spatula Set of 4
Ground Meat Chopper
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Dutch Oven with Cover, 5 quart
6-Qt. Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 374Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 1333mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 12gProtein: 31g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary significantly between brands. Always be sure to read labels. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Likewise, recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them.
Originally published on June 15, 2012. Updated on February 17, 2022.