There are a few meals that can pick you up after a long day or give you warmth and comfort during the cold months. Chili is a perfect example of such food that reminds you of your childhood and better days. In fact, it’s hard to find someone who would say no to a warm bowl of chili.
It’s not just a comfort food - it’s also a legitimate culinary treat. The dish is highly versatile that it can be enjoyed together with different kinds of food: rice, pasta, salad, tacos, chips, and more. Southwesterners will know that it’s not proper to enjoy chili without bread! The possibilities are endless.
The first canned beef chili came from the company Hormel back in 1891. Since then, we’ve been enjoying conveniently accessible and easily prepared chili - and not just in the US, but all over the world. Read on below to find out which made it to my top five best canned chili.
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- Best Canned Chili on the 2020 Market
- Simple Homemade Canned Chili Recipe
- Things to Consider Before Purchasing Canned Chili
Best Canned Chili on the 2020 Market
1. Bush's Best Chili Magic - Mild Spice Option
2. Stagg Chili with Beans - Best Canned Chili for Hotdogs
3. Hormel Chili Angus Beef Chili with Beans - Editor’s Pick
4. Amy's Organic Medium Chili - Vegan Option
5. Dennison’s Chili with Beans - Healthy Choice
Are you looking for a quick bowl of chili?
Then Bush’s Chili Magic is a great way to get started. Their canned chili is meticulously seasoned with a signature blend of cumin, chili powder, onion, garlic, and oregano. These herbs and spices are simmered together with pinto beans, creating a tasty sauce and dish. They eliminate the guesswork for you - all you have to do is add your tomatoes and meat and it’s ready.
The company has been around for more than a century - 110 years - and has been dedicated to helping us create dishes perfect for family gatherings, parties, and cookouts. Their history is credibility enough, because they started from humble beginnings but quickly rose to fame as one of the biggest and best makers of canned beans.
One thing that sets them apart and keeps their products unique is that they have not sold out to corporations, and have remained family-owned and independent. This means that their original values when they started have been consistent to this day. And it’s not a bad thing that they’ve gotten a wider range of flavors and recipes now.
Each canned chili has gone through rigorous testing that follow US standards for quality and safety. This canned chili is made of the following ingredients: pinto beans, tomato paste, water, spices, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt, paprika extract, and modified corn starch.
One can of chili can yield 5 cups. To make your bowl of chili, simply follow these instructions:
- 1Cook 1 lb of lean ground beef until brown. Drain the fat once done.
- 2You may add chopped onions and other veggies of your choice. Add diced tomatoes.
- 3Add one can of Bush’s Chili Magic.
- 4Put the lid on and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stagg is another big name in the canned chili game. They can compete with the other brands on this list, no problem. Their chili is made with high-quality beef, jalapeño peppers, red tomatoes, and onions. This is a great solution for your chili cravings no matter what time of day.
The Stagg brand started back in 1956, and still churns out amazing products all over the globe to this day. While their chili with beans is fantastic, they also have many flavors to choose from - such as the chicken chili variety and the fan-favorite Stagg Dynamite Hot. Fair warning - the name gives justice to its flavor.
My expert advice: use this chili for your hotdog sandwiches - you won’t regret it! It will definitely bring out the flavor and spice of the hotdog to a whole new level. Experience a chili dog the way it’s supposed to be eaten.
As we mentioned earlier, Hormel is the company that started the whole canned chili revolution. We will eternally be grateful.
Today, their Angus Beef Chili is one of their best-sellers. You can get it with or without beans. Either way, it comes with delicious chunks of beef that’s been slow-cooked with a signature mix of spices and vegetables.
Unlike other chili varieties, this one is a premium product that’s made with nothing less than 100% Angus beef! Plus, you can rest assured that there are absolutely zero fillers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients in each Hormel Angus Beef Chili can.
Chili is a universal language. So it’s only fair for everyone - even vegans - to get to enjoy it. Amy’s Organic is a great company that provides healthy and mindful food for everyone.
Their Medium Chili is a great example of good, healthy food. It is made with tofu and organic red beans that have been cooked through slow-simmering in a rich and thick Mexican-style broth. If you are looking for a bowl of chili that packs all the chili flavor but can’t stand too much heat, then this is the choice for you. (Of course, Amy’s Organic also has hotter, spicier varieties.)
This chili is dairy-free, gluten-free, tree nut-free, corn-free, kosher, plant-based, vegan, and 100% delicious. They also have a low-sodium option available.
This brand is a family-run company and they are strict about their products. They make sure that all ingredients - grains, fruits, and vegetables - are all grown organically. They do not use GMOs, insecticides, and other toxic chemicals. They believe that each can they produce should be made as if it was prepared at your own home.
Amy’s Organic is a big supporter of proper GMO labels. All of their dishes, including this one, are non-GMO. They also use cans that are BPA-free. They have led the charge towards healthier packaging, and are happy to see their competitors follow their lead.
The last but not the least entry on our list is Dennison’s Chili. This product has such an underground following, and while it’s not the most commercial option out there, it’s a true canned chili that’s worth your attention.
The chili itself is made with hearty ingredients that are not just tasty, but also healthy, such as plump beans, vine-ripened tomatoes, premium beef, and a few signature seasonings. Aside from this one, they also have other flavors that you can check out: Vegetarian, 99% Fat-Free, Hot Chili, and Turkey!
Dennison’s chili is rich in iron. This claim is backed by the listing as defined by the FDA for Nutrient Content Claims. The same goes for its protein content.
It is minimally processed, made with all natural pork, beef, and no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
To enjoy your Dennison’s Chili, follow these simple instructions:
- 1STOVETOP: In a saucepan, pour the chili and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
- 2MICROWAVE: Place chili in a microwave-safe container and cover. Cook in the microwave on High heat for 1-2 minutes. Let it rest for another minute inside the microwave before taking out and serving. Stir before eating.
Simple Homemade Canned Chili Recipe
Looking for mom’s delicious chili? You might need a lot of practice before you can nail it and perfect the chili game, but here’s a recipe that can let you say that you’re a step closer. This dish is super easy and simple, and even beginner cooks can do it - and in under an hour!
- 1Place beef into a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir and keep cooking until it has turned brown. Use the ladle to break meat into crumbles. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- 2Add onion and garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes. The onion should turn translucent.
- 3Get rid of excess grease (which would have been released from the meat). Coat the meat with the taco seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
- 4Add the tomatoes, green chilies, tomato sauce, and canned chili. Stir occasionally. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- 5Let it cool down for a bit before serving. Pair with bread, pasta, rice, salad, or tacos (or whatever you feel like!).
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Canned Chili
We’ve listed down some awesome choices above. So how can you tell which to buy? Read on to learn a bit more about some things to think about before choosing chili products.
Check the label, as always. If you have a preference between beef or pork, this is the chance to check the label. Chicken, turkey, and other meat options are also available. This step is especially important if you are vegan or vegetarian.
It’s best to choose those with organic and natural ingredients for health reasons. Go for cans with minimal - or entirely zero - artificial ingredients and fillers.
In general, chili offers protein and fiber, together with vitamins and minerals like sodium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. You can find all of this info on the label.
If you’re following a particular diet or have dietary requirements, the label will also contain this information (i.e., kosher, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, low-sodium, etc.) so be sure to look out for these badges.
We can’t forget about taste! This is a super important factor. Even if a chili is nutritious and made with great ingredients, we won’t finish an entire bowl if the flavor isn’t up to par with our expectations.
Also, there are various recipes for chili. Check the label if you prefer Mexican chili or Texas chili. You can also choose the level of spice and heat! There are a lot of options these days - there’s something for everyone.
Well, there you have it - a guide on how to choose the right canned chili for you. I hope this has been educational, because everybody deserves to enjoy a bowl of chili whenever they want. I know I can’t live without it!
These five choices were all amazing, but the biggest winner for me is the O.G. that started it all: Hormel Chili Angus Beef Chili with Beans simply because of its nutritional and taste value. Plus, no one can question the quality of this canned chili since it’s been around for a long time!
P.S.: Canned isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, canned food can be superb - and very convenient - for you. Check out my other canned food featurettes: cooking canned corn, cooking canned beans, and my picks for the best canned refried beans, canned clam chowders, and canned sardines!