If you love the taste of Wendy’s chili, you can now recreate this masterpiece in the comfort of your own kitchen with this Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe. Everything from the beans and veggies to the spices is there, making this one of the best copycat recipes out there.
I have several more copycat recipes too. You should also check out my Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole, Slow Cooker Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, and Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Spaghetti (Olive Garden Chicken Scampi Copycat).
What makes copycat Wendy’s Chili so good?
There’s something about Wendy’s chili that we can all agree is simply irresistibly delicious. All the spices, chunks of bell peppers, green chilies, and chunks of their hamburger patties make this hearty chili a worthwhile purchase every time.
When you’re looking to have this favorite chili on demand, use this easy chili recipe to have Wendy’s chili any day and time. (Yes, even for breakfast.) It’s so good, you’ll want to make a double batch.
- Ground Beef: You’ll notice that Wendy’s chili has actual chunks of their hamburger patties, but for this Wendy’s copycat chili recipe, you’ll use fresh ground beef.
- Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes and tomato paste are used to create part of the flavorful base and hearty texture.
- Beans: A host of beans are needed to make this a classic copycat of Wendy’s chili recipe. One can each of pinto beans and red kidney beans are drained and rinsed.
- Vegetables: Fire roasted green chiles and diced celery, white onion, and chopped green bell pepper encompass both the look and flavor of Wendy’s chili.
- Seasonings: Minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, salt, and black pepper seal the deal on this easy chili recipe.
Step One – Place the fresh ground beef into a nonstick skillet.
Step Two – Cook beef over medium high heat until brown and no longer pink.
Step Three – Drain any excess fat and transfer the cooked ground beef to a 6 quart slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients.
Step Four – Stir, cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve and enjoy!
How to serve
- Imagine all the fixings provided by Wendy’s. They usually serve the chili with saltine crackers, cheese, and hot sauce.
- Since you’d be serving this delicious chili at home, you can also add your favorite toppings such as additional shredded cheese, diced onion, sour cream, cooked bacon, and diced green onions.
- You can also serve this copycat Wendy’s chili on top of hot dogs to make yummy chili dogs or as a topping for nachos.
Recipe FAQs and Variations
This can be made without browning the meat first. You will also have to skim out the fat after the cooking time is up. You can also use ground turkey.
To store the chili, refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To freeze, let the chili cool completely and store it in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
To reheat the chili, warm single servings in the microwave, or to reheat a larger batch, reheat on the stove top in a large pot over medium low heat. Allow the frozen chili to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Doing so wouldn’t necessarily keep it a copycat recipe; however, you can add any type of beans you prefer. Black beans or ranch style beans make a great addition.
You can add a few shakes of cayenne pepper, chopped jalapeno peppers (with the seeds), or extra hot sauce should do the trick.
In addition to adding more to the chili recipe like diced tomatoes, green bell peppers, or stewed tomatoes, serve it alongside tortilla chips or Fritos scoops.
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Slow Cooker Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium sized onion diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 green bell pepper deseeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 30 oz. diced tomatoes – two 15-oz.cans
- 30 oz. tomato sauce two 15-oz. cans
- 8 oz. green chilies two 4-oz. cans
- 15 oz. canned kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 30 oz. canned pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup dark chili powder (regular works fine too)
- Sour Cream and Shredded Cheddar for Topping optional
- Heat a medium sized nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and brown until no longer pink. Drain the meat to remove excess fat. Transfer the cooked ground beef to a 6 quart slow cooker.
- To the slow cooker, add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
- Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
- Serve hot, top with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar. Enjoy!
How to Video:
- To Store the chili, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To freeze, let the chili cool completely and store in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
- To reheat the chili, warm single servings in the microwave, or to reheat a larger batch, reheat on the stove top over medium low heat.
- Allow the frozen chili to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- This can be made without browning the meat first. You will also have to skim out the fat after the cooking time is up. You can also use ground turkey.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.
Here are many more Slow Cooker Chili Recipes:
- Slow Cooker V8 Chili
- Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili
- Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
- Slow Cooker No Bean Texas Chili
- Slow Cooker Beef Enchilada Chili
- Slow Cooker Venison Chili
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Steakhouse Chili
- Slow Cooker Poblano White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Low Carb Beef and Bacon Chili
Nancy M says
I made the copycat recipe for Wendy’s chili tonight for my husband and I for dinner and I must say it was another fantastic meal. I halved the recipe and still had leftovers, even after we had seconds.
I cut the recipe in half because it’s just my son and me. Otherwise, I followed it exactly and it came out great! We both loved it – and enjoyed the leftovers! I had several recipes to choose from, but this one seemed right to me. Thank you for the great recipe!
Jill Curry says
It is true that Wendy’s chops up burgers they did not sell for their chili meat. My 16 year old son worked there this summer and revealed this (oddity) to me.
If you think of it from a business standpoint, it’s pretty smart. Utilizing good meat, instead of throwing it away. I know a lot of grocery store deli’s will utilize the chicken that would normally get thrown out to make salads, etc.
Dave B says
I’d worked in a grocery store deli dept and the deli saved the ends of cold cuts and cheeses and sell then in a bulk pack.
Sounds like a great idea! Those grilled burgers adding more tast to Chilli! I’ll remember this tip!
Christine Guerriero says
They have this delivered, pre-prepared. Then they simmer it for the day. It’s delicious, but they do not make it at the restaurant.
Sarah Olson says
Yes, times have changed since I wrote this blog post.
An this be cooked on the stove instead of the crockpot?
Yes. The longer is simmers, the better. You may have to add liquid as it cooks.
Kathy C. says
I haven’t had Wendy’s Chili in years but do recall how much I enjoyed their chili with a side Frosty! Those fast food days are gone, but this chili recipe made up for it. It was so good! Whole Pot was polished off same day. I want to make it in my new Instant Pot but not sure how to convert cooking times.
Kathy C. says
Can I use my instant pot for this recipe? I made it in my slow cooker (loved it!) but got an IP for Christmas and love using it. I am new to the IP community so not sure how to convert your recipe. Family asking fir this chili again.
PATRICK GULA says
LOOK UP A N IP CHILI RECIPE ON THE WEB AND USE THAT AS A GUIDE
Can you cook this 4 hrs on high?
Sarah Olson says
Yes! Chili does great for 4 hours on high.
I use vegetable juice ( V8 or store brand fir my liquid and I use rotel ( chopped, canned tomatoes with green chili’s) and a package of fry taco seasoning instead of chili’s. Thus makes hearty chili and is not to spicy.
Hi I can’t wait to try this! What is the approximate serving size (1 or 1.5 cups?) and how many calories in a serving? Thanks!
Sheena Dodson says
Hello!!! I am single and do not require nor need servings for 6. I also, like fresh beans over can. Any suggestions??? If so can you provide the recipe.
Sarah Olson says
Hi Sheena, you could freeze it?
You can halve the ingredients and use a 3-4 qt slow cooker for 4 servings. I’m not sure about substituting fresh beans… sorry.
Sarah Olson says
Yes! You can do fresh beans, but it may take longer to cook.
Liz Jensen says
I made this last weekend. My first attempt at making Chili EVER! It turned out wonderful!! My kids went back for seconds even !! LOVED IT!!! Easy to make and delicious !!!
Sarah Olson says
That is so great to hear! Especially great when the kids like it!
Allison Wynn says
Could I use dry beans? If so how much?
Sarah Olson says
Hi Allison. A few years back I heard it is not good to use dry kidney beans in slow cooker recipes. For some reason they don’t get rid of a toxin when cooked in the slow cooker. Here is some info on it: https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/be-careful-with-red-kidney-beans-in-the-slow-cooker/
Mark F. says
Thanks for the great chili recipe ! Does anyone know what ingrediants might be in the “Hot Chili Seasoning” packet that Wendy’s offers for its chili? The Wendy’s seasoning packet adds a welcome spicy kick but only discloses “natural flavors” on the back of the packet itself.