Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe

Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe

Wendy’s Chili is a comforting dish made with kidney beans, onions, chilis, bell peppers, and tomatoes, seasoned with a blend of spicy chili powder and cumin. This copycat recipe captures the essence of Wendy’s Chili perfectly!

As the weather cools down, Wendy’s Chili becomes a go-to option for a warm and satisfying meal. This copycat version is so authentic that it might even fool the biggest Wendy’s fans. Just be prepared for requests for a Frosty to accompany it!


  • 2 pounds fresh ground beef
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 1 (29-ounce) can tomato purée
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder (adjust for milder chili)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (increase for more flavor)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain off the fat.
  2. Transfer the browned beef and all remaining ingredients to a 6-quart pot.
  3. Cover the pot and let the chili simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
  4. Alternatively, you can cook the chili in a slow cooker on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Tips for Perfect Wendy’s Chili:

  • Add a tablespoon of butter at the end of cooking for enhanced richness and texture.
  • Cook on a “simmer” setting for the smallest bubbles and optimal results.
  • Adjust chili powder and cumin to taste for the desired level of spiciness and flavor.
  • If the chili looks different than expected, adjust the heat to prevent excessive evaporation or water retention.
  • If cooking uncovered makes you nervous, stir more frequently to prevent sticking.

Serve this perfect Wendy’s Chili with confidence, and enjoy the comforting flavors of this classic dish!

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