chili in white bowl on counter with cheese and sour cream on top

Campfire Chili

Autumn is creeping its way into our mountains. You know what that means? It’s time for some hearty Campfire Chili. It’s rich, smoky, and tastes like it’s been cooked over a campfire for hours!

When the weather starts changing, the chili starts cooking. It’s just a way of life down south. Lately, I’ve been making mine with ground turkey. For all those beef lovers out there, it’s a great substitution if you’re trying to eat a little healthier.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Canned beans work great in this dish. I found a new blend of kidney and pintos to try, but sometimes I add navy beans, black beans and whatever else I can find with the word ‘bean’ in it.

The smoky flavor of this chili will get you hook, line and sinker. The secret ingredient is liquid smoke, which is flavoring that tastes just like it sounds!

How to Make Campfire Chili

Start by browning ground turkey or beef in your dutch oven. (ad) Next, add a packet of chili seasoning, a can of diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, liquid smoke (ad) and ketchup.

Fold in a can of chili beans and black beans, or whatever bean you like. Now, it’s ready to simmer!

You’ll love, love, love the way this recipe is created in one pot and how easy cleanup can be. If you’re in a hurry, I’m sure you can make it in your Instant Pot, but I’m a lover of my cast iron dutch oven (ad) and low and slow cooking.

There’s something comforting about standing over the stove, stirring chili on the heat, and watching it all come together.

If you try this recipe in another vessel, please leave a comment and let me know how it goes!

More Dutch Oven Recipes to Love

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chili in white bowl on counter with cheese and sour cream on top

Campfire Chili

  • Author: Debi ~ QuicheMyGrits
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


The smoky flavor of this chili makes it taste like it was cooked over a campfire for hours!



  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 pkg. chili seasoning
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke (ad)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 (15 oz) can chili beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • fresh or dried cilantro for garnish


  1. Brown ground turkey in a dutch oven. (ad)
  2. Sprinkle packet of chili seasoning in with turkey.  
  3. Add fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, liquid smoke (ad) and ketchup.
  4. Fold in chili beans and black beans.  
  5. Stir well and simmer for at least one hour over medium-low heat.
  6. Serve with grated cheddar, sour cream and chopped cilantro as a garnish.


Save the leftovers and make taco salad or smoky nachos the next day!

This chili can be frozen in an air-tight container and enjoyed another day.  

  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: One Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chili, campfire, chili with beans, soups, stews, main dishes

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  1. Debbie Harris

    Campfire chili… Delicious!!! Only thing missing… A real campfire under a beautiful night sky.

  2. Oooh. And cornbread-heavenly.

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