Want to go camping without leaving the house? It's time for some Campfire Chili! This recipe is rich, smoky, and tastes like it's been cooked over a campfire for hours. If you're going camping, it's easy to cook over a campfire too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Chili is a favorite comfort food for many folks. The rich flavor of this hearty recipe tastes great whether it's cooked in a dutch oven on the stove or outdoors over a campfire.
Campfire Chili is so good, it's actually won several awards at local chili cook-off competitions!
While you can certainly use dried beans, canned beans work great in this dish which makes prep much easier. Add navy beans, black beans, or whatever else you can find with the word 'bean' in it.
The secret ingredient is liquid smoke, (ad) which adds an amazing smoky flavor. Or you can use dried ancho peppers if available. To make things even better, top Campfire Chili with sour cream, sharp cheddar and cilantro. Serve it with a cake of southern cornbread and it's a meal in a bowl!
Every ingredient blends together perfectly! See recipe card for quantities.
- ground beef (or turkey) - either works well in this recipe
- chili seasoning - choose a packet for easy prep, or make your own
- fire-roasted tomatoes - found in a can at most supermarkets
- minced garlic - gives the chili great flavor
- sweet onion - the perfect accompaniment
- fresh cilantro - optional, but provides a nice kick
- liquid smoke (or ancho peppers) - the secret ingredient
- tomato sauce (or ketchup)- thickens the chili and adds richness
- chili beans and black beans - can use other beans if desired
Start by browning ground beef (or turkey) in a dutch oven. (ad) Next, add a packet of chili seasoning, a can of fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, liquid smoke and tomato sauce or 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 the way this recipe is created in one pot. If you're in a hurry, you can make it in your Instant Pot, but I'm a lover of my cast iron dutch oven 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.
Although it's not a perfect substitution, Worcestershire sauce has a similar flavor and can be used if you can't find liquid smoke. Ancho peppers are also a natural way to flavor chili if you have access to them.
Fire roasted tomatoes are diced tomatoes that have been roasted over high heat. They are found in a can with the diced tomatoes at the grocery store. If you can't find the fire roasted version, using diced tomatoes will work just fine.
Yes! Campfire chili freezes well when stored in an airtight container. You can freeze it after cooking for up to 3 months, or refrigerate leftovers for up to a week.
Absolutely! Dutch ovens made of cast iron are perfect for cooking over campfires. Be sure to mix all of the ingredients well before cooking over an open flame and stir frequently to prevent scorching. Cooking outdoors while camping makes everything taste better!
Campfire Chili is so hearty and satisfying, you'll want to make it over and over again. If you love this recipe, be sure to try some of my other popular chowders and stews!
- Easy Hot Dog Chili - perfect for holidays and game day
- Broccoli Cheese Chowder - includes a video with step by step instructions
- Bacon Black Bean Soup - real bacon makes this soup a winner
- White Corn Chicken Chili - chocked full of southwestern flavor
- Hearty Beef Stew - tastes great with a cake of southern cornbread
- Dutch Oven Corned Beef - the best corned beef you'll ever taste!
*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.
- 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
- 1 packet dry chili seasoning
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
- ½ tsp. minced garlic
- 1 small sweet onion diced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke or ancho peppers
- 1 cup tomato sauce or ketchup
- 1 15 oz can chili beans, undrained
- 1 15 oz can black beans, undrained
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- ½ cup sour cream
- fresh or dried cilantro for garnish
- Brown ground beef in a dutch oven or large pot.
- Sprinkle packet of chili seasoning in with meat and stir well.
- Add fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, liquid smoke and ketchup or tomato sauce.
- Fold in chili beans and black beans.
- Stir well and cover. Simmer for at least one hour over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Add a little water if chili becomes too thick.
- Top bowls of chili 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 for up to 3 months and enjoyed later.
- Feel free to add hot sauce or fresh peppers to this chili if you like to spice it up! Ancho peppers also add a smoky flavor if they're available in your region.
Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.