BIG BATCH Beef & Bean Chili

An incredibly delicious, easy beef and bean chili recipe that's perfect for feeding a crowd or stocking the freezer.

The development of this recipe was sponsored by Hurst's Beans. As always, all opinions are my own.

It seems like we’re always entertaining these days. Which is fine by me! There’s not much I love more than feeding people and making them feel welcome in my home.

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth saying again… my favorite way to entertain is to put out a big spread of munchies for grazing and make one big pot of something to have on the stove.

BIG BATCH Beef & Bean Chili!

I just set out a stack of bowls, a bunch of spoons, maybe rolls or cornbread, a bottle of hot sauce and call ‘er done. I love this method better than having an official “supper time” for several reasons:
  • Number one is I don’t have to miss any of the party action because I’ve already done my cooking. I can wash my hands, pour myself a cold one and unwind with my company.
  • I also like this because people can eat when they want. Sometimes social gatherings can get too stuffy if everyone’s on a schedule. If you’re hungry, go get you a bowl. If not, it’ll still be there when you’re ready.
  • When you cook a one-pot meal like this, you don’t have to make 40-leven side dishes either. Doing it this way says, “Here’s y’all some snacks, supper’s on the stove when you’re ready and if you’re looking for the linen napkins you’re at the wrong house!” It kind of establishes a casual pace for the evening and that’s how I usually like to roll.
  • Eating like this is great when there are lots of kids around too. Everything doesn’t come to a screeching halt when I holler “supper’s ready!” and half the adults have to go make plates for the kids.
  • When everyone’s eating on their own schedule, you don’t have to worry about seating (or place settings, fixing drinks, etc.). It can be hard accommodating 20 people with a spot at the dinner table.
  • This is also great on game day or when you’ve got something going on outside because nobody’s going to miss that big interception or their turn at cornhole because they’re fourteenth in line waiting to fix their plate.

In the past when I’ve made chili for a crowd I’ve just quadrupled my regular chili recipe but when I’m entertaining I like to try to step it up a notch so I thought using Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup mix would add so much variety and contrast to the chili and I was right!

The seasoning packet adds a hint of smokiness that is just perfect for chili (kinda reminds you of smoked chipotles). I’ve made this recipe twice since the first time because I loved it so much (freezing the leftovers for quick suppers during the week – double score!)

If you can’t find the 15-bean soup mix in your local grocery store, ask for it! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.

BIG BATCH Beef & Bean Chili!

If you love hearty bean recipes like this, check out a few of these dishes too!

  • Slow Cooker Pinto Beans - Dried pintos beans cook up creamy and tender with a smoky, silky sauce that's perfect with cornbread.
  • Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans- This slow Cooker BBQ bean recipe with smoked sausage, bacon and ground beef is the perfect side dish for feeding a crowd!
  • Cajun Ham & Beans - A recipe for smokey, creamy beans cooked low and slow with a ham bone and Cajun seasonings. DELICIOUS over rice!
  • Shrimp & Sausage 15 Bean Gumbo - A rich gumbo recipe with Cajun beans chocked full of spicy shrimp and smoky sausage.
  • Pineapple & Bacon Baked Beans - A baked beans recipe with a Hawaiian twist made with sweet pineapple and smoky bacon or ham!
  • 15 Bean Turkey Soup - A hearty soup recipe perfect for leftover Thanksgiving turkey and also easy to make with smoked turkey wings or legs.

how to, chili, for a crowd, big batch, chili con carne, 15 bean, recipe, easy, party, best, smoky, beans, crock pot, hursts
Yield: 18-20 Servings

BIG BATCH Beef & Bean Chili

prep time: 10 minscook time: 4 hourstotal time: 4 hours and 10 mins


  • 1 20-oz. bag Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup dried bean mix
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 14-oz. cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 packets chili seasoning mix
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper


Combine dried beans (WITHOUT included seasoning packet) and water in a large pot or Dutch oven; set seasoning packet aside. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer two hours.

Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet until meat is cooked through then add to beans (do not drain – this is the only form of fat we have for this entire huge batch of chili and we need the pan drippings for richness and flavor).

Add seasoning packet and remaining ingredients, stir well, cover then continue cooking on medium-low for two hours or until beans are tender. Add more salt or seasonings to taste if necessary.

  • You can make this EVEN easier by using 4 packets of chili seasoning mix (vs. 2) in place of the remaining seasoning and spices.
  • Freeze leftovers in airtight containers up to six months.
  • If you can’t find Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup in your market, please ask your grocer for them. Until then, you can order them online!
  • I haven't tried it myself, but if you want to cook this in a crock pot, cook the beans and water for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high, add remaining ingredients then continue cooking on high for 2 hours or until beans are tender.
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BIG BATCH Beef & Bean Chili! An incredibly delicious, easy beef and bean chili recipe that's perfect for feeding a crowd or stocking the freezer.


  1. Sounds delicious! Hopefully I will be trying it Friday night!

  2. Oh boy ! Another great idea for week dinner ! Thank you !

  3. how about some nutritional information--calories,fats,sugars,carbs,fiber, etc. some of us need to know these numbers for our diet intake-- this sounds so delicious, I want to make it now but I need some more info. Thank you so much

    1. I'm just a writer and a home cook so I don't really have the resources to analyze my recipes that way. Maybe try using an app like My fitness Pal or one of the several websites that can calculate the entire recipe for you....that way you can be sure to use the exact brands you like or account for any modifications you make. Hope that helps!

  4. One of my hubby's favorites is chili. He would just love this dish. Thanks for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck. Have a great week.

  5. Thank you for this recipe!

  6. For an interesting variation on chili, I use equal parts hot breakfast sausage and ground beef. I'm a little stymied in New England compared with growing up in the midwest. Can you believe that I can't find hot chili beans ANYWHERE here? I have to make do with kidney beans and spice packets or order them from Amazon. Sometimes my Cincinnati roots will show and I make spaghetti to serve it with, topped with a bunch of shredded mild cheddar and onions. You can take the girl out of Ohio, but...

  7. Big Rob EFD3168/17/19, 6:05 PM

    I always make chili with a mix of ground beef and Jimmy Dean sausage. It's how they make Bert's Chili at Waffle House.
    Try it!


Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy