Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (2024)

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You are going to love this simple Wendy’s Chili Recipe. The best part is that it is easy to make and the best copycat recipe. It will become you go-to chili recipe.

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Wendy’s Copycat Chili Recipe:

We love a good chili recipe. Now that the weather is getting colder, we are always looking for different soups recipes and chili recipes. This Wendy’s Copycat chili recipe just hit the spot when we were craving chili. Check out More Classic American Recipes.

I really like to find restaurant style food and try and recreate it with better and simpler ingredients. This one wasn’t very hard to recreate as you really can’t go wrong when making chili.

Make sure to check out Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili Recipe and all of our Easy Copycat Recipes.

Can you make this recipe in the Crock Pot?

Yes, you can make this recipe in the slow cooker. We usually make this recipe on the stove top, but you can definitely make this in your slow cooker.

Add all your ingredients to the crock pot. Just cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

Can you make it in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make this chili in the Instant Pot. It is important that you use an 8 qt to make sure that the chili is below the line.

You can turn on the sauté option and brown you ground beef, then drain. You will add remaining ingredients and stir.

Cover the instant pot and turn knob to sealing and set to the device to manual for 30 minutes. Then do a quick release to release the pressure from the Instant Pot after the cook time.

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Is it really a “top secret” recipe?

Some may think that recipes that restaurants create are top secret. But really most of them can be recreated. When I have had the chili at Wendy’s, I knew just what I need to do to recreate this but in an even better version at home.

I actually wanted it to taste better. Don’t let these ingredients listed below scare you. Really most of the spices you already have in your pantry. So it would be very easy to pick up the other ingredients to make this chili.

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  • Ground Beef – Brown and drain your ground beef. I usually try and use a lower fat content for ground beef. You can even use ground turkey and mix the two.
  • Pinto Beans – You can also use chili beans or ranch style beans. We do not drain.
  • Kidney Beans – Light or dark kidney beans. We do not drain these beans.
  • Celery – Chopped
  • Green Bell Pepper – Chopped
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce – Use regular tomato sauce. I have also added in some tomato juice.
  • Diced Tomatoes – You can buy just a can of diced tomatoes, but I usually grab a can with diced green chilis in them.
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin – If you are out, check out Best Substitute for Cumin.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheddar Cheese (for serving)
  • Saltine Crackers (for serving)

How to make Wendy’s Chili Recipe

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  • Brown the ground beef until no longer pink in a large stock pot. Halfway through the cook time, add in the celery and bell pepper and cook until they are tender. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Add in the remaining chili seasoning ingredients except for the cheese and the crackers. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes to combine all the flavors.
  • Serve topped with the shredded cheddar cheese with the crackers and enjoy!
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Variation Ideas:

My mom always made the best chili. So I am always trying to figure out what her secret ingredient to make the best chili. Here are some of the variations I have tried:

  • Kidney Beans – I usually tend to use light kidney beans but have also used the dark kidney beans.
  • Pinto Beans – You can use chili beans instead of pinto beans.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Need a little kick to your chili, mix in some cayenne pepper. We usually do a small amount so the kids will still enjoy the chili.
  • Add some bacon – Everything is better with some bacon. Mix some in to make it even more of a hearty chili. I usually add in cooked bacon so it’s still crispy.
  • Vegetables – Do you have some vegetables that need to be cooked? Throw them in this chili to change the texture of the chili and to make it healthier.
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What to serve with Copycat Wendy’s Chili

Chili is great by itself but here are some of our favorite sides when we have chili.

  • Saltine Crackers
  • Slice Cheese
  • Frito’s
  • Cornbread
  • See What to Serve with Chili for more easy chili side dish recipes.
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Chili Topping Ideas:

We love to serve chili when we have game day parties or just getting together with friends. This is the chili recipe I always make as it always satisfies everyone’s craving for chili.

We setup a chili bar with all of these yummy toppings. Which ones are your favorite? The options are endless and we make sure we have all kinds of variety.

  • Slice Jalapeños
  • Diced Onions
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Hot Sauce
  • Tortilla Strips
  • Avocado
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How to use leftover chili

We love having leftover chili. I intentionally will make a double batch so I can have leftover chili for lunch.

I actually think chili taste better the next day. It really gives it time for all the spices to marinate together.

Here are some of our favorite ways to eat leftover chili in a different way.

  • Have you made a Frito Chili Wrap? This is one of my favorite ways to eat leftover chili. You need a tortilla, spoon a serving of chili, top with Frito’s and cheese. Wrap it up and it becomes the perfect snack or lunch.
  • Top your plain bake potato with a serving of chili. Add some cheese and sour cream and it becomes another dinner idea.
  • We also like getting some bread bowls and serving chili in it. The chili really mixes with the bread.
  • Make a chili mac dinner. Have some pasta that you have leftover? Mix it with some chili and you now have another yummy dinner idea.
  • Have chili dogs one night. My kids love this idea and makes for any easy dinner idea.
  • Also see Leftover Chili Recipes.
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How to store Wendy’s Chili?

Chili can be easily store in the refrigerator or freezer. After you chili has cooled, simply place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

If you want to freeze your chili, place in a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. We like to freeze individual serving so it is a quick lunch for my husband and I.

Having leftover chili really saves me time and money. I know I am getting a great lunch with good ingredients and I avoid fast food.

You can also freeze the chili. See Can You Freeze Chili to learn how.

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Print Recipe here for Wendy’s Chili:

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Wendy’s Chili Recipe

4.99 from 199 votes

This simple Wendy's Chili Recipe is easy to make and the best copycat recipe. The entire family will love this easy copycat chili recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 40 minutes mins

Total Time 50 minutes mins

Servings 12

Cuisine American

Course Chilis, Main Course

Calories 386

Author Carrie Barnard



  • Brown the ground beef in a large stock pot. Halfway through the cook time, add in the celery and bell pepper and cook until they are tender. Drain off any excess grease.

  • Add in the remaining ingredients except for the cheese and the crackers. Stir to combine.

  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes to combine all the flavors.

  • Serve topped with the shredded cheddar cheese with the crackers and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5-7 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 386kcal, Carbohydrates 22g, Protein 25g, Fat 23g, Saturated Fat 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 73mg, Sodium 722mg, Potassium 739mg, Fiber 8g, Sugar 2g, Vitamin A 1757IU, Vitamin C 14mg, Calcium 210mg, Iron 5mg

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More easy chili recipes:

  • 20 Quick and Easy Chili Recipes
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  • Pumpkin Chili Recipe
  • One Pot Tex-Mex Chicken Chili Recipe
  • Easy Crock Pot Chili Recipe

Check out 20 of our favorite beef chili recipes. You might also want to try our Copycat Wendy’s Frosty Recipe

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About the Author

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (2024)


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