Wendy’s Copycat Chili

Look no further for the best Wendy’s copycat chili recipe! Full of meat, beans, and the perfect blend of spices, you won’t find a better copycat recipe that is as close to a match to Wendy’s chili recipe. 

Homemade Wendy’s chili is the perfect way to warm up on a cold fall day. Our family’s version of this timeless chili recipe will become your favorite version to make too! 


LOVE CHILI? Be sure to try out our other amazing chili recipes like our Best Homemade Chili Recipe, or our families’ Halloween tradition of making Mom’s Slow Cooker Chili, or if you’re looking for a little bit of spice try our Slow Cooker Texas Chili Recipe.


Ingredients in Wendy’s Chili recipe: 

  1. Lean ground beef
  2. Diced celery stalks
  3. Diced onion
  4. Diced green bell pepper
  5. Stewed tomatoes
  6. Diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel tomatoes)
  7. Tomato sauce
  8. Water
  9. Chili Seasoning packages
  10. Kidney beans
  11. Pinto beans
  12. Salt and Pepper
  13. White vinegar


If you would like to make your chili seasoning from scratch, take a look at this recipe to make your own chili seasoning mix

If you are looking to make this recipe a little more healthy, you could also replace the ground beef with ground turkey or ground chicken. We prefer the flavor of the ground beef, but either alternative would be delicious as well.

You could also do a meatless chili if you are wanting to serve this as an appetizer or side.

Tools needed to make Wendy’s Copycat Chili recipe:

Looking for another copycat recipe? Try our Chili’s Copycat Molten Lava Cake!


How To Make Wendy’s Chili:

Wendy’s chili how it’s made:

Begin by placing the lean ground beef in a large pot and begin to brown it over medium-high heat. 

Stir the meat and break it into small crumbles and cook the beef until it is no longer pink, then drain the meat. I like to rinse mine with a little water, just to get the excess grease out, but this is totally optional. 

After the meat has been strained, return it to the pot and add in the celery, onion, and green bell pepper with the ground beef. Heat through until the onion is translucent (this should only take about 5 minutes or so). 

Once the beef mixture is heated all the way through, pour in the cans of stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, and water. 

If you are looking to make this a little more spicy, you could use a hot can of chili’s, rather than mild.

Be sure to not strain the tomatoes since the juice holds a lot of flavor!

While mixing everything together, break up the large chunks of stewed tomatoes and add in the chili seasoning. Continue to mix until the seasoning is evenly distributed.   

Next, open the cans of kidney beans and pinto beans and pour them right in! No need to drain and rise the beans with this recipe – that is one of the secrets to getting the perfect Wendy’s flavor!


Add in salt and pepper to taste, mix everything together, and bring it all to a boil. 

After the wendy’s copycat chili reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for an hour. Just before serving the chili mix in the white vinegar stir and serve! Don’t forget to top the chili with all your favorite toppings. 

If you need ideas of what to top off your chili will, scroll down and we have a few garnishes you will love.

Slow Cooker Wendy’s chili

If you want to make this chili in your slow cooker, simply follow steps 1-4 and then pour everything into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-4 hours.

Watch how to make chili

If you love watching cooking shows, you’ll LOVE our YouTube Channel! Watch along with us as we make our tried and true recipes that even your pickiest eater will love. Take a look at our Mom’s Homemade Chili Recipe here and make it at the same time. 



If you love copycat recipes, you’ll love this!

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Every recipe has a beautiful mouth-watering photo and has been picky-eater approved. The directions are simple, easy to follow, and do not require any strange ingredients.

This cookbook includes copycat recipes from Wingers, Texas Roadhouse, Starbucks, Panera, Cheesecake Factory, Kneaders, and so much more. We have you covered from drinks, to dessert and everything in-between.


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What makes this homemade wendy’s chili recipes SO good? THE FLAVOR!

  • By not draining the cans of tomatoes you are not losing the flavors that are already developed
  • Simmer the chili for 1 hour allows for all of the spices to mellow together and take the chili flavors to the next level
  • The green chiles brings a nice kick of added flavor


Toppings to use for chili

Feel free to dress up your Wendy’s chili recipe! Here are a few suggestions: 

  1. Raw onion
  2. Cheddar cheese
  3. Green onion
  4. Frito’s chips
  5. Tortilla chips
  6. Sour cream





Wendy’s Copycat Chili


Serves: 8

Wendy’s Copycat Chili

20 minPrep Time

1 hr, 10 Cook Time

1 hr, 30 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (undrained)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (1.25 ounce) packages chili seasoning (such as McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning Mix)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans (do not drain)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can pinto beans (do not drain)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar (more or less to taste)


  1. Place ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir and break the ground beef into crumbles and cook until no longer pink.
  2. Drain beef of excess grease.
  3. Return beef to pot, stir in celery, onion, and green bell pepper into ground beef and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, and water. Break apart large pieces of stewed tomatoes.
  5. Stir in chili seasoning.
  6. Add kidney beans, pinto beans and season with salt and black pepper; bring to a boil. 
  7. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
  8. Mix vinegar into chili.
  9. Ladle into bowls and serve.



1292 cal


33 g


52 g


199 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Pro-Tip: If you want to make this chili in your slow cooker, simply follow steps 1 and 2, and then pour everything into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-4 hours. Top with your favorite chili toppings and serve.


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