Copycat Wendy’s Chili

I don’t know about you but I love a good bowl of chili. And I thoroughly enjoying making a huge pot of chili on a cool, crisp day. I’ve made a few different types of chili in the past, including a Hearty No Bean Chili and a Taco Soup (it’s very similar to chili.) I’m always up for trying new recipes so when I came across a Copycat Wendy’s Chili recipe over at Love Bakes Good Cakes, I knew I had to give the recipe a try. Boy and I glad that I did. While the chili doesn’t taste exactly like Wendy’s chili, it does taste amazing. It actually reminds me of the chili that my mom used to make when I was a kid. Mom’s chili always was one of my favorite chili recipes and probably the best that I ever had so I was happy to have something that tasted very similar to hers.

I made a few changes to the recipe that I found over at Love Bakes Good Cakes: I used light red kidney beans rather than dark red kidney beans, chili beans rather than pinto beans (ok, chili beans are pinto beans…dressed up in chili sauce) and I used 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper rather than 1/8 tsp. I like my chili with a bit of a kick. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Recipe: Copycat Wendy's Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 10
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C chopped celery
  • 1 46 oz bottle of tomato juice
  • 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • ¼ C chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp white sugar
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, brown the ground beef along with the onion, bell pepper and celery. Drain after cooking and return to the pot.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours.
Serving sizes are approximate
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1C

Enjoy topped with cheese and sour cream or crackers. Or you can enjoy alone. For one of our leftover chili nights, I cooked some elbow macaroni and we had chili mac. You can’t go wrong with chili mac.

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16 comments on “Copycat Wendy’s Chili”

  1. Yum! So glad you liked it, Julie – now I want chili for breakfast :)

  2. And I bet you’ve got another picture that’s going to get accepted to some food sites! :)

  3. Sounds good! I make a lot of chili in the winter – I’ll have to give this one a try!!

  4. I love chili this time of year. I’ve never thought to add tomato juice, good idea! Might have to make some for Sunday’s football games– go Broncos!!

  5. I’ve made this recipe quite a few times now – it’s become one of my husband’s most requested recipes!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  6. Great recipe!

  7. Pingback: Lightened Up Clam Chowder - This Gal Cooks

  8. How about a chili cheese burger for breakfast!

  9. This is way to much chili should be a lot less than in this recipe…it will burn your face off if you use this much chili powder

  10. Why can I not print this recipe?

    • Hi Gwen,
      It looks like something happened with the formatting of the post. I am correcting it now and you should be able to print in a few minutes. Thanks for bringing that to my attention! :)

    • Thanks for fixing this recipe…I love your website and now hope to get more recipes that I can print. Keep on keeping on!!!!