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McCormick Chili Recipe

McCormick’s chili has been around since 1873 when an enterprising young man named John A. Heinz started selling his version of a hot pepper sauce at the World’s Fair.

  • The History of Chili
  • Chili Recipes: How to Make Your Own Spicy Pepper Sauce Recipe (video)

What Is The History Of McCormick Chili Recipe?

As we all know, there are many different types of chili recipes.

But what about this particular one? What is it made from and how was it created?

The answer is simple – it comes straight from the original McCormick’s Chili Powder Company.

John A. Heinz (1843-1910) founded the company in 1869 after he graduated high school and moved to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

He married into money and began making sauces, relishes, and seasonings as well as selling them under his own name.

His brother Henry joined him later on and they both became business partners.

In 1871, the brothers decided to try their hand at manufacturing chilies.

They first tried using a type called “Cayenne Capsicum” which had been developed by Dr.

George Washington Carver back in 1860.

However, it turned out not to be suitable for cooking so they went off and found another variety known as “Poblano” or Mexican Chile Peppers.

This time they were successful! So much so that they decided to start manufacturing these peppers themselves instead of importing them from Mexico.

They then added some spices to make the final product more appealing.

When people tasted the new dish, they loved it.

Soon enough, sales increased and the recipe became very popular.

By 1880, they had opened their first factory.

In 1890, they introduced the world to their famous chili powder.

By 1901, they sold over $1 million worth of chili every year.

After Heinz died in 1910, the company continued to produce the same kind of chili until 1971 when it was acquired by the Kraft Foods Group.

Nowadays, it is owned by the Nestle Corporation.

McCormick Chili

How Did McCormick Come Up With The Chili Recipe?

John Heinz was born in Germany on June 17, 1850.

He came to America as a teenager to escape persecution due to his Jewish heritage.

After immigrating to Philadelphia, he worked as a clerk in a grocery store before opening his own restaurant where he sold homemade sauerkraut.

Heinz became friends with another aspiring businessman who owned a spice company called Wahl & Company.

Together they pooled their resources and opened a new business, which eventually grew into The Heinz Corporation, one of the largest food companies in the world today.

Their first product was ketchup, but by the 1890s the company had expanded its portfolio to include spices, condiments, and other products like mustard, relish, pickles, jams, and sauces.

In 1893, Heinz introduced a spicy pepper sauce to the American market under the name “Hottentot”.

But it wasn’t until 1894 that the two men decided to combine their businesses and create a brand-new line of canned foods known as “McCormick & Co.”

They were so successful that within just 10 years of starting their venture, McCormick & Co. was the second largest producer of canned goods in the U.S., behind only J.R. Watkins.

In 1903, during the height of the Spanish Flu epidemic, both Heinz and McCormick recognized the need for something more than just a simple hot sauce.

So they combined their talents and developed an entirely new flavor profile that would become the basis for what we now know as chili.

Who Created The McCormick Chili Recipe?

John A. Heinz was born in Pennsylvania on August 24th, 1844.

He worked as a traveling salesman until he decided to open a restaurant where he could sell his homemade condiments.

The first one of these restaurants opened in Lehigh Valley, PA in June 1876.

His business grew over time, and by 1886 it had become known as Heinz & Company.

In 1888, Heinz patented his own product called “Ketchup” which would later be sold under the name “Honey Mustard”.

In addition to growing his company, Heinz also invented a variety of other food products including pickled peppers, tomato ketchup, horseradish, mustard, relish, and Worcestershire sauce.

Heinz died in 1919 after contracting pneumonia while visiting Kansas City.

At the age of 71, he left behind $7 million dollars (over 5 billion dollars today) along with two companies worth more than $100 million each.

One of those companies was McCormick Foods Corporation, the company that holds the copyright to this particular chili recipe.

McCormick Chili

Why Is The McCormick Chili Recipe So Popular?

This is probably one of the most well-known recipes on the internet because it’s simple, easy to make, and delicious! It’s also super versatile, which means you can tweak it to your own taste by adding or removing ingredients based on what you have available.


  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
  • 6 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste


Step 1: Brown the meat with onion and seasonings until cooked through.

Step 2: Add remaining ingredients except for the water and oil.

Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Step 3: Once the chili reaches a low simmer add the water and stir until smooth.

Continue to cook over medium heat for another 15 minutes.

If you are using canned beans in place of fresh, add them now.

Stir frequently during this period as they tend to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Step 4: Remove chili from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, or whatever else you want to eat while enjoying your homemade chili.

You may also like these other great chili recipes.

What Is In The McCormick Chili Recipe?

So what exactly goes into making this delicious dish?

The ingredients are simple, but there are several steps involved in creating the final product.

First off, you need fresh ground beef, which can be found just about anywhere (we recommend using grass-fed beef).

You also need onions, garlic, cumin powder, salt, pepper, and paprika, as well as your favorite peppers, such as jalapenos or serranos.

Finally, you use tomato paste, water, and white vinegar to create the base for the finished product.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t if you know how to cook! Here we go through all the details on how to prepare the McCormick chili recipe.

McCormick Chili

How Do You Make McCormick Chili Recipe?

If you are looking to try your hand at making some homemade chili, there is no better place than to start with McCormick’s chili recipe.

Not only does it have more than a century of history behind it, but it also tastes incredibly good!

If you are wondering how much time this chili recipe takes or what kind of ingredients you need to prepare it, read on as we take a look at everything you can expect from this classic dish.

Ingredients for McCormick’s chili recipe

This recipe requires quite a few different types of spices and seasonings in order to create this delicious meal.

You should definitely check out all of these items before getting started if you want to be sure that you know exactly what you are putting into your pot of chili.

  • Onions – 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 2 tablespoons) – ½ cup
  • Green bell peppers – 3 small green bell peppers, diced (about ¼ cup)
  • Red bell peppers – 4 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced thin (about 2 cups)
  • Celery – ½ stalk celery, finely diced (½ tablespoon)
  • Garlic cloves – 10 garlic cloves, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano – ½ tsp dried oregano
  • Black pepper – 1/8 tsp black pepper flakes
  • Paprika – 1/16 tsp paprika powder
  • Salt – ½ tsp salt
  • Crushed cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • Ground coriander seeds – 1/8 tsp ground coriander seed
  • Ground fennel seeds – 1/8 tsp ground fennel seed
  • Ground mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp ground mustard seed
  • Ground turmeric – 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • Smoked paprika – 1/16 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • Brown sugar – 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Soy sauce – 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Vinegar – 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Water – 6 cups water
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Chicken broth – 1 can chicken broth
  • Cornstarch – 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Milk – 1 cup milk

Step by step directions for McCormick’s chili recipe

First off, you will need to chop up all of your vegetables.

For this particular recipe, you will need one medium onion, three small green bell peppers, four large red bell peppers, ½ stalk celery, ten garlic cloves, ½ tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp black pepper flakes, ½ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp paprika, 1/16 tsp paprika powder, 1/8 tsp ground coriander seed, 1/8 tsp ground fennel seed, 1/8 tsp ground mustard seed, 1/8 tsp ground turmeric, 1/16 tsp smoked paprika powder, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 cup water, 1 tsp vegetable oil, and 1 can of chicken broth.

Next, heat up 5 gallons of water in a large stockpot over high heat until boiling point.

Once boiled, add in the onions, then allow them to simmer for about 15 minutes.

After that, add in the rest of your vegetables, which includes the celery, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and garlic.

Allow the vegetables to simmer for another fifteen minutes, stirring frequently so they don’t stick together.

Next, mix together the dry spices including the ground coriander, ground fennel, ground mustard, ground turmeric, and smoked paprika.

Add this mixture to the vegetables along with the remaining ingredients except the corn starch and the milk.

Give everything a stir, then turn down the heat to low.

Cook the chili for 90 minutes, adding more liquid if needed.

When cooking time comes to an end, remove the lid and let the chili cool for 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, transfer the chili into the blender.

Blend the chili to a smooth consistency using a little bit of milk.

Pour back into the stockpot and bring to a boil again, being careful not to burn yourself.

Boil for five more minutes, then pour into bowls and serve immediately.

What Is The Best Way To Eat McCormick Chili Recipe?

When I first saw this recipe on my food blog, I thought it would be great as a side dish or even as a topping over rice or noodles.

But then I remembered how much I love cornbread in chili.

So I decided to try making this chili with cornbread instead of regular white bread.

I think this was one of the best decisions I made while trying to create the ultimate McCormick chili recipe.

The result was so delicious that I am now sharing my version with all of you!

How Long Does It Take To Cook McCormick Chili Recipe?

It takes about 40 minutes to make this delicious McCormick chili recipe.

The longer you let your slow cooker stew on low heat, the better results you can expect.

This recipe uses beef chuck roast as its main ingredient.

If you would rather use ground beef or another type of meat instead, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

You have two options when it comes to seasoning McCormick chili.

You can either go with the traditional spices like cumin and garlic powder, or add in other ingredients such as bacon fat and onions for extra flavor.

If you want to be adventurous, feel free to experiment with different types of peppers, but remember that if you do choose to use spicy peppers, they should only account for one-third of the total amount of chili.

Too much spice could overwhelm the taste buds, so keep that in mind while adding them to the pot.

When ready, remove the lid and stir in the shredded cheese before serving.

Serve with cornbread, tortillas, crackers, chips, or any other favorite side dish.

Here’s how to make McCormick chili recipe:


  • 1 pound (454 grams) lean ground beef
  • 4 cups (940 millilitres) water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One 28 ounce (796 gram) can diced tomatoes
  • Two 15 ounce (425g) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup (160 grams) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


  • In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except for the tomatoes and kidney beans until well mixed.
  • Pour mixture into a 4 quart oval electric slow cooker.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove lid and stir in shredded cheese.
  • Cook for 10 more minutes.

What Are Some Tips For Making McCormick Chili Recipe?

We have made this delicious recipe many times over the years but here are some tips we like to keep in mind as we prepare it:

Use low sodium beef broth instead of water

When preparing your McCormick chili recipe, use only low-sodium or no salt at all.

The taste of the chili will be bland if you use regular water instead of low sodium broth.

Soak beans overnight before cooking so they don’t get too soft.

You may need to add more liquid than usual while cooking this recipe to cover the meat with enough liquid.

If you want to reduce fat content without sacrificing flavor, you can also try using ground turkey instead of beef (1 pound of lean ground turkey equals 1/4 cup).

Cooking time isn’t always linear

This chili cooks very quickly which makes sense because it uses canned ingredients.

But if you plan on serving it later in the day, allow the chili to simmer longer after adding the vegetables.

We recommend letting it simmer until the meat is tender and the flavors blend together well.

To ensure even heating throughout the pan, stir frequently during the first 30 minutes of cooking.

When adding the vegetables, do not crowd them in the pot.

Give each vegetable room to wilt slowly, about 5 – 10 minutes per side depending upon how big they are.

Add any spices last to avoid burning them.

And remember, if you have leftovers, reheat them gently just until warmed through.

Don’t forget the cheese!

Add shredded cheddar cheese towards the end of cooking to melt into the chili and bring extra richness to the dish.

Once the chili starts to bubble, remove it from heat and sprinkle in the cheese.

Let sit for 2 – 3 minutes then serve immediately.

Or if you prefer a smoother texture, let the cheese melt completely by stirring often.

Prepare ahead and freeze chili

If you would like to save yourself from having to cook the entire batch of chili every week, consider freezing half of it.

After removing it from the freezer, place it in a bowl and thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Then transfer it into a large pan and follow the remaining steps above.

Just be sure to adjust the amount of water needed according to how much frozen chili there is.

For example, if you used one third of the original recipe, you should add twice as much water.

Make it vegan

For those who love their chili vegetarian, McCormick offers several vegan recipes including this classic American favorite.

All you need to do is swap out chicken stock for vegetable stock and omit the bacon bits.

Also, you can replace the cream with nonfat milk, sour cream, or yogurt.

How Can I Make McCormick Chili Recipe Healthier?

You don’t have to give up your favorite spice-packed red chile stew if you want to make it more healthy.

There are plenty of ways you can tweak this classic dish while still keeping all the flavor and heat.

You can swap in lower sodium broth or water, use less cheese, reduce the amount of meat or switch to vegetarian options like black beans instead.

If you’re looking for something different, try one of these other recipes for homemade chili made with tofu, tempeh, lentils, kidney beans or even chickpeas.

McCormick Chili

McCormick Chili

Here’s a quick and simple chili recipe that uses a package of Chili Seasoning Mix.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: McCormick Chili
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 270kcal


  • 1 Large skillet
  • 1 Mixing bowl


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 package McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 15 ounce kidney beans canned, drained
  • 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes canned, undrained
  • 8 ounce tomato sauce


  • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove the fat.
  • Combine the chili seasoning mix, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce in a mixing bowl. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching the bottom.
  • Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped leeks, if desired, and serve in bowls. Serve and have fun!



Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 993mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 293IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 6mg
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