Chili {Wendy's Style}



I am obsessed with Wendy's Chili lately, and even though it's reasonably priced, that's not really a good excuse for hitting the drive-thru. Especially when it's something I can make at home!

After several minutes of scouring the internet I came up with a highly rated Wendy's knock-off recipe that showed some promise. So, I wrote my ingredient list and headed to Wendy's. Sitting in the grocery store parking lot chowing on my chili, I made a few amendments to the recipe list and then headed on in. And, boy oh boy. FANTASTIC!

This recipe makes a giant batch (it fills my 8 quart stock pot), but freezes beautifully.

Chili - Wendy's Style

Chili {Wendy's Style} Ingredients:
  • 4.5 pounds ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 large yellow (sweet) onions, chopped
  • 7 large green bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic (I use jarred)
  • 2 cans Ranch Style Beans, NOT drained (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 cans Original Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chili (10 ounce cans)
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes (15 ounce cans)
  • 4 cans plain tomato sauce (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 packages McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning (1.25 ounce packages)

Chili {Wendy's Style} Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.*
  2. Simmer for at least three hours (I let mine cook all day long).
  3. Enjoy!


Wendy's (style) Chili
Wendy's (style) Chili
Wendy's (style) Chili
Wendy's (style) Chili
Wendy's (style) Chili

*You could totally do this in a slow cooker, IF you can find one big enough!

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ACK!  But, Wait!!! Are you looking longingly at this recipe but thinking to yourself that you don't eat beans?  Never fear!  I have the Ultimate Bean-Free Chili just for you!  You're welcome!!!

ultimate bean free chili

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78 comments:

  1. love your site, if you don't mind me asking, what kind of crock pot or slow cooker do you have? every time i use mine (i have 3) the meat comes out way overdone. i'm on a quest to find the perfect crock pot that won't overcook things and your meals look wonderful! thanks! Rebecca

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  2. @rebecca - i have two crockpot brand cookers. one is a handmedown from my grandmother and is probably close to 20 years old, and the other is a digital one that i got for my wedding about 9 years ago. they both cook about the same :-)

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  3. I had a recipe for this chili but it is not the same as yours and I simply cannot wait to try yours...thank you so very much for sharing!

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  4. I made this tonight. Cut the recipe in half used a 4qt crock pot. cooked on hi for 3 1/2 hrs.
    Oh boy this is a winner, my family loved it!!!. My husband said "all i needed was a wendys cup and you couldnt tell the difference. My daughter loves to put fries in hers so i made fries to go along. Cornbread for my husband. Nice meal indeed thank you!!

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  5. I totally need this recipe. With a family of 7, we go through lots of chili, and I love the fact that this recipe is huge. :)

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  6. I used to manage a Wendy's, so I have the real recipe. This is pretty close, but they don't use celery. The key is to simmer a minimum of 6 hours. It lets all the flavors meld.

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    Replies
    1. i managed a wendys for 24 years,and correct on no celery,but the key is the chili meat,then boil the grease out,then simmer for 4 hours,the re heat is 2 :)

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    2. I'm sitting here at work with a cup now and there is celery in it! It may be different in different regions.

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    3. I had some last night and it had celery in it.

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    4. It does say right on their official website the ingredients in their chili and it does have celery.

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  7. Do you brown the meat before adding the other ingredients? or do you add all at once and let the meat cook as it all simmers? Excited to try this! 

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  8. @anon - yes, brown and drain (i put it in the recipe list)

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  9. Is there anyway to make this in smaller quantities?

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  10. What are ranch style beans? Never heard of them. Are they easy to find in grocery store?

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    Replies
    1. You can find them at Wal-Mart.

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  11. wendy's uses leftover hambergers used to work there..

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  12. Very good! Just like Wendy's We don't have a Wendy's near here and I miss their chili. This filled the bill. Now if I can get a recipe for square burgers...lol

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  13. It's been pouring for 2 days here in Connecticut. That Chili is in the crock pot now!

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  14. This looks like an amazing recipe! Just an FYI to you, though, there is a page on Facebook called Where the Dinner Bell Rings and the page owner has posted your photograph and recipe as their own. I hate it when hard working bloggers get scammed this way so thought you should know. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151104567512451&set=a.377294287450.157465.243999862450&type=1&theater

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  15. This looks great and much healthier than fast food. I'm going to try to make a smaller amount by halving the ingredients. It should be pretty easy.

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  16. What are Ranch Style Beans?

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  17. @anon - they are seasoned beans. look above through the pictures and you will see that i included an image of the can.

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  18. Excited to try this, I love Wendy's Chili! I got all the ingredients last night but could not find Ranch Style Beans at Wal-Mart. Where do you get yours and would there be a good substitute if they don't sell them here?

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    Replies
    1. I got my ranch style beans at Wal-Mart. My husband had to point them out to me. Glad that there is a picture here of the can, it will help.

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  19. @leslie - i get mine at publix... i'm not sure what would be a proper substitute, sorry!

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  20. I can't wait to try this and freeze the rest for after delivery in a few weeks!

    Ranch Style Beans are by the Baked Beans in our Walmart. Easy to find. Usually just a plain looking can. I use them all the time!

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  21. Being originally from the Midwest I did not know what ranch style beans were. They don't sell them up there.

    I finally discovered them when I moved to Oklahoma. Ranch styled beans are a spicy bean but kinda like a kidney bean. If you can't find them just substitute regular kidney beans. Taste the dish you might have to add a bit more cumin to compensate but that should work

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  22. Man! I haven't been to a Wendy's in a while, but I'll have to give this chili a try. Some co workers get Wendy's chili a few times a week!

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  23. Tried this recipe the other night and it was a big hit! It went well with some cornbread on the side. My boyfriend loved it and said it is just like Wendy's. My kids usually make a frito pie when I've made other chilli recipes. We were out of fritos so they used hot cheetos....weird, I know. Well they said it tasted great as well, no complaints. Now my boyfriend insists on me making more for a potluck football party we're attending this weekend.

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  24. I'm going to try this! I love Wendy's chili!!!

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  25. I made this tonight and we really loved it! Thanks for a great recipe; I'll be making this a lot this fall/winter!

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  26. What is the serving size for this recipe?

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  27. Can you make this without the beef for vegetarians?

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  28. This if good, but I think it needs more chili seasoning besides the 2 packages.

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  29. Do you really use 7 bell peppers?? I used 2 and it seemed like plenty.

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  30. I used to work at Wendy's. Their chili is actually extremely low fat!!

    Here is the recipe (from what I can remember--~20 years ago) and it hasn't changed from what I tasted recently.

    They take 30 (?) of their cooked meat patties and boil them in water for about 30 minutes. Then we drained the water off, and chopped the meat. We added a large packet of seasoning, one #10 can of kidney beans, one #10 can of red beans, a large frozen packet (about 4 cups) of chopped onions, a large frozen packet (about 4-6 cups) of chopped green peppers, two #10 cans of chopped tomatoes and then 1-2 #10 cans full of water. Cook for 3 hours.

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    Replies
    1. It did also have celery. Forgot to mention that.

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    2. Thanks I will try this but will have to cut down to fit my crockpot. Finally someone is not afraid to share the recipe. I love love love Wendy's chili. I used to work in a deli and for chili dogs we used to boil the hamburger also to remove the fat. I think it makes all the difference in taste. Thanks again.

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    3. seems like a long time to boil for 30 minutes. Does it have to be that long?

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  31. Can you freeze this in large batches?

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  32. Feeding a family of 10 every day can get a little daunting, trying to always come up with big enough meals to feed everyone without breaking the bank! This recipe is perfect (and big enough) for my large family! Thank you!

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  33. Made this today and it is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. What can I substitute for Ranch Style Beans? I haven't been able to find them anywhere.

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  35. This chili is awesome. It is the perfect balance of all flavors. I cut the recipe in half, using only 2 bell peppers, and cooked it all day. My house smelled wonderful. I do recommend adding the beans at the end of cooking time so they don't get mushy. It went great with rustic French bread. Can't wait to make it again!

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  36. I made this over the weekend...DELICIOUS!! I couldn't find Ranch Style beans for the life of me so I placed an extra "chili style beans" in there (I halved the receipe for my crockpot) and added a packet of dry ranch dressing. YUM!!!!

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  37. I made this chili last weekend, and my girlfriend told me that it was easily the best chili she had ever had. Thanks!

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  38. Bushes makes "Chili Beans" which are pinto beans in a seasoned sauce, they could be used in place of the Ranch Style Beans as they have basically the same ingredients. I have found them in a "mild" and "medium" version.

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  39. If you review the Wendy's website, under nutrition for their chili you will find that it does use a vegetable mixture of onion, celery and peppers. :)

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  40. I made this yesterday, with some slight variations (no Ranch style beans here), but it was still very tasty and very similar to the Wendy's chili. This recipe is a keeper. THanks.

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  41. Could you use a roast instead of hamburger meat? If so would you need to cook the roast first or could you throw all ingredients in the crock pot together?

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  42. This recipe is delicious. And it does taste very much like Wendy's chili. Our family's favorite dish. Definitely 5⭐..

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  43. Hi April,

    I came across this recipe on Pinterest and was SO happy to have found it cause I LOVE Wendy's chili! I made it the other day and it tastes JUST like the real thing!!!

    I actually reviewed it on my blog, so feel free to check it out at http://www.2girlsandapin.com/2-girls-and-a-pin-wendys-chili/

    Thank you SO much for this awesome recipe!

    Take care,

    Jelena

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  44. Hi April,

    Just wanted to check if you got my email?

    I sent you one yesterday, just to make sure we understand what you wanted us to do about the post.

    Thanks,

    Jelena
    2girlsandapin

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  45. This was awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Can't wait to make it again. So Good!!!

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  46. Made this tonight. YUM! I cut the recipe in half, since it was just 3 hungry adults, and there was still PLENTY! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

    Can you please add a "Pin it" button to your blog? Thank you!

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  47. I am getting ready to make this and was wondering if I need to add the seasoning mix to the meat after it is cooked or do I just dump the packets into the pot? Thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Do I cover the pot while the chili simmers all day?

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  48. Thanks. Do I cover the pot while the chili simmers all day?

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  49. Do I cover the pot while the chili simmers all day?

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  50. Wendy's chili is disgusting. They cook burgers all day long, and when they are too overdone to serve, they throw the patties in a plastic pan and freeze all the patties at the end of the night. A few days later they thaw the burger meat out, and add it to a big thing of beans and "chili mix". Definitely better off making your own chili.

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  51. I've made this a couple times and it's delicious! I too love Wendy's Chili, and this is spot on! Maybe even better.
    I half the recipe. I use 2 lbs of ground turkey and 2 or 3 peppers depending on what I have. The rest is easy to figure out.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  52. Western-style beans count as Ranch beans; it just means kidney or red beans with some semi-spicy chili-type seasoning sauce already on them. You don't drain or rinse them because you want to keep the sauce. So just look for beans that have a chili-style sauce or seasoning already on them.

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  53. Ranch beans are not quite the same as Chili beans nor like baked or barbeque beans. They definitely don't taste at all like Ranch dressing. If you were going to substitute something, chili beans are probably the closest, but Ranch beans do have a bit more barbeque flavor. I think maybe they have a bit of smoke flavoring?

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  54. Do you simmer this with the lid on or off??

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  55. Can this be made in the oven?

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  56. It is so hard to find this recipe of your's by doing a search now. Other people have copied the picture of the chili and come up with their own recipe. I'm definitely printing this today!

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  57. seems like alot of green pepper , green pepper is very strong i can't believe u use 7 of them wow!

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  58. the wendys recipe is old hamburger patties(boiled and chopped) a 10lb can of kidney beans, a 10lb can of chili beans, a 5lb bag of frozen veggies(onions, green peppers and celery) a lg packet of chili seasoning, a 10 lb can of chopped tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce and 1-2 cans of water. cover and simmer for 3-4 hours. I worked for Wendy's for 7 years and this is how we make it every morning.

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  59. do you think this will fit in my 7 qt. crockpot? It will be good for football season!!

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  60. Nice. I absolutely love this site. Stick with it!

    Look into my blog postcardboard boxes,moving boxes

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  61. It would be helpful to have a print it button on this recipe. I had to copy and paste it into my pages to copy it.
    BUT... I LOVE this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

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  62. I love Wendy's chili and I'd like to try your recipe. Like the others, I've never heard of Ranch beans but I'll look for them the next time I'm at either of the grocery stores we shop at. Walmart is 15 miles away; they are in a major renovation project. Hopefully they'll soon be finished. It's been almost a year now and I think they are trying to make it a Super Walmart.

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