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This is the real deal Wendy's chili recipe. It tastes just like the original chili, and is very easy to make.

Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe

Todd Wilbur
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings 12 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • one 29-ounce can tomato sauce
  • one 29-ounce can kidney beans with liquid
  • one 29-ounce can pinto beans with liquid
  • 1 cup diced onion 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green chili 2 chilies
  • 1/4 cup diced celery 1 stalk
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups water


  • Make beef patties from ground beef and brown in a large skillet over medium-high heat, flipping once. The meat will brown much better if you brown it as patties as much less water will be released during browning.
  • Drain the fat from the meat and crumble it with a work into pea-size pieces.
  • In a large pot, combine the browned beef with the rest of the ingredients. Bring the pot to boil, lower the heat to low and simmer the chili for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so.


For spicier chili, add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
For much spicier chili, add 2-3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper.
For extreme real heat add 5-6 jalapeno or 1-2 red serrano peppers.
The chili can be frozen for up to 3 months if necessary.