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Wendy’s Copycat Chili Recipe

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. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best chili, Chili Recipe, Wendy's Copycat Chili
Servings: 8
Calories: 381kcal


  • large pot
  • Ladle
  • Soup Bowls


  • 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)
  • 14 ounces 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)


  • 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.
  • Drain beef of excess grease.
  • Return beef to pot, stir in celery, onion, and green bell pepper into ground beef and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, and water. Break apart large pieces of stewed tomatoes.
  • Stir in chili seasoning.
  • Add kidney beans, pinto beans and season with salt and black pepper; bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Mix vinegar into chili.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve.


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.
To turn this into a freezer meal:
Cook the ground beef on the stove top and place in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag or other freezer-safe container. Dump in the remaining ingredients. Let the bag cool down (if still hot from the cooked meat). Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal bag closed. Place in the freezer for 60-90 days. When ready to use, dump ingredients from bag into slow cooker. Place the lid on top and cook on  LOW heat for 7-9 hours (or until completely heated through – every slow cooker will be a little different). Follow the rest of the instructions as written.


Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 685mg | Potassium: 1622mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4976IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 10mg