Wendy’s Chili Recipe

Wendy’s Chili just can’t be beat. Wendy’s makes this classic recipe fresh every day, and you can do the same. You can make Wendy’s Chili Recipe just like they do. Tomato juice really enhances the flavor of this chili, as does the chili powder, though you may want to start off with a little less chili powder. I find that 1/4 cup isn’t too hot, and is still very flavorful.

Homemade Wendy's chili in a bowl.

Wendy’s Chili

Now, it is said that Wendy’s chili is made from grilled hamburger patties that didn’t make it into their burgers. You don’t have you start out with hamburger patties, but the fresh ground beef.

We think it is easier to start out this way when you make your own chili. We suggest that you brown the beef very thoroughly before making your chili.

If you are a die-hard Wendy’s Chili fan you can start out with about 2 pounds of ground meat, fry it up as hamburgers, but you must cook them until they are very well done.

Did you know??

  • Wendy’s Chili is gluten free.

There are lots of fresh ingredients in this chili, and you can put this recipe together in no time. This recipe has onions, celery, green bell pepper, two types of beans, beef, and chili seasoning. You won’t be disappointed when you make a delicious bowl of this amazing chili from scratch.

Ingredients for homemade Wendy's chili

It is important to cook this chili for the entire time as listed in the recipe. The flavors mellow and change over the cooking time.

I understand that some people also feel that 3 tablespoons of chili powder are too much. I think if you stick with standard brands of chili powder this is best.

Chili powder is a combination of several spices, there isn’t a chili powder plant. Stick with a well-known brand, and if you naturally like foods that are less spicy consider using less. Again, I fully stand behind the 3 tablespoons as listed in the recipe below.

Ingredients for homemade copycat Wendy's chili together in a soup pot.

Can you make Wendy’s Chili in a slow cooker? Yes, you can!

Can you make this delicious chili in a slow cooker? Of course! Simply brown the ground beef, draining the beef, and then pouring everything into a slow cooker, and then cook on low for about 4 hours.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Garlic parmesan buffalo wings would go great with this chili.

Check out my other Wendy’s copycat recipes

More Beef Recipes

Be sure to take a look at more of the best recipes with beef and homemade soup.

Homemade copycat Wendy's Chili in a bowl with a spoon beside it.

Wendy’s Chili

You can recreate the famous taste of Wendy's Chili at home
4.9 from 37 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Wendy's recipes
Servings: 10
Calories: 257kcal


  • 2 pounds fresh ground beef
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 1 (29-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder (you may want to use less, as some people find this is too much)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Stovetop Directions

  • In a skillet, brown the ground beef; drain. Put the drained beef and the remaining ingredients in a 6-quart pot. Cover the pot; let it simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

Slow cooker Directions

  • In a skillet, brown the ground beef; drain. Put the drained beef and the remaining ingredients in a slow cooker, turn on low and cook for 4 hours.



Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 575IU | Vitamin C: 23.3mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Dacquiri M Graff

    Hi, I made this last night. It was perfect but needed something. At first I thought sugar would cut the tomato taste but then tried a little worsteshire and that brought out the beff flaver I was looking for. Just a little.

    • Stephanie

      So in the video, my editor cut the second 15 ounce can of tomato puree. Why? I don’t know. Well, I do know, she does not cook. Please use 29 ounces of tomato puree. I am sorry this was confusing.

      Let me know if I can do anything else for you.

  2. patrick conway

    Hi Stephanie, I thought your video was well done.I needed clairifacation on something. Your recipe called for Tomatoe Juice not Tomatoe Sauce but Tomatoe Juice?

  3. Tom Latzke

    5 stars
    It’s great to find this recipe as the closest Wendy’s to me is 89 miles. The only time I can get it is when I have to drive there for something else. That’s when I buy 8 large chili’s or several family size if they carry it.

  4. Lynda

    5 stars
    Made this today. I questioned the 1/4 cup of chili powder, but decided to add as directed.
    My husband and granddaughter absolutely loved the chili! They both requested that I not lose this recipe. I have a habit of making something and not marking the recipe or printing. I threw out my other chili recipes and printed this one and put in my recipe book . That’s how delicious this recipe is. This will definitely be my go to chili recipe. Most definitely a keeper.

  5. Tony Guinn

    5 stars
    Does anyone know what the serving size is on the nutritional information. Doing keto diet and need to know if this will work with it.

  6. Donny

    5 stars
    great recipe. I became the soup guru at my local country club years ago and usually make 5 gallon plus sizes at a time. this recipe mimics mine almost perfectly except i roast the meat and veggies in the oven first. Dave Thomas eat your heart out!! thanks


    5 stars

      • Sharon

        3 stars
        I made this tonight and it doesn’t taste like Wendy’s chili at all. In fact, I just happened to have Wendy’s chili this weekend and saved a little to compare. This recipe is too tangy while Wendy’s is smoother even after adding their hot sauce. Also Wendy’s chili has little chunks of tomatoes. I tried adding a little more sugar but was afraid I would get it too sweet which I didn’t want. I followed your recipe and added almost 1/4 cup of chili powder because I like chili to be spicy. Do you think this may have caused the tangy taste? This chili was also a darker red than the Wendy’s chili which may also account for the amount of chili powder. Although this recipe tasted good (my family liked it a lot) I was hoping more for that Wendy’s taste. If I try this recipe again, I’ll definitely use less chili powder and maybe crushed tomatoes instead of the purée.

      • Stephanie

        Not sure of what could have caused the tang you are referring to. Yes, different chili powders do have a different “recipe”. It may be the brand of chili powder wasn’t quite right. I am sorry your experience wasn’t everything you hoped it would be. I don’t think the difference of tomato puree vs tomato bits and pieces would make a different flavor. I think finding the chili powder you like best will help the most.

  8. Gary Silber

    Question please. I want to make this recipe without any beans. Would the ingredients amounts stay the same? Would I add more beef or just keep everything the same without the beans? Has anyone made it this way?

  9. Angela

    5 stars
    Love this recipe and I’ve never added beans before. When I make this recipe I’m able to freeze 2 containers. Makes perfect quick meals after work! And still delicious!

  10. Marianne Todd

    5 stars
    I have been making chili for 50 years. This is better! I cannot explain why – probably just the right combintion of ingredients but it is perfection. Made the recipe exactly as written, simmered for 3-4 hours, 8 generous servings.

  11. Audra

    This is a great recipe. I have used it for years and everyone loves it. I was a manager for Wendy’s and yes it is patties that make it to the end of the grill and are not considered fresh anymore. They’re places in a sealed bucket in the cooler. The following morning they’re boiled, chopped and drained to make chili. That is the one thing I have always done that the recipe does not call for. I rinse the meat and drain to remove all grease as Wendy’s doe

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