Copycat Wendy’s Chili in Your Crock Pot
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Not many fast food restaurants serve the classic western dish of chili, but Wendy’s does, and they serve a lot of it! Every time I go to my local Wendy’s, about every third person has some on their tray. And why shouldn’t they? It’s an amazing blend of beef, beans, tomatoes, and spices that come together and make a satisfying meal, from a fast food restaurant. Now you can make Copycat Wendy’s Chili at home, in your crock pot, for a great meal during the week or on the weekend and feed a crowd.
Making Wendy’s Chili
Chili always seems to start with a few common ingredients. Ground beef, beans, and tomatoes make the basis of just about every chili recipe I’ve ever read or made. What sets Copycat Wendy’s Chili apart is the other ingredients. Onion and green pepper, raw instead of sauteed with the beef, goes right in the crock pot to simmer the flavor into the mix. The seasoning is easy. A single packet of McCormick original chili spices gets stirred in before turning on the crock pot. Simple ingredients, but it makes an amazing chili that is just like Wendy’s Chili.
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- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans
- 1 15 oz can light red kidney beans
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans
- 1 pkg McCormick Original Chili Seasoning
- Brown the ground beef until no pink remains.
- Place all ingredients into a large crock pot.
- Simmer on low 8 hours.
- Serve with crackers, shredded cheddar, and diced onions.
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Freezing Copycat Wendy’s Chili
Copycat Wendy’s Chili works amazing if you want a meal you can freeze and eat later. Freeze it in individual servings for easy lunches, or in a large container for a whole meal. Either way, you will love the flavor just as much when you thaw it as when you originally made it.
2 lbs ground beef
2 onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans
1 15 oz can light red kidney beans
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 pkg McCormick Original Chili Seasoning
Brown the ground beef until no pink remains.
Place all ingredients into a large crock pot.
Simmer on low 8 hours.
Serve with crackers, shredded cheddar, and diced onions.
Skip the drive thru and make Copycat Wendy’s Chili at home for a change of pace.
Christine BW saysJuly 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm
YUMMY~ Cant wait to try it!!!
Janis Daquila saysJuly 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm
I know what sunday’s dinner is, thanks
Katie saysSeptember 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm
I have a dumb question. When making this do I drain all the beans? And if so what liquid is it cooking in? I’m not much of a cook or anything. I love Wendy’s chili and I want to attemp to make this tomorrow. Thank you!
TD saysOctober 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm
My preference would be to drain and rinse them. The stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce will provide liquid and the vegetables will cook and provide some too. If it seems too thick in the pot, I might add a little water.
KARA saysOctober 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm
I made this a couple of weeks ago and I’m actually making it today. Definitely drain beans. And, then I fill the can of tomato sauce with water and add it. And, it’s perfect 🙂
Jill saysNovember 3, 2013 at 7:33 am
I worked their years ago… Drain them. Otherwise it is very simple recipe just as stated above and they cook it for hours too. Yum!
ANTHONY saysFebruary 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm
i made this for 3 years 5 days a week there are no pinto beens or tomatoes in it rinse the beans and use water to cook evrything, the beef that wendys used is left over burger meat if want the wendys flavor cook the beef 1 week ahead of time and freeze reheat in boiling water drain and chop then add to rest of mixture
amy saysOctober 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm
Instead of stewed tomatoes I used diced tomatoes with green peppers & onions, & will nevef make chili any other way…my family loved this! Thank you for all your post, keep’em coming.
jennifer zacharias saysOctober 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm
I am serving this for a crowd how many servings does this make and can I double it or should I make two batches?
Stephanie saysOctober 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm
Do you drain the cans of beans? Can you use canned diced tomatoes?
gail sullivan saysFebruary 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm
I have always used the beans and the juice, after all it is just the liquid from the cooking of the beans. It has a lot of starch in it and I also always taste it. If it is bitter then I toss the can-only happened once-off brand and dented can. anyway draining is purely a matter of what you are cooking if the liquid is wanted then do not drain, if you are making a dip or salad, then drain and rinse or if the slimyness bothers you, drain and rinse. I have a couple of copycat recipes for this chili and only one is really on the mark. also you just have to keep tasting and adding stuff until it suits you!
katie saysNovember 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm
I made this tonight, following the recipe exactly and while the chilli is ok, it tastes nothing like Wendy’s chilli. It looks exactly like their chilli but does not taste anything like it.
Heather saysDecember 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm
What do you think was missing? I’d like to try this but want it to taste like the real thing
(When I worked at Wendy’s, we used the burnt burgers, diced them up and added them to the chili)
Heather saysDecember 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm
Eating a bowl of Wendy’s chili now – there is celery in here (which I would not add)
John Braddy saysJune 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm
Years ago I received a book of famous recipes. There were 3 in there that I made regularly and Wendy’s chili was one of them. The one most surprising ingredient to me was….celery! I use this same recipe but add celery to mine and it taste like Wendy’s….except maybe a little better
Try cutting up some celery in it when you put it in your slow cooker and see if that doesn’t make it taste a lot more like Wendy’s.
Chelsea saysDecember 15, 2013 at 11:52 pm
This is amazing! It tastes just like Wendy’s chili. (I made the seasoning from scratch though). I’ve given this to my friends and they love it! Easy recipe for a 17 year old.
Angela saysDecember 31, 2013 at 10:23 am
I’m making this again for our New Year’s Eve party! It has been a big hit each and every time I’ve served it!! Definitely drain the cans of beans. I also add water to my tomato sauce can to get the right consistency. I also use two packages of the chili seasoning because I think it gives the chili more flavor an makes it taste more like Wendy’s chili. I like to serve it with loaded baked potatoes. Even the guys in my family (who are meat and potatoes men!) love when we have this for dinner.
Inga saysJanuary 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm
LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! It is my go to chili recipe, so much so I stopped making my own version of chili. I have never made it like you posted, I made the following substitutions bc it’s what I already had on hand: 1. I use the low sodium chili powder 2. I use the frozen season blend: onions, peppers, celery instead of the fresh onions and peppers. 3. I half drain the beans. 4. If I needed more liquid I used chicken broth instead of water. Every very very large pot I have made is gone within 12 hours!!! LOL
Katusa saysJanuary 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm
I have made this with only one exception. To kick it up a notch I use diced tomatoes with green chilies. Instead of the stewed tomatoes.
L.D. saysApril 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm
As far as rinsing the beans it can reduce the sodium content by 25% and what I add for liquid is I mix up some instant low sodium beef broth to add more flavor. I’ve discovered that if you come out a bit too spicy just spoon in some peanut butter to buffer the heat. Bon Appetit!
Deb saysApril 15, 2014 at 10:00 am
I would always drain the beans. That’s where all the salt is and who needs it? Also, there absolutely IS tomatoes and pinto beans in Wendy’s chili. I just had it for lunch yesterday. I’ve also been making my own copycat chili of Wendy’s chili for years now, but I have never used water, only beef broth and my own spice mixture. The one here sounds like a great, quick and easy substitute though.
jessica saysJanuary 4, 2015 at 5:42 pm
Made this tonight. Definitely drain the beans. Add one or two 15 ounce cans of water or broth. No one in my family likes tomatoes so we left those out. Added extra beans, celery, and corn. With a plate of cornbread it was delicious!
Marc saysFebruary 15, 2015 at 9:40 am
what are the serving sizes? How much does the recipe make?
Sharron saysFebruary 17, 2015 at 11:31 am
Is the actual recipe worth making? Why does everyone modify the recipe, this is your chili recipe not Sarah copycat! Why not just make your own and leave this one as is…also I never have drained the beans, why? You want taste and the liquid from the beans will add better taste then broth.
Shelia saysFebruary 4, 2016 at 9:42 am
Thank you. I never understood how someone can rate a recipe when you’ve made so many changes, it’s not even the recipe anymore.
Linda saysApril 13, 2015 at 4:35 pm
All Wendy’s chili that I have eaten, granted all have been purchased in the southern sates, do not have green peppers in it – it has Celery instead. Only pinto beans were used too. I guess that means Wendy’s recipes vary by region perhaps. While I love green peppers and celery, I like to add both. I will say though that the celery alone was very, very good.
Rich saysMarch 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm
When I make this I don’t use the tomato sauce, I use a whole 48 ounce bottle of v8 juice. gives the chili a lot more flavor..
lois rymer saysMay 28, 2017 at 6:36 am
How much does this e make?