Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (2024)

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by Sarah Olson on | Updated 48 Comments

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If you love the taste of Wendy’s chili, you can now recreate this masterpiece in the comfort of your own kitchen with this Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe. Everything from the beans and veggies to the spices is there, making this one of the best copycat recipes out there.

I have several more copycat recipes too. You should also check out my Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole, Slow Cooker Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, and Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Spaghetti (Olive Garden Chicken Scampi Copycat).

Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (1)

What makes copycat Wendy’s Chili so good?

There’s something about Wendy’s chili that we can all agree is simply irresistibly delicious. All the spices, chunks of bell peppers, green chilies, and chunks of their hamburger patties make this hearty chili a worthwhile purchase every time.

When you’re looking to have this favorite chili on demand, use this easy chili recipe to have Wendy’s chili any day and time. (Yes, even for breakfast.) It’s so good, you’ll want to make a double batch.

Recipe Ingredients

Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (2)
  • Ground Beef: You’ll notice that Wendy’s chili has actual chunks of their hamburger patties, but for this Wendy’s copycat chili recipe, you’ll use fresh ground beef.
  • Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes and tomato paste are used to create part of the flavorful base and hearty texture.
  • Beans: A host of beans are needed to make this a classic copycat of Wendy’s chili recipe. One can each of pinto beans and red kidney beans are drained and rinsed.
  • Vegetables: Fire roasted green chiles and diced celery, white onion, and chopped green bell pepper encompass both the look and flavor of Wendy’s chili.
  • Seasonings: Minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, salt, and black pepper seal the deal on this easy chili recipe.

Step-by-Step Directions

Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (3)

Step One – Place the fresh ground beef into a nonstick skillet.

Step Two – Cook beef over medium high heat until brown and no longer pink.

Step Three – Drain any excess fat and transfer the cooked ground beef to a 6 quart slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients.

Step Four – Stir, cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve and enjoy!

Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (4)

How to serve

  • Imagine all the fixings provided by Wendy’s. They usually serve the chili with saltine crackers, cheese, and hot sauce.
  • Since you’d be serving this delicious chili at home, you can also add your favorite toppings such as additional shredded cheese, diced onion, sour cream, cooked bacon, and diced green onions.
  • You can also serve this copycat Wendy’s chili on top of hot dogs to make yummy chili dogs or as a topping for nachos.
Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (5)

Recipe FAQs and Variations

Do I have to brown the ground beef first?

This can be made without browning the meat first. You will also have to skim out the fat after the cooking time is up. You can also use ground turkey.

How do I store the leftover chili?

To store the chili, refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To freeze, let the chili cool completely and store it in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

What is the best way to reheat this Wendy’s chili copycat recipe?

To reheat the chili, warm single servings in the microwave, or to reheat a larger batch, reheat on the stove top in a large pot over medium low heat. Allow the frozen chili to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Can I add other beans to this a thicker chili recipe?

Doing so wouldn’t necessarily keep it a copycat recipe; however, you can add any type of beans you prefer. Black beans or ranch style beans make a great addition.

How can I make this chili spicy?

You can add a few shakes of cayenne pepper, chopped jalapeno peppers (with the seeds), or extra hot sauce should do the trick.

How do I make this a hearty meal?

In addition to adding more to the chili recipe like diced tomatoes, green bell peppers, or stewed tomatoes, serve it alongside tortilla chips or Fritos scoops.

Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (6)

Here are many more Slow Cooker Chili Recipes:

  • Slow Cooker V8 Chili
  • Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili
  • Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
  • Slow Cooker No Bean Texas Chili
  • Slow Cooker Beef Enchilada Chili
  • Slow Cooker Venison Chili
  • Slow Cooker Chipotle Turkey Chili
  • Slow Cooker Steakhouse Chili
  • Slow Cooker Poblano White Chicken Chili
  • Slow Cooker Low Carb Beef and Bacon Chili

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Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (7)

Slow Cooker Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe

5 from 23 votes

The best fast food chili around can now be made right at home in your slow cooker.

Print Pin Rate

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours hours

Total Time: 8 hours hours 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 414kcal

Author: Sarah Olson


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium sized onion diced
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • 1 green bell pepper deseeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 30 oz. diced tomatoes – two 15-oz.cans
  • 30 oz. tomato sauce two 15-oz. cans
  • 8 oz. green chilies two 4-oz. cans
  • 15 oz. canned kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 30 oz. canned pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark chili powder (regular works fine too)
  • Sour Cream and Shredded Cheddar for Topping optional


  • Heat a medium sized nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and brown until no longer pink. Drain the meat to remove excess fat. Transfer the cooked ground beef to a 6 quart slow cooker.

  • To the slow cooker, add the rest of the ingredients and stir.

  • Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.

  • Serve hot, top with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar. Enjoy!

How to Video:

Sarah’s Notes:

  • To Store the chili, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To freeze, let the chili cool completely and store in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat the chili, warm single servings in the microwave, or to reheat a larger batch, reheat on the stove top over medium low heat.
  • Allow the frozen chili to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • This can be made without browning the meat first. You will also have to skim out the fat after the cooking time is up. You can also use ground turkey.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1381mg | Potassium: 1535mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2878IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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Copycat Wendy's Chili Recipe (2024)


What is the ingredients of Wendy's chili? ›

Chili Concentrate: Chili Sauce (Water, Tomato Juice, Tomatoes, Calcium Chloride, Seasoning (Sugar, Salt, Corn Starch, Dried Chilies, Spices, Flavor Enhancer [Dextrose, Salt, Yeast Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Modified Corn Starch], Citric Acid, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Xanthan gum), Beans (Pink Beans, Red ...

What makes Wendy's chili taste so good? ›

Wendy's chili is made with a blend of beef and spices that create its unique flavor. The beef is slow-cooked and blended with a mix of chili spices, including chili pepper, cumin, garlic, and onion.

What company makes Wendy's chili? ›

Visit to learn more about Wendy's Chili with Beans®. Conagra Brands, Inc.

Does Wendy's sell their chili in a can? ›

We Should. We Could. We Canned.

Enjoy the classic taste of Wendy's® famous chili from the comfort of your own home.

What does Wendy's use as fillers in their meat? ›

Our signature square hamburger patties have no fillers or additives because we know the beef is what matters when it comes to making the best hamburger in the game.

Why do you put vinegar in chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

Is Wendy's chili made fresh everyday? ›

Made fresh every day

We prep from scratch every day—slicing our tomatoes by hand, preparing our house-made chili and cooking our bacon to ensure quality and freshness in every order.

Is Wendy's chili made with leftover hamburgers? ›

Yes, the meat in Wendys chili is made leftover from unsed burgers that are past the hold hold time. The chili meat is good for seven days after, usually is used within the next day.

What makes Wendy's chili different? ›

The Wendy's Chili recipe ingredients are simple at their core, but at Wendy's it's all about blending our signature beef with the perfect mix of hearty vegetables, chili beans and savory spices. The result is a taste that's both satisfying and sentimental, and it's the perfect comfort food anytime of the year.

What is the secret to amazing chili? ›

Elevate your chili recipe by adding an extra layer of flavor. Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight.

What is the sand in Wendy's chili? ›

Wendy's Chili: Sand

One key ingredient to Wendy's chili is an anti-caking agent called silicon dioxide. Street name: sand or glass powder.

Is Wendy's chili healthy? ›

A large chili has just 340 calories per serving and 15 grams of fat. Thanks to the beans, you'll also get eight grams of fiber and 22 grams of protein.

Does Wendy's use real beef in their chili? ›

Okay, so we told you that Wendy's uses its leftover hamburger patties to make its chili, but how does that work, exactly? When a Wendy's chef makes a hamburger patty, it will stay fresh for a little while. However, if they make too many and leave them sitting out for too long, the meat will start to dry out.

What is chili magic? ›

Where there's chipotle smoke, there's chili fire. Bush's® Chili Magic® Campfire Style brings tender pintos together with smoky chipotle and green bell peppers for quick, unforgettable chili any night of the week.​

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