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Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe
Wendy's Chili
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Soup
Calories: 237
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.9 (222 reviews)

Dave Thomas, Wendy's late founder, started serving this chili in 1969, the year the first Wendy's opened its doors. Over the years the recipe has changed a bit, but this version here is an great copy of the version of chili served in the early 90s. Try topping it with some chopped onion and Cheddar cheese, just as you can request in the restaurant.

Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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 ground cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water

1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, drain off the fat.

2. Using a fork or potato masher, crumble the cooked beef into pea-size pieces.

3. In a large pot, combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.

Makes about 12 servings.

Submitted on: 03/06/17
I really could not believe how delicious and exact this recipe was to the original Wendy's Chili! Kudos to you!
Amazing recipe! Make this one!!
Submitted on: 02/24/17
My first time making it and it turned out so delicious. Very easy recipe to make. My public didn't have green chillis so I used half green pepper and half poblano pepper to substitute and it worked well. Also I don't like to many beans in my chili so after I put in one can I decided not to add the other can and it was perfect. So I would recommend using 15 oz pinto 15 oz kidney if you don't want an overload of beans. Other than that this recipe is perfect.
Sheila Swindle  
Submitted on: 01/27/17
Make this for church socials and chilli dogs it is always a hit. Freezes very well also.
Wendy's Chili
Submitted on: 01/18/17
This recipe is perfect as is! My 1st try I listened to some other comments and added garlic and extra chili & cumin powder which was a big mistake!! 2nd try I made no changes (except used canned petite diced tomatoes as no fresh on hand), put in crock pot on high 4 hours and it was perfect. Surprising how much the celery adds to the flavor - don't omit if possible. Never buying canned chili again ... hope this won't crash the economy :o) Thanks Todd!
better than wendy`s
Submitted on: 01/12/17
Tweaked it with a bell pepper and san marzano peeled tomatoes.
Submitted on: 01/04/17
Wendys Chili
Submitted on: 12/28/16
I have been making ths recipe for a long time. I mix up my beans and use black, pinto, pink, white. When I want it spicier I add diced tomatoes with chilies along with green chilies
Texas girl far from home  
Submitted on: 12/28/16
I am living overseas, and this is SUCH A TASTE OF HOME. It's been some time since I have had any in a Wendy's, but let me tell you this is a great recipe. Only thing I change is I cook my own pinto beans, and use only pinto beans (not crazy about canned beans). Rest I follow exactly, and always turns out great. Thanks Todd for the post.
Would LOVE the hot sauce
Submitted on: 12/27/16
I LOVED the old Wendy's Chili, I had it the other day it Sucked so I am looking forward to making this one, what I would REALLY like to see is a top secret clone of the hot sauce (or oil) that goes with it and comes in the little packets, that stuff is GREAT for the chili.
Wendy's chili
Submitted on: 12/13/16
I love this recipe I make it every winter.
Great in Crock Pot!
Submitted on: 12/03/16
This is really good. I like making it in crock pot. I don't bother with fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce. Just replace with canned whole, cut, or diced tomatoes with juice. Cheaper than fresh, and let's face it, good flavor too. I have made this for about five or six years now just like that. Can add chopped green pepper too, instead of chilies. Just add same amount as onions.
Wendy's Chili
Christophe Bleser  
Submitted on: 12/01/16
Excellent, but use a large stock pot size 5 or larger! You'll have leftovers which is great. I'm sure it will freeze well too! 5 STARS!
Always A Pleaser
Submitted on: 09/07/16
My wife and I differ greatly in the chili world. I like sweet , soupy chili, she likes meat sauce lol. We both like Wendy's chili so I found this recipe and gave it a whirl. It's easy to make, tastes great, and it's even better the 2nd day! The only things I have tweaked is adding 2 cloves of minced garlic, and only using a normal sized can of pinto beans(Luck's Brand works the best, nice lean pork flavor), and I usually add just a hair more water since we like to use a lot of cracker
Fantastic and Amazing
Submitted on: 08/21/16
We love this chili we make it in the slow cooker for dinner and have corn bread with it. Even my 4yr old daughter loves it and my best friend tried it she loved it too to where she now cooks it with her family. We even have it on our list of freezer meals to make during our stock up on premade meals. We just take out and reheat for dinners in the slow cookers.
Submitted on: 08/15/16
I made this chili for dinner tonight and I was wonderful! I added McCormick chili seasoning and used 2 cans of green chilies + a can of Rotel as well.. Everyone loved it, will definitely make again!
Submitted on: 04/30/16
This chili is just like Wendy's chili. I add I cup water, not 2, and add Northern New Mexico Chimayo red chile, as well as a bit of Cayenne red pepper for some extra kick. Just awesome to serve on a cold day, and even better for leftovers!!
Perfect Meal Chili and Cheddar Biscuits
Submitted on: 04/13/16
I love this recipe.....have made it many times. I read through the comments because I had a feeling there would be comments on giving the recipe a little more flavor. I found that using cannted chopped tomatoes and a 7oz can of green chilies saves time. Use 2 cups of tomato juice adds to the flavor also. The last addition was use some brown sugar. On my own, I added extra chili powder and put it in my crock pot for 4 hours on high.... this chili is fantastic! I then bake a batch of cheddar cheese biscuits
Big Hit!
Submitted on: 02/21/16
This was my first time making chili and I love Wendy's chili so I figured I give this recipe a shot. This was an excellent version. I thought it was a little bland after the first hour and thought it was going to need more salt but after simmering for three hours, it was perfect!
Just like Wendy's!!
Submitted on: 02/14/16
I just joined Weight Watchers and found out that Wendy's chili is only 6 smart points. But Wendy's is far away so I get to go there only once or twice a month. Now I never have to drive far for my favorite chili. Thank you Todd!
Better than Wendy's
Submitted on: 01/21/16
The whole family LOVED this chili, even my 7 year old! Best chili I have ever made
Great recipe
Submitted on: 01/10/16
I've been using this recipe for years but recently tried to change it up a bit. Instead of chopping up the tomatoes, I used a can of diced tomatoes instead to save some time. Instead of 2 cups of water, I used 1 cup of good red wine (cabernet or merlot) and 1 cup of water - this gives the chili a full bodied taste and not so watered down.
Best Chili Ever
Submitted on: 01/04/16
I came across this searching for a chili recipe. My Picky Eaters love Wendy's Chili which is why I selected it. This is nothing short of a good solid HOME RUN basic chili recipe. I sub a can of petite diced tomatoes for the fresh and use a 4 ounce can of roasted green chilies for the fresh. Other than that, I follow the recipe exactly. You won't regret trying this. Thank you Mr. Wilbur!
Man food
Submitted on: 12/31/15
This is extremely easy and delicious! Use a 1 bottle of lager beer instead of water.
Excellent chili
Submitted on: 12/29/15
Wonderful! I am serious. This chili recipe is as good as Wendy's, I promise. Thank you, Todd.
Best chili ever!
Submitted on: 12/10/15
I first made this chili for a work potluck a few years ago and everyone went nuts over it! Now it's the only chili recipe I make. I use a large can of diced tomatoes and a small can of diced green chilies instead of fresh to save time. Sometimes I throw in one diced jalapeņo as well! I also add extra cumin and chili powder as my husband and I like more of a kick! It's the most delicious chili!!
Wendy's chili spot on!
Submitted on: 11/22/15
So, I was having a craving for Wendy's Chili figuring that it would probably be cheaper to make myself a batch, then going and getting 5 or 6 containers of it :-) so... I looked up for a real Wendy's recipe, and came across this one. After seeing all the great reviews, I decided to take a chance and ran to the store and got all of the ingredients, I'm not big on too much spice, so I only did one chili pepper and cut back on the amount of chili powder. I think I used about 1 teaspoon instead
Submitted on: 11/02/15
This is the best chili recipe ever. It tastes just like Wendy's after about the 1st hour of cooking but then it starts to really get better deeper richer flavors. Makes great leftovers (if your lucky).
Wendy's Chili
Eathel Southall Jr  
Submitted on: 10/29/15
I made it just to the tee to the recipe and it's just like Wendy's Chili. Way to go ,you hit it on the nail on this one, for sure .
So Good and Easy!!
Susan C  
Submitted on: 10/25/15
I love Wendy's chili and this is spot on!
Submitted on: 10/04/15
Made this yesterday and my family loved it. I think it tastes just like the Wendys chili. I will be making this again.
Submitted on: 10/02/15
This chili is fantastic. I subbed ground turkey. It turned out great.
Submitted on: 09/07/15
Best chili ever. Everyone wants the recipe after they try this.
Fail-safe chili recipe!
Submitted on: 08/06/15
For the longest time, myself and my wife couldn't get together on chili. She liked it thick and meaty, I liked it sweet and soupy . One day I decided to search for a copycat recipe of Wendy's chili since we both liked their chili. Found this recipe and BAM! The only thing I do different is use 1 small can of beans since I am a bean hater, and I used a little more water than the recipe called for so the spice isn't so over powering, and it still packs a kick even then. Great recipe!
Absolutely delicious
Submitted on: 05/17/15
I would eat this everyday if I could
Submitted on: 04/21/15
Awesome chilli loved it! I am not a big chilli eater but this is so good only way I will make from now on.
Love it!
Submitted on: 04/11/15
I have have been making this recipe and taking it to family gatherings for years. It's a hit every time!
Best ever!
Submitted on: 03/11/15
Now that I have stumbled across this recipe I don't even bother looking for others and my husband and kids love it. For the sake of the kids I do lessen the chili powder to 2 tbsp and the salt to 1 tsp. Also, I use one can of chili tomatoes in place of fresh tomatoes and green chilies. I drain the liquid and add enough water to make 2 cups. This is what I use in place of 2 cups of straight water. The different beans add just the right texture and flavour.
wendy's chili
Submitted on: 03/11/15
i thought it really tasted better than wendy's
Mike B  
Submitted on: 03/10/15
Substitute tomato juice for water, and add just a small amount of brown sugar and it's spot on! Even my boy who doesn't like chili eats it!
Submitted on: 02/22/15
I have made this several times and it taste just like Wendys..I love this recipe!
try adding some sugar
Submitted on: 02/22/15
pretty close to Wendys. but try adding sugar. :)
Really Good!!
Nicole Scott  
Submitted on: 02/04/15
I mde this chilli exactly how therecippe calls for and it was so good!! It tastes just like Wendy's chili. My boyfriend loved it!!
Awesome chili
Submitted on: 02/02/15
Thanks to this recipe, my chili turns out perfectly. Highly recommend!!!
Submitted on: 01/20/15
This is the best knock off I have ever made. I make big batches plenty for leftovers. and it freezes great.
Submitted on: 01/15/15
I have made this several times and only the 1st time did I add the water. Never did I after that.
Submitted on: 01/11/15
I love this recipe and make it over and over. I use lean ground round. I also use small can green chilis, instead of the fresh. I add a bit of cayenne pepper. I serve it over hot white rice and top with shredded cheddar, sour cream and diced green onions w/ a splash of Tabasco. A family favorite for sure :D
Not like Wendy's
Submitted on: 01/11/15
This was a pretty good chili, had a bit of a kick to it but I didn't think it tasted like Wendy's chili at all. I stuck to the recipe, and it does make a good chili...just not Wendy's.
Wendy's Chili
Submitted on: 01/10/15
My daughter made it and shared some with me and forward me the recipe. It's not under or over seasoned for us. VERY GOOD!!
great chili
Becky Maxfield  
Submitted on: 01/09/15
I love Wendy's chili. It is my very favorite to make at home. I would recommend this to anyone.
On Point!
Jo Z  
Submitted on: 01/08/15
So, I looked up a recipe for chili because I was getting bored with the same old, same old! I love Wendy's chili and haven't had it in many years. Tried this recipe Nd it is by far the best chili I have made. My son wants to go buy some Wendy's chili to compare for himself.
Submitted on: 12/31/14
I didn't change anything. The recipe is delicious! Next time, I'm going to use less water. I can't compare the flavor to Wendy's since it's been so long since I've had it, but this was delicious. Perfect and easy meal for a rainy night like tonight.
Great with ground turkey
Submitted on: 12/12/14
I love this recipe; for a healthier version, I use ground turkey instead of beef. No one can tell the difference.
Great for diets
Submitted on: 11/15/14
This is good for dieters if you use Ground Turkey instead of Ground Beef & very filling.
Submitted on: 11/14/14
Gary, cayenne is in fact mentioned in the "tidbits". But even without it this chili is spicy enough. Close copy.
Sandy Dove-Mendoza  
Submitted on: 11/09/14
Tastes just like Wendy's chilli. My husband loved it.
Submitted on: 11/07/14
My family loved this chili, I will be making it again!
Bob Sss  
Submitted on: 11/06/14
I've never had Wendy's Chili, but if it's half as good as this recipe... They have a winner...
Glad I tried it
Submitted on: 11/04/14
This is good chili, very much like Wendy's version. I made mine with ground elk, it was a hit with the crowd here in Wyoming.
Wendy's Chili
Phyllis Sporing  
Submitted on: 10/28/14
This is a great recipe. It tastes exactly like Wendy's Chili. I love it, my whole family loves it. Big Winner.
Submitted on: 10/26/14
Good stuff! Followed the recipe exactly and the chili won the award for the "hottest" chili. It was a little spicy.
Sooooo good!
Submitted on: 10/24/14
Made this last night & brought some in for my coworkers to try & they couldn't believe that I made this! They thought I went to Wendy's and dumped the chili in a tupperware container. Only made a couple of changes because my pot wasn't large enough: didn't add the water, added 4 cloves of garlic while browning the beef & added 6 tablespoons of cumin powder. Let it simmer for 1 hour before putting it in a crock pot on low overnight.
Wendy's chili
Submitted on: 10/24/14
I have used this recipe for several years ... it does taste like Wendy's ... can't imagine why anyone would not like it ... I too have heard the comments about the ground beef Wendy's uses & my comment is always "so what" it is not spoiled ground beef ... I always use any left over patties for other dishes (tacos, soups, chili) or any other meats on hand
it's Wendy's
Submitted on: 10/24/14
Todd great as always, everyone loved it. Thank you
Very good!
Submitted on: 10/23/14
Nancy, you need glasses! Cayenne pepper is not called for in the recipe. Otherwise, I think the recipe is perfect if you make it exactly as written. The long simmer time in my opinion is crucial! Nice job Todd!
Wendy's Chili
Submitted on: 08/30/14
My grand girls love Wendy's chili and so do I. This recipe is wonderful! Tastes like the original. So Delicious. I divided the chili into containers and froze it for future meals.
Wendy's? Not telling.
Submitted on: 07/25/14
Nothing but compliments from everyone I've given it to.
Better than Wendy's
Submitted on: 06/21/14
My family loves chili and couldn't stop eating this. I made a few adjustments: 4oz canned chilis, large can diced tomatoes instead of fresh, rinsed the beans, and added a sprinkle of garlic powder. It was perfect!
This is it!
Submitted on: 06/17/14
Excellent, Excellent!
Submitted on: 06/10/14
My daughter is a Wendy's chili fanatic and when she tasted this recipe, she couldn't believe how fantastic it is. She wanted to eat it before it was completely done. Highly recommend this recipe!!
Tried and True!
Submitted on: 06/02/14
This recipe is spot-on simple and excellent in taste, mimicking Wendy's very closely. If your own results after following this recipe to the letter are not absolutely wonderful, then YOU'VE done something wrong in the preparation. Don't blame the recipe; it's flawless!
Submitted on: 05/07/14
Very good. Tastes exactly like Wendy's!!!
Exact same taste
Submitted on: 04/27/14
I made this tonight for dinner and we decided to go buy one from Wendy's and I made my family do a taste test and they were so close in taste that they swore I didn't go buy one from Wendy's. I followed the recipe exactly. If you love Wendy's Chili then you won't be disappointed.
Very easy to make!
Submitted on: 03/18/14
I do not cook soup often, but I was craving some Wendy's chili. A hungry husband asked me to make a pot, so I came across this recipe, and lets just say it was a hit. The only changes I made was using 1/2 the called for pinto beans and I used a 4oz can of mild green Chilis. Yummy!
Submitted on: 03/18/14
It really irritates me when people say that Wendy's chili is made from scrap Hamburgers, I worked at Wendy's for 5 years as a manager and the meat they used is perfectly fresh beef, they cook their burgers in stages and the last stage is used for chili, still perfectly fresh , I eat Wendy's chili all the time and it is delicious
Submitted on: 03/11/14
The only chili recipe we make. Not spicy and very satisfying.
Submitted on: 03/05/14
My roommate made this chili over the weekend while I laid on the couch sick as a dog. The chili smell emanating from the kitchen was to die for (I think I was legit salivating)! She was sweet enough to bring me a bowl (with a dollop of sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese), and I swear to God, I was in chili heaven. I had no idea she used this recipe to replicate Wendy's famous chili and it was spot on! I took my first bite and immediately said, "this taste's exactly like Wendy's chili,
real story
Submitted on: 03/03/14
I used to work at Wendy's and they use hamburger patties that are unsellable because they're too old or over cooked. Canned tomatoes like the rest of us and premixed spices.
the real deal!
vic vinegar  
Submitted on: 02/20/14
This chilli is legit. I used jalapenos instead of bell peppers and I seasoned the meat lightly with adobo. I think it was better than wendys
Submitted on: 02/11/14
Taste exactly like Wendy's chili! I halved the recipe and it made enough for 3 of us as well as having left overs. The only thing I changed was using a can of petite diced tomatoes instead of fresh since it is hard to find good tomatoes this time of year.
Submitted on: 02/03/14
Made this and it has to be the worst chili I've ever had in my life.
1st place winner at work chili cook off!
Submitted on: 02/01/14
This has become my go to recipe for awesome chili, sure to please everyone! I knew it was good but was surprised when it took 1st place at my company chili cook off last year! It has just enough kick to please most but if someone wants more heat, I have a bottle of Texas Pete nearby!
Family Favorite
Submitted on: 01/31/14
I have been making this for years! My family was never a big fan of chili but since I started making this my son can't get enough. The flavors are just like the original but sooooo much better since it's homemade. I'm so glad I found this.
Submitted on: 01/30/14
Very easy and very good even though it really doesn't taste like Wendys.
The real deal!
Submitted on: 01/26/14
I've made this chili several times now. It's the best stuff ever. I love it with some cheese, sour cream, onions and crackers on the top.
Submitted on: 01/18/14
the hotter the better.... great chili
Shirley H.  
Submitted on: 01/08/14
Best chili I have ever made. An excellent recipe and easy to follow. Thank you.
Submitted on: 01/05/14
Tastes exactly the same. Made a couple changes. Used canned chilies instead of fresh; canned crushed tomatoes instead of fresh; 1T chili powder instead of 3; over 90% ground beef ( the fattier beef seemed to affect the taste)
I simply love it
Submitted on: 01/04/14
I have made this several times and I always make extra for the freezer. Perfect lunch when working from home. Thanks from Denmark.
HOT! HOT!HOT!, but good!
Submitted on: 01/03/14
We made this chili just the other day; it made a crock pot and a half of it! We gave a neighbor and my sister some of it. I think we'll leave the cayenne pepper out of it next time, though. It'll taste more like Wendy's, then. Theirs is not too hot, just the way I like it. It burns your throat for a little while, but goes away soon.
Love it!!!
Submitted on: 12/23/13
I made this Saturday both my friends said they loved it!!! Taste better than Wendy's chili!!!
Submitted on: 12/15/13
Best chilli I have ever had! better that Wendy's.
Submitted on: 12/14/13
Best Chili I had in my life :-) a saver here Thank's from Louisiana
Perfect chili
Submitted on: 12/13/13
I agree Red... Aubrey needs a taste bud transplant. Best chili I've ever eaten (except from Wendy's of course). Just as good and much cheaper, and don't have to leave the house to have some. I use 80/20 ground chuck. Freezes well for months.
Finally Chili at home
Submitted on: 12/11/13
This recipe is unbelievable. Easy and delicious. I recommended!!!
Submitted on: 12/09/13
Something's wrong with Aubrey's taste buds.. Awesome chili!
Awesome !!
Glitter Shit  
Submitted on: 12/02/13
I've been eating Wendy's Chili for years and this recipe is spot on! Delllliiiiccccious !
eating the actual thing right now
Submitted on: 11/23/13
I am eating the actual Wendy's chili right now to taste test. I have made the clone about 3-4 times so far. The actual thing looks exactly the same as the clone and the only difference is the actual thing was a bit more watery. I will stick with the clone.
OMG! The Real Deal...
tj locke  
Submitted on: 11/15/13
Recipe looked good, so I made it today. Didn't have fresh chilies, so used 1 (7 oz.) can diced green chilies. Everything else exactly as the recipe is written.. this is just like the Wendy's chili they serve in their restaurants! A keeper for sure!!
curtis janda  
Submitted on: 11/09/13
out of this world
The one and only
Submitted on: 11/09/13
I've made this recipe for many years and everyone loves it. and its easy to make.
Gwen Tolbert  
Submitted on: 11/05/13
The best I have ever made and ate. It rocks! #1 in my book
Best Chili
Kristina Orozco  
Submitted on: 10/24/13
I have made it for family parties and is always a big hit!!!! Now it is a dish that has to be included at our family get togethers.....love it!!!! So simple and delicious....thank you!!!!
Submitted on: 10/15/13
I have made good chili over the year, but I tried this recipe and fell in love. I will use this recipe forever. :) tried and true - its definitely a WINNING RECIPE!
Better than the real thing!
Shilo Maack  
Submitted on: 08/24/13
I'm not a chili fan, but this is great chili! My husband eats Wendy's chili at least once a week and he would rather have mine with this recipe.
The Worst Chili Ever
Submitted on: 07/24/13
Without a doubt the lamest Chili to ever find its way into a bowl.
Award Winning!
Submitted on: 03/26/13
This is the recipe I had made for the American Legion Chili Cookoff...and I took 1st place!! Never made chili before in my life, but this is a winner. The only difference is that I added a little garlic...but what a great chili!!
Best Chilli ever!
Submitted on: 03/20/13
We love this recipe! I modified it to our families taste an double the recipe! My family will eat it for breakfast if I would allow!
Submitted on: 01/12/13
OK, Todd hit it out of the park---again....I agree with all the other 5 STAR REVIEWS! I used whole canned tomatoes, because the tomatoes here taste like cardboard and are way overpriced. One word of caution to the clueless (like me) . We ALL wash our hands before cooking, right? Well don't forget to wash your hands AFTER chopping THOSE GREEN CHILIES! if you should rub your eyes, they will burn---duh! btw, if you read this too late, flushing said eyes with cold water will help....
Cybil Freeman  
Submitted on: 08/01/12
I love Wendy's chili, and I used to eat it alot until I found a NAIL/SCREW in the bottom of my cup. When I made this, I was in seventh heaven!!
Neil Klotz  
Submitted on: 04/05/12
I made this with a vegetarian substitute for the meat (for my wife, I'm a carnivore), but it still came out fantastically. I've made it for friends and they loved it too. I'll be making this recipe for years to come.
Best chili - ever
Anna Fitzpatrick  
Submitted on: 01/26/12
We love Wendy's chili but love this recipe even more. We took out tomatoes, my hubby is not a fan, so added a little more tomato sauce. So good - thanks so much for posting.
The BEST chili ever!
Natalia Procopio  
Submitted on: 12/28/11
This is the BEST chili recipe! Tastes just like Wendy's if not better, and the house smells great while it's cooking on a cold winter day. It's very easy to assemble and I use canned chili's. You won't regret for trying!! My husband who is a picky eater LOVES it!
Danele Sullivan  
Submitted on: 12/02/11
In my opinion this is even better than the actual Wendy's chili!!!
Misty Westfall  
Submitted on: 11/11/11
Best Chili I have made by far! I love Wendy's chili, but this is way better because I can put in high quality ground beef. I made this for dinner last night in the crockpot and it was perfect for a chilly night.
Amazing Chili
Danielle Siemien  
Submitted on: 11/03/11
This recipe is spot on! It really does taste like Wendy's Chili! And if you usually get it with the hot oil (like I do) i would recommend going for the spicier/much spicier chili. I made the "much spicier" chili last night, and it was SO good! Definitely gives it a kick!
Jean Daugherty  
Submitted on: 10/25/11
This is delicious..tastes just like Wendy's. Would highly recommend it.
Love this recipe...
Michael Jordan  
Submitted on: 10/23/11
Looks, smells, and tastes exactly like the inspiration.
Terri Vermaat  
Submitted on: 08/19/11
My son, who didn't cook very much, made this and the whole family loved it! It is our new chili recipe. We will be using this one frequently.
Brian Marsh  
Submitted on: 08/01/11
I visit the U.S. every year from England for my annual vacation. I just love chili and every year without fail, I cannot find anyone who is prepared to give me their recipe. I purchased this book primarily for the chili recipe and I was amazed at the result. So easy to make and tastes fantastic. Thanks Mr. Wilbur!!
Timothy Sturgis  
Submitted on: 06/29/11
I don't cook at all. One day stumbled across this recipe and just had to make it and i can not believe it it taste like I just left Wendys OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!
Submitted on: 02/05/11
Love this chili. We use bison meat instead of ground beef and then have cheese available as a topping and, of course, oyster crackers. My family requests this regularly in the winter and it is so easy!
Easy and Delicious Chili
Dale Ward  
Submitted on: 01/23/11
This is the BEST chili. My husband requests it often. I use canned tomatoes and Green Chilis instead of fresh. Mmmmm. Wonderful!
Spot on Recipe
Submitted on: 01/09/11
This is the first but not the last of the recipes I will try. I made this last night and OMG it is exactly like the original. Everyone loved it, my mom even said if she hadn't seen me making it she would have thought I bought it.
Submitted on: 06/21/10
I went to the store today and picked up a crockpot and gave this a shot, it turned out great and only took about 20 minutes to throw together. Who thought it could be such a simple recipe. Thanks
Submitted on: 06/13/10
Great taste! Only thing I change is to use chopped up stew meat instead of hamburger because my wife doesn't like browned ground beef, and I use a fresh green pepper instead of canned green chili.
Rhoda Weber  
Submitted on: 02/11/10
I have used this recipe for years. Today I decided if it was good enough for my family I would take it to the streets to feed the homeless! Thank you for making it available for them. Quality is our way of saying we love the homeless this recipe helps with that message! God Bless!
Submitted on: 01/17/10
People rave about this chili and it's easy! I use canned tomatoes and canned chili's so the only prep is the onion and celery; I cut them while the beef cooks. Great for slow cookers. Top it with some sour cream and cheese! Excellent for freezing in bulk or individual servings.
Submitted on: 12/28/09
I halved this recipe and it turned out AWESOME! It is so unbelieveably simple. It even tastes better the second and third day! I want to try it with turkey and I also want to try and freeze it but there is never any left.
Old Shagger  
Submitted on: 10/26/09
I have been entering a club sponsored chili contest every year for 10 years using various recipes and never won. This year I used this recipe and won $100 first prize. I make it at home every month. Great recipe and easy to make.
Submitted on: 10/04/09
When I took this to a potluck at work, everyone wanted to know who brought the wendy's chili.
Submitted on: 09/21/09
Print this one out, it's worth taking the time to make! I've made it several times and tastes just like Wendy's. Great crock-pot recipe! Makes alot too.
Submitted on: 09/19/09
The best! Weight Watchers friendly, hearty, yummy, and so easy!
Submitted on: 09/02/09
I have made this recipe several times now and it is just like being at Wendy's. Add the chopped onions and cheese on top and it is perfect.
Master of Chili  
Submitted on: 05/30/09
Quite possibly the best chili I have ever had. Totally beats "actual" wendy's chili hands down!
Submitted on: 03/29/09
This is the best in the crock pot! Make it the day before to allow it to get thicker,,,yum! Just like I remember at Wendy's. Yep, this is a "keeper" for our family.
Wendy(no pun intended)that is my name  
Submitted on: 01/27/09
My dad, who is 75, made this and made me try it in front of him. I love Wendy's chili and get it every time I go. I couldn't believe how good it was. He said it was easy to make so I will be making it very soon. Even my husband liked it and he is very picky at what he eats. This is a definite 2 thumbs up!!!
Submitted on: 12/14/08
This chili is almost identical to Wendy's chili! It's very easy and quick to prepare. My whole family loves it!
Submitted on: 12/03/08
I've used this for years, too. I've made it with lean ground turkey as well as lean ground beef. During the winter I made a big pot of this and a corn casserole. We pig out until it is all gone. It is high in fiber, low cal, and taste great. One variation I do is put some of the seasonings (Seasoned salt, chili powder, onions, celery, etc.) in with my meat while it is browning.
Submitted on: 12/03/08
I used this recipe for the first time on Thanksgiving day and I loved it!! My husband said that it really tastes like the original Wendy's chili! All of the family liked it and took some home! I used the Rotel Green Chiles and Tomatoes (mild) for the fresh tomatoes and green chilies called for. I put about a tablespoon of diced onion (since my husbands family doesnt like onions) and it still tasted great! I would definitely use this recipe again ang again! ;)Thanks!
Submitted on: 10/28/08
I have used this recipe for several years now and love it. One step that is left out is after you brown the hamburger boil it in water to remove the last bits of grease from it. This way you get all the taste from the ingredients and it is not muddied by the taste of hamburger fat. Trust me, there is a very noticable taste difference for the better. And it is also low fat without tasting like the typical low in taste low fat recipe.
Robert W.  
Submitted on: 10/10/08
I've been using this for several years and I love it. I have changed it a bit: I only make half as much as this recipe calls for and I substitute a can of Rotel Green Chiles and Tomatoes (the regular variety) for the fresh tomatoes and green chilies called for. I also add a couple of serrano chiles for heat (seeds scraped out and discardeed and the chiles sliced). I prefer the taste of these to jalapeno peppers. This chili freezes very well and improves each time you heat it up.
Kim S.  
Submitted on: 09/21/08
Great, easy recipe
Sandy G  
Submitted on: 09/14/08
I love Chili and have always tried to match Wendys. Not only did I love it, but I got so many people into it as well. I made this for all of them, snd it came out perfect. I've been doing it for 5 years, and will never do another chili recipe.
Submitted on: 09/05/08
The best gringo chili on the planet. In the cold months nothing taste better.
Submitted on: 07/14/08
This chili tastes just like Wendy's chili. I couldn't have gotten it any closer to the real thing. I did change it and use a can of diced tomatoes. And I put it in the crockpot. Makes a ton of chili!!!
Submitted on: 05/27/08
I have found my chili. Im on the SouthBeach diet and have been looking for a good chili recipe that was ok to have during the diet. I have gone through about 10lbs of lean ground beef trying other recipes that ended up in the trash. This recipe with very slight modification (diet reasons) fits the bill and tastes so good I have a hard time not eating it. Thank you!!!!!!
Theresa D.  
Submitted on: 03/16/08
Absolutley fabulous! When I first used this recipe, my family flipped over it. It is now our traditional dinner on Halloween. I also have gotten rave reviews from coworkers when we have our chili feeds. Everyone asks for the recipe!
Submitted on: 02/02/08
This stuff is awesome. I change it up just a little bit by adding 1 lb of ground sausage along with the ground beef. Best ever chili recipe!
Rose Cardoso  
Submitted on: 01/25/08
Wow! I tried this tonight.. first time ever to make chili (I always loved Wendys chili btw) and it came out fantastic.. easy as pie to throw together.. and it came out fantastic.. threw some crushed tortilla chips and some shredded cheddar cheese! HEAVEN! Have to try
Submitted on: 12/31/07
great loved it taste the best,great job
Anne Boley  
Submitted on: 12/24/07
The only chili I'll make. Brown ground meat. Stick everything in a crockpot and come home to a fabulous dinner!!!
Submitted on: 12/04/07
This was awesome!!!!! I have made it twice...the first time was a bit salty and spicy. The second go around, I omitted the salt and put in less chili peppers. Hands down the best chili I have ever had!!! I got a lot of compliments on it...and will make it over and over and over again!
Submitted on: 11/27/07
OMG...this is killer good stuff. The only change I made was that I used a 29 oz. can of diced tomatoes instead of the 3 medim chopped fresh ones....This is a new favorite around here. Thanks!
Richard Rybka  
Submitted on: 11/11/07
My wife does not like HOT! or spicey chile so we eliminated the diced green chile. We also cut the chile powder, cumin and pepper by half and felt that this batch was much more neutral for others to flavor up to their liking. Also thought it was more like the chile you get now at Wendy's. An excellant recipe to tinker with. We also tried it with a can of baked beans! excellant TOO!!!!
Submitted on: 10/25/07
The best chili in the world! Our family's favorite!!
Helen Williamson  
Submitted on: 10/19/07
Needless to say this is the best chili I have ever eaten. Each time I go to Wendy's I always order a dish; top with cheese and green onions. Thanks for this recipe
Submitted on: 10/08/07
My boyfriend asked me to make chili from scratch which I have never done before now and It turned out great!!!! Though, next time, I think I will add a little less salt because it was a bit much for me...I didn't realize how much it would make, so I am freezing the rest. Easy recipe with GREAT results!!! THANK YOU!
Submitted on: 10/01/07
I made this for my "very" finicky nieces--they loved it and wanted the recipe. Tastes great! I also used canned peppers.
Lauren Kline  
Submitted on: 09/27/07
Omg.. this is sooo goood! My mom makes it all the time and we all love it! Espeically on those cold days! It is so delicious! I have her make all the time soo good!
Submitted on: 09/22/07
WOW!! 13 years ago my Father and I made a chili from a recipe I got off the net. It was AWFUL! Up until now I used packaged seasoning. Never Again. I just finished my first batch and can't wait to serve it during football tomorrow. My father would have loved this recipe not only for the flavor but also the vegetable content. Incredible recipe.
Submitted on: 09/11/07
Everyone loves this recipe! When I make it, they think I bought it.
Submitted on: 09/11/07
I do not know what Wendy's chili tastes like but this recipe was excellent, better than the one I make usually with the help of a commercial package that includes herbs and spices. I used a little less meat and salt, added a bit of dry oregano and kept the other ingredients as in the recipe. Will surely make it again.
Submitted on: 06/27/07
Very good recipe, tastes better then Wendys because of the fresh beef, Wendys uses the old leftover and burnt burgers.
Submitted on: 06/25/07
The best chili I have ever had, easy to make-can serve it with rice or make a taco salad...best recipe I have.
Submitted on: 01/30/07
This is the best chili by far. I made this for our chili cookoff at work and I think 20 people asked me for the recipe. I put it all in a crockpot before I go to bed and it is ready when I wake up....out the door I go with it to work.
Submitted on: 01/15/07
Delicious...tastes better when you make it at home! I also used canned chilies and tomatoes (drained most of the liquid).
Submitted on: 01/14/07
I use this for a quick morning to throw in the crock pot and it is ready for me at the end of the day. I recommend this for all working people.
Submitted on: 01/10/07
This is AWESOME!! I pull this out every winter and make it over and over! I could easily just eat this through winter. Thanks so much!!
Submitted on: 12/12/06
This is by far THE best chili out there. I have made several times, and I always get requests to make more! Keep up the GREAT work. This is the best chili YUMMY!!!
Submitted on: 11/30/06
This recipe really does taste like Wendy's chili; which I've always found to be the best tasting chili.It's great, I would reccommend it to all!
Submitted on: 10/28/06
I used this recipe in my Family and Consumer Science class with 12th graders. We didn't have ANY leftovers so I'll use it next year!
Submitted on: 08/07/06
I've tried a lot of recipes for chili but this is the very best. Thanks, it is so goooood!
Submitted on: 07/31/06
My family LOVED this chili and it was super easy to make. We let it cook on low in the crock pot all day and the taste was amazing. My husband added a packet of the Wendy's spicy chili sauce (to hi) for zing and said it was even better than the real stuff. We substituted canned tomatoes and chilis instead of fresh. YUMMY!!!
Submitted on: 06/15/06
This is a great recipe. I cut the amount of pepper in half and chilli powder. Its not so spicy. But it is real good.
Submitted on: 06/03/06
This Chili is always a hit at party's or potlucks. I pretty much follow the recipe except that I use canned green chili's instead of fresh. I'm always being asked for the recipe and there are never leftovers.
Submitted on: 05/22/06
This chili is awesome!! I made it for the first time last night and everyone loved it!! It is definitely a keeper!! Super easy to make as well.
Submitted on: 04/26/06
This recipe is killer!! I work with ex-Wendy's managers and they LOVED it!! This is the only chili my 6yr old will eat. I used canned choppped green chilis for the fresh--ole`.
Submitted on: 04/05/06
By far the best chili recipe I've ever made. I've made it exactly as printed but I've also learned to use substitute ingredients for fresh. If there's a difference in taste, we sure can't tell it. Here's my substitutions..... 1 4.5 oz can Old El Paso chopped chilies (in place of 2 fresh chilies) 1 14.5 oz can (drained) Hunts Petite Diced Tomatoes (in place of fresh tomatoes) I've never found 29 oz cans of beans either so I use 2 16 oz cans in place of 1 29 oz can. This recipe is also excellent using deer burger.
Jess Fielder  
Submitted on: 03/26/06
I absolutely love this recipe. It tastes exactly like Wendy's chili. Next time put some on top of salad greens with some tortilla chips and you have a Wendy's Taco Salad. Also, try it on hot dogs for awesome chili dogs. Thanks again for the recipe.
Submitted on: 03/18/06
This clone is the ultimate! My husband LOVES chili, especially Wenday's but told me this recipe was MUCH tastier! Increased chili powder to 5 Tbs. Used 1/2 C. diced celery and only 1 tsp. salt.....EXCELLENT, even 2 months later out of the freezer!
Submitted on: 02/14/06
LOVE this recipe! Make it often and haven't found a recipe that tastes better. In my opinion it's even better the next day since the flavors have had more time to blend. It's also thicker the next day which is how I like it.
Submitted on: 02/07/06
This chili is awesome! I thought it was a lot better than Wendy's chili. I used extra lean ground beef and kept everything else the same. I am adding this one to my recipe box. Thanks!
Submitted on: 01/31/06
I tried the recipe and it turned out very good. My friend and his wife said it was like the original. Thank You!
Submitted on: 01/21/06
Fanatastic in the crock pot!!! Bonus was... My husband, who's the main chef in our kitchen and usually adds garlic to everything, loved it just the way it was... I especially liked that I could use what I have instead of going to the grocery store just b/c the recipe won't taste the same or as tasty w/o it. Keep up the great work Todd!!!
Submitted on: 01/08/06
It was very good, I made the spicier version. I did eliminate one can of water and added NO salt. It was very good.
Submitted on: 01/07/06
Great chili, coming from someone who loves Wendy's chili! I put only one can of kidney beans and more onion, celery, and pepper. I also used canned tomatoes and only 1 cup of water.
Bill Goble  
Submitted on: 01/07/06
My most requested dish, everyone loves it. Like I do with everything, I add a touch of garlic and a cup of red wine in place of some of the water.
Submitted on: 12/30/05
This chili is very good; however, the next time I will use less salt.
Submitted on: 12/07/05
Pretty close, as the other manager had commented, missing a few things though. Especially the fact that this one is higher in fat. The beef is frozen, then boiled to remove excess grease and fat in Wendy's chili. Just a lower fat tidbit for everyone out there!!!
Submitted on: 11/30/05
Not the best but pretty close to our recipe at Wendys.
Las Vegas Jay  
Submitted on: 11/28/05
I have been using this chili recipe for years when your first book came out. I took second place in a chili cook off with this recipe. Great job Todd keep up the good work.
Submitted on: 11/08/05
I am the worst cook ever, and this was perfect and exactly like Wendys chili. Great recipe! Works well in the crockpot too.
Submitted on: 11/08/05
I have been making this chili since the website came out..I do it with 1/2 of the ingredients. I put it in the crock pot with no water, leave it there for 2-3 hrs in slow and it is really delicious!!
Submitted on: 11/06/05
Thanks for the great recipe! Along with everyone else that commented on the chili it is GREAT!! I to love Wendy's chili however for the past 2 years have cut out meat except turkey and fish. So instead of beef I use ground turkey. (not ground turkey breast, not enough fat for flavor.) My husband who swore he would NEVER eat ground turkey didn't even know the difference! My kids didn't either. I always sub. ground turkey for all our meals that call for "ground beef". Thanks for the great recipe!!!!
Diana Story  
Submitted on: 11/01/05
This is the real thing. I've made it several times and it is just delicious. It freezes well also. I puree some of the beans to make it thicker.
Submitted on: 10/24/05
This is a great recipe. I have been making it for a couple of years now. My family (hubby and two boys ages 6 and 3) love this chili. I make it in large batched and freeze it. I have a foodsaver and we enjoy chili year round off one pot. My dad who has always been a huge Wendy's Chili coneseuor couldn't tell the difference between my chili and the Wendy's original.
Submitted on: 10/24/05
Best chili ever!!! My husband and I do a lot of RVing and this is a great campground dish, plus it freezes well also. Everyone raves about my chili now and I even won first prize in a chili contest at a local campground.
Submitted on: 10/19/05
The best Chili, hands down! Everyone including my "it's too spicy" British husband loves it.
Gamecock Mule  
Submitted on: 10/11/05
This is great!!! May be a touch better than Wendy's.
Submitted on: 10/07/05
I really enjoyed making this recipe. Course I did put it in a crock pot instead of on the stove. One thing though, like most recipes, it tasted better the next day!
Hungry in New Hampshire  
Submitted on: 09/30/05
I can't stop eating this chili! This is better than Wendy's hands down. I used what I had on hand for beans. (3 15.5 ounce cans - Pinto, Red & Pink). I also added 1 heaping tbls of sugar and 93% lean hamburger. I used 1 small to medium Pablano chili pepper finely diced. I think Wendy's uses canned tomatoes because there are no tomato peels in their chili. The next time I make this, I will try canned tomatoes, add an extra stalk of celery and only simmer for 1 & 1/2 hours so that the celery and beans are not so soft. I also used Mexican chili powder. This is the best chili ever!!!!
Submitted on: 09/29/05
Have been making this since the first book came out! Everyone loves it... Top with Cheese/onions/and a dollop of sour cream..heaven!
Submitted on: 09/28/05
I was never able to make a chili recipe EVER! I found this in my book and I will NEVER make any other chili EVER again. My family Loves it. It makes a huge batch so when I make this I take some leftovers to my co workers. They love it also
Submitted on: 09/26/05
I can't sew, I can't clean well, I can't cook. But I could make this chili. It does taste like Wendy's Chili Recipe and it's great. The recipe makes enough for an army but that's okay because it freezes well. I do admit to cutting the hamburger in half and I threw it in the crock pot frozen because I forgot to let it thaw. One pound of frozen ground beef works quite well instead of 2 pounds of cooked ground beef. Don't taste test before it has cooked in a crock pot for at least an hour, you'll be disappointed and trying to figure out how to do damage control. After it cooks the spices work well and it tastes really good. I actually cooked something that tastes good! YeeHaw! My friends and family are still in shock!
Dave Thomas  
Submitted on: 09/10/05
This is a lot better than Wendy's chili. I worked at one for a long time... Wendy's motto is: our burgers are square because we dont cut corners. YET... they make their chili with broken up burgers that have expired.
Submitted on: 09/10/05
Absolute best chili I have ever had, I make it with the KFC buttermilk buiscut recipe and It is a fantastic meal! Yummy!
Jody P  
Submitted on: 09/10/05
We love this recipe, I like it more during football season! Easy to make, freeze the left overs, and then bring it out for the next Cowboys game!!!!!
Submitted on: 09/08/05
Great chili recipe - very easy to make, especially for people who don't particularly like to cook (like me!)
Submitted on: 09/03/05
I have used this recipe since you put in the top secret recipe box. I think it is the best Chili we have ever had. I still buy it at Wendy's but love to keep a big batch in the freezer. Thanks.
Doris Reiss  
Submitted on: 09/03/05
This is by far the best chili I have ever tasted. I always get compliments on it. I add cheese and onions to the top of each serving.
Submitted on: 08/30/05
Left over chili? Try dipping corn tortillas in hot olive oil, drain off all fat,place 1-1/2 Tbs. chili, roll and top will more chili and cheese. GREAT !
Submitted on: 08/12/05
my son loves this chili ~ I love it because its all in one pot!!!
Lori the Great  
Submitted on: 08/09/05
OMG! I am in love with Wendy's Chili and now since this clone is here, never have to spend $1.00 for a small container of it again! The recipe rocks! Thanks Todd!!!
Submitted on: 08/03/05
I make this every July for my birthday party. Leftovers are frozen until Halloween. I use canned tomatoes and add black beans in addition to pintos and kidneys.
Submitted on: 08/02/05
My family loves this chili. We make it in HUGE batches and freeze it. It works wonderful for any dish recipe calling for chili and great on it's own.
Submitted on: 07/30/05
Best Chili ever! Family can't get enough! I like to add a little sugar as well.
Submitted on: 07/29/05
sub for 3 tomatoes would be nice,because store bought tomatoes have no flavor
Submitted on: 07/23/05
This is awesome and I use extremely lean ground beef so no guilt! I have been looking for a good recipe for years and this one is a keeper.
Submitted on: 07/21/05
My husband and I make special trips to Wendy's just for their chili. It is the best there is. I personally add a bit of sugar to mine. Thanks for the recipe.
San Diego Fan  
Submitted on: 07/21/05
I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!!! This one is great!
Submitted on: 07/20/05
I've tried lots of other chili recipes but this one is the best. My husband says this is the best chili he has ever tasted. When I make it I use ground turkey and only use one 15 oz. can of chili beans.
Submitted on: 07/20/05
very tasty chili