Wendy's Chili, Our Way


Wendy's Chili, Our Way

Wendys Chili Our Way

Chili is an easy dish to make, yet it tastes like it took all day to make it. This recipe does take 2 to 3 hours to cook, but it's a very easy process. As restaurant copycat recipes go, this version of Wendy's Chili, Our Way is bang-on! We swear, if you put it into one of those paper cups like they serve it in at Wendy's, you'd be hard-pressed to tell this was simply a restaurant copycat recipe. This copycat Wendy's chili recipe is a terrific recipe for fall. It's full of beans, tomatoes, and ground beef. The whole pot was gone within minutes when we made it in our office - it's that good. The chili had a bit of kick to it but not too much, so it pleased everyone's palate. If you can't make it to Wendy's, know that you can make a version in your own kitchen that's just as good. Serve it up to your fellow football fans while watching the game or to your family for a cozy weeknight meal.


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Cooking Time3 hr


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 29-ounce can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 29-ounce can pinto beans with liquid
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 green chiles, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups water


  1. Brown the ground beef and drain the fat.
  2. In a large pot, combine the ground beef with the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  3. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.

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I didn't like the watery look of the photo above so we halved the liquid and it was really good. We don't have Wendy's in South Africa so don't know whether it's a good copycat or not but it sure is a good chili. Just reduce the liquid!

Hmmm, Well...I wouldn't say I'm much of an expert on Wendy's chili but I do remember back in the day when I practically lived on it and it being a lot thicker and so much more tomatoey...if that's a word. LoL, This recipe does sound yummy though and I might feel inclined to add black beans to it as well.

This is a really yummy chili recipe. I wouldn't say that it is an exact Wendy's copy cat though. Like the commenter below, I also found that it was a bit watery. For my own personal taste if I made it again, I think that I would bulk it up a bit with some more beans or some chickpeas. I think that I would also really like to add in a bit of garlic with the onions to pump up the flavour. This chili keeps well in the fridge and tastes really good reheated the next day. My family liked it with some skillet cornbread. Yummy!

This is a good version of Wendy's chili, but it's a bit more watery than the chili I've usually gotten at Wendy's. I also use just red kidney beans when I make chili, so the inclusion of pinto beans is different than what I'm used to. It's a decent recipe, but it's not the best or most faithful copycat Wendy's chili recipe I've come across.

It's so fun to try all the different variations of copy Wendy's chili. I love to try copy restaurant recipes, even if I don't know what the restaurant version tastes like. You know you can make these recipes at a much less cost than if you ordered out, so it's fun to try.

I'm not sure if it's exactly like Wendy's chili, but it's a pretty decent chili nevertheless. I prefer my chili with a little more spice.

Yum! It tasted just like the chili from Wendy's. I prefer a lot more veggies in mine though.

I'm not usually a huge chili fan, but this was delicious! Not too spicy at all, and just the right amount of meat. Perfect for a cool day!

I loved this chili recipe! It's the perfect way to warm up on a cool day. All of the ingredients blended together so nicely for a great chili taste. I usually don't like beans - but I loved them in this recipe!

I really enjoyed the flavor of this chili. It wasn't too hot but it did have a bit of a kick to it. It was the perfect lunch for a slightly chilly day in the office!

Very very similar to the classic Wendy's recipe! Perhaps not as sweet, but very comparable. YUM!

This was a really tasty classic chili recipe - the only thing I would change would be adding a bit of hot sauce, but that's only because I like my chili spicy!


You can use California green chilies if you prefer a milder taste or hatch green chilies for something spicier.

was a manager at wendys made chili first thing every am yes they use the ham meat it's good meat but this in not the recipe

Can you give any tips on how to make this recipe more like Wendy's? I love their chili and really want to try to make it at home. Thanks!

Here is what Wendy's says there ingredients are: Chili: Water, Chili Base (tomatoes, salt, citric acid, calcium chloride), Ground Beef, Vegetable Mix (onions, celery, green peppers), Chili Beans (beans, water, sugar, corn syrup, salt, natural flavorings, onion powder, calcium chloride), Kidney Beans (kidney beans, water, sugar, corn syrup, salt, natural flavorings, onion powder, calcium chloride, disodium EDTA [preservative]), Chili Seasoning (sugar, salt, modified corn starch, chili pepper, onion powder, spices, dextrose, garlic powder, citric acid, disodium inosinate & guanylate, xanthan gum, autolyzed yeast extract, soybean oil, caramel color, extractives of paprika, malic acid, red 40, natural and artificial flavor, silicon dioxide [anticaking agent]).

JMHO. Wendy's "chili" is nasty. I know it has millions of fans, but I don't get it.

Wow! Douched painter... get some help w/the Anger issue !

I've been making this exact same recipe for years and my family & friends request it often. Sometimes I'll cook it in the crock pot on low for 2-3 hours and put sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese and sliced green onions on top when serving. I don't know if it's Wendy's recipe but I do know it's delicious!

I've heard that they actually use the hamburger meat that has been sitting there, unused or brunt. Maybe that's the secret to make it taste exactly like it?

wow, rude much? @ touchedpainter. Every wendy's may not do this, but A LOT do. And that's coming from actually workers too. You can even google it, it's common knowledge among some. The meat isn't tainted (at least I hope not) just the ones that were brunt, are crumbled in put into the chili. Again, not every wendy's may do this.

@Touchedpainter: I too worked at Wendy's and YES, we DID use the meat that wasn't served in burgers, and it wasn't burnt or tainted, just dried out. That's why we had to soak it in water for a bit before making the Chili...remember??

Yup, that's what we did up in Illinois 20yrs ago when I worked at Wendy's part time. But the meat wasn't burnt, it was patties that were made during a rush that weren't sold, so they were crumbled into the chili. The chili is now one of the only things my daughter can have at a fast food restaurant with her food allergies too!

@chikchat - Thank you for your message. All of our "copycat" recipes are meant to be similar versions to the restaurant recipes. This chili is an interpretation of the dish served at Wendy's. We would love to have your recipe, if you're willing to share. You can contact us here: http://www.recipelion.com/index.php/hct/contact_us_page. -Editors of RecipeLion

This is probably a very good chili recipe but i worked at Wendy's for a while & this is "not" the way they made it!

Hello angelike61 and thanks for the comments! I'm glad all of you are enjoying the recipe and thanks to the many suggestions.

I have made this recipe twice, and both times even the kids cleaned their bowls. I do have to use less chilies than the recipe calls for. Its fine for me, but cant have it too spicy for the kids.

oh wow, i thought they were just green bell peppers not chilies.

Chili to die for....but I use 2 rolls of hot sausage and skip the beans to save on gas........I won best in show

I made this recipe and was so amazed it really did taste like Wendy's I do however think the next time I make it, and I sure will, I will use just a little less chili powder since I to used the whole little can of green chili's. It was great.

I buy green chilies in the Mexican food aisle, I would use the whole can, they are small. The pinto beans should be with all the other beans. If not you could exchange pinto's for black beans... if you are in area where pinto's are not available, guess you could use great northern. You just can't call it Wendy's chili.

I could not find any green chillies for this recipe-the person who works at Zehrs told me you could only get green chillies in the summer, also I could not find pinto beans -we looked everywhere for both. Are there any substitutions for both green chillies and pinto beans???? Help!!!!!! I want to make this chili for Super Bowl Sunday!!!!


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