We love chili, but making it can be a labor of love. Find out if the best canned chili is a good substitute for your go-to homemade recipe.
There’s no doubt about it: A good chili is one of our favorite comfort foods. However, we know that many comfort foods—like biscuits, cakes and marinara sauce—all take a bit of extra time to make. That’s why we often turn to store-bought versions to help us on busy weeknights.
At Taste of Home, we’ve already found our favorite versions of those comfort classics I mentioned (you can check them all out here), but we were curious about chili. Could we find a canned version that would satisfy us when time is tight?
We hit up our local grocery store and bought every chili we could find. Here’s what we found:
- Amy’s Organic
- Campbell’s Chunky
- Chilli Man
- Skyline Chili
- Wolf Brand
Let’s see how they ranked in our blind taste test.
Taste of Home
Honorable Mention: Amy’s Organic Medium Chili
If you like a bean-forward chili, you might want to grab Amy’s Organic. This chili was packed with beans which was a pro for many testers (others preferred fewer beans). Testers enjoyed the spices and seasonings in this chili, though they thought it was on the mild side.
$2.99 for a 14.7-ounce can; available at grocers nationwide.
Taste of Home
Runner-Up: Chilli Man Chili with Beans
With its muddy texture, Chilli Man didn’t gain any points when it came to appearance—some testers didn’t much care for its looks—but it got good scores for flavor. This chili was full of savory flavor and spices. Folks really enjoyed the extra dose of cumin this brand packed. This spice gave the chili a nice smoky flavor that kept testers going back for more. The chili itself was a bit on the thin side, though, so you may want to bulk it up with extra beef or beans if you have them on hand.
$1.59 for a 15-ounce can; available at grocers nationwide.
Taste of Home
Best in Show: Wolf Brand Chili with Beans
Our favorite chili in this test came from Wolf Brand. It gave us the right balance of savory beef and pork flavors, plus beans and spice. Folks enjoyed the smoky chili taste along with a hint of garlic (garlic lovers, try out these recipes). Wolf Brand felt substantial with a good consistency—something that was difficult to find in the other competitors. This brand would be our go-to on a camping trip or to even use to make this quick chili dip or chili dogs.
$1.79 for a 15-ounce can; available at select grocers nationwide.
Taste of Home
The Bottom Line
After testing eight brands of chili and finding a promising option in Wolf Brand, testers agreed: When you can make it, homemade chili is best hands down. If you’re in need of a quick lunch at work or something to top your chili dogs, our favorite brands here would work just fine. However, if you’re craving chili quick, we’d recommend these quick chili recipes instead—many of which can be made in about a half hour.
Try Our Top 10 Chilis
Folks will enjoy a change from traditional chili when they dip their spoons into this flavorful blend of tender chicken, white beans and just enough zip. This is our favorite white chicken chili recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
This hearty chili can cook for up to 10 hours on low in the slow cooker. It’s so good to come home to its wonderful aroma after a long day away. —Sue Call, Beech Grove, Indiana
I got the best white chicken chili recipe from my sister-in-law, who made a big batch and served a crowd one night. It was a hit. It’s easy and quick, which is helpful since I’m a college student. In all my years of 4-H cooking, I’ve never had another dish get so many compliments. Maybe it’s the cream cheese! —Laura Brewer, Lafayette, Indiana
Corn and black beans give this satisfying chili Mexican flair the whole family will love. Adjust the cayenne if you have small children or are looking for a little less zip. —Stephanie Rabbitt-Schappacher, West Chester, Ohio
The prep work for this chili is easy thanks to several pantry staples. It’s loaded with shredded chicken and beans. The spicy heat can be tamed a bit by cool sour cream. —Fred Lockwood, Plano, Texas
This flavorful, meaty chili is my favorite…and it’s so easy to prepare in the slow cooker. It’s a great way to serve a crowd without last-minute preparation. I got the idea from my mother, who used her slow cooker often for soups and stews. —Stacy Law, Cornish, Utah
Because it looks different than traditional chili, my family was a little hesitant to try this dish at first. But thanks to full, hearty flavor, it’s become a real favorite around our house. I like to serve it with warm corn bread. —Jeanette Urbom, Louisburg, Kansas
As one of the cooks at the firehouse, I used to prepare meals for 10 men. This chili recipe was among their favorites. —Richard Clements, San Dimas, California
This recipe for turkey chili is a nice change of pace from traditional beef dishes, offering a whole different set of flavors to enjoy. I like to serve cheddar cheese bread on the side. You can also serve the chili over rice. —Traci K Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania
Tender pork adds extra heartiness to this slow-cooked chili. You can use pork tenderloin, boneless pork roast or boneless pork chops for the pork called for in the recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen