Wendy’s copycat chili is so filling and comforting. Best of all it can easily be made in your crockpot or slow cooker!
My mom is actually the one who first got me onto ordering a cup of chili from Wendy’s. My mom is on a strict gluten free diet and it is one thing that she can order from there without worries because Wendy’s chili is gluten free.
It is said that the chili at Wendy’s is made from hamburger patties but I just used regular ground beef (85/15) and I think it worked out great. It usually comes with a few saltine crackers. You can also get it topped with cheese and onions.
About Wendy’s chili
When we lived in Houston, I lived right by a Wendy’s. When my son was a baby, he had colic and didn’t sleep much. I would try to drive him around to get him to nap. My poor little guy. It was rough for him and rough for me. I couldn’t get much done because he needed to be held or bounced pretty much all the time. Needless to say, I didn’t get much cooking done in those days.
I would often run by the Wendy’s by our old house and grab a large chili (with onions and cheese, it’s a must) and a large fry. It was my only regular hot meal for awhile unless we ordered a family meal from Boston Market. Since I’ve eaten my fair share of Wendy’s chili, I think this copycat recipe is pretty spot on.
What size crockpot or slow cooker is needed for this recipe?
For this recipe you will want to use a six quart or larger crockpot.
What ingredients do I need to make this copycat chili recipe?
For this recipe, you will need:
- Ground beef: I used 85/15 and drained off the fat.
- Celery and white onion: The base of our chili.
- Canned stewed tomatoes: You’ll want to run these through a food processor before adding them to the mix.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Such as Rotel.
- Tomato paste: You’ll need just two tablespoons.
- Water: To prevent the chili from drying out since it will be in your crockpot.
- Chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder: To season our chili with.
- Kidney beans and pinto beans: To make the chili hearty.
- White vinegar: This will help mellow the chili out.
- Salt and pepper: I always recommend salt and pepper to taste since brands of canned beans can have varying levels of salt.
What toppings go on Wendy’s chili?
The original Wendy’s chili is topped with cheese and onions (they usually ask when you’re ordering) and served with saltine crackers. You could also do corn chips, corn bread, oyster crackers, sour cream, freshly sliced avocado, or whatever else you like with your chili. I know some people really enjoy a good cinnamon roll with a bowl of chili, I haven’t tried it yet but it does sound good.
Tips for making this recipe:
- Brown your ground beef before putting it in your crockpot. If you don’t brown it before, the meat will be strange and lumpy.
- Drain your beans and rinse them.
- Be sure to run the stewed tomatoes through a food processor or cut them with a knife before adding them to the chili.
- Let this chili simmer on low for 6 to 8 hours for the best results.
Copycat Wendy’s Chili in the Crockpot
- Crockpot or slow cooker (6 quart or larger)
- food processor
- 1 lb ground beef I used 85/15
- 1 stalk celery stems and end removed
- 1 large white onion
- 1 can stewed tomatoes 14.5 ounces
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel) 10 ounces
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup water
- 1 can kidney beans about 15 ounces
- 1 can pinto beans about 15 ounces
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- shredded cheese
- diced onion
- In a large skillet, brown and then drain the fat off of your ground beef. Set aside.
- Spray your crockpot with non-stick spray.
- Finely dice your white onion and celery.
- Run your stewed tomatoes through a food processor until they are no longer whole.
- Open your beans and rinse and drain them.
- Combine all of your ingredients in your crockpot and stir well.
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.