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Homemade Wendy’s Copycat Chili

This Homemade Wendy’s Copycat Chili tastes just as good, if not better, than the restaurant version! This is an easy chili recipe-made with fresh ingredients such as-lean ground beef or turkey, bell pepper, onions, diced celery, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, and spices!

Makes 12 (1 cup) servings

Did you know?

Dave Thomas, Wendy’s late founder, started serving this chili in 1969, the year the first Wendy’s opened its doors.

Wendy’s chili is made using their leftover cooked hamburger patties. That’s right. The chunks of hamburger patties is the secret ingredient! If you feel the urge to make the lean ground beef into patties before breaking up the beef into bite-size crumbles for this copycat chili recipe-then go for it!  

This homemade copycat chili recipe costs a fraction of the price and provides you with plenty of leftovers!  And if we are being honest-this chili tastes even better as leftovers-there’s just something about all the flavors that come together overnight-that makes it so dang good!

What ingredients do I need to make this Homemade Wendy’s Copycat Chili?

  • 96% lean ground beef or 93%-99% lean ground turkey 
  • Pinto Beans-canned, not drained
  • Light red kidney beans -canned, not drained
  • Celery- diced
  • Bell pepper- diced
  • Onion-diced
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tomato sauce 
  • Diced tomatoes-canned, not drained
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Kosher salt 
  • Back pepper
  • Water 

How do I make this Homemade Wendy’s Copycat Chili?

This chili can be made on in the Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, or on the Stove.

Here’s the step by step directions for the stove top:

Spray a large stockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the lean ground beef or turkey, over medium high heat until the beef or turkey is no longer pink. 

Drain off any excess grease and return to the pot.

Add the onions, celery and green pepper, sauté until veggies are a bit tender. 

Then add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat and let it simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

Serve warm.

Garnish with fat free sour cream, non fat Greek yogurt, scallions, and cheese, if desired!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 lbs 96% lean ground beef or 93-99% lean ground turkey- I like to use 96% lean ground beef  
  • 2 ( 16 oz.) cans pinto beans-not drained
  • 2 ( 16 oz.) cans light red kidney beans -not drained
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ( 15 oz.) cans tomato sauce 
  • 2 ( 14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup water 

Directions:

Stove Top:

  1. Spray a large stockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the lean ground beef or turkey, over medium high heat until the beef or turkey is no longer pink. 
  2. Drain off any excess grease and return to the pot.
  3. Add the onions, celery and green pepper, sauté until veggies are a bit tender. 
  4. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. 
  5. Reduce heat and let it simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.
  7. Garnish with your favorite toppings such as: scallions, fat free sour cream, non fat Greek yogurt, and cheese, for additional points.

Slow Cooker:

  1. Brown meat and then once meat is cooked place the browned beef into a 8-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add all ingredients. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
  3. Serve warm.
  4. Garnish with your favorite toppings such as: scallions, fat free sour cream, non fat Greek yogurt, and cheese, for additional points.

Instant Pot:

  1. You can turn on the sauté option and brown the lean ground beef or turkey, then drain any excess grease. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  2. Cover the instant pot and turn knob to sealing and set to the device to manual for 30 minutes.
  3. Do a quick release to release the pressure from the Instant Pot after the cook time.
  4. Serve warm.
  5. Garnish with your favorite toppings such as: scallions, fat free sour cream, non fat Greek yogurt, and cheese, for additional points.

Notes:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Not a fan of green peppers?  Then omit the green peppers.
  • Want more spice? Feel free to add diced deseeded jalapeños -which will give this chili a bit of kick! 

Makes 12 ( 1 cup) servings 

0-2 Points® per serving*

*the point value may vary depending on if you make it with lean ground beef vs. lean ground turkey

How do I track this recipe in my WW app? 

Click the link below to go to the recipe builder. You’ll first need to sign into your WW account and then the recipe builder will upload. Be sure to edit the recipe with any ingredients that you use that are different. The recipe builder is the most accurate way to create, obtain, and track the Points®

The recipe builder link only works for WW members located in the United States. If you are located outside of the United States, you’ll need to access the WW app manually to create the recipe in the recipe builder. 

Yield: 12

Homemade Wendy’s Copycat Chili

Homemade Wendy’s Copycat Chili

This Homemade Wendy’s Copycat Chili tastes just as good, if not better, than the restaurant version! This is an easy chili recipe-made with fresh ingredients such as-lean ground beef or turkey, bell pepper, onions, diced celery, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, and spices!

Author: thepounddropper.com

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. 96% lean ground beef or 93-99% lean ground turkey- I like to use 96% lean ground beef  
  • 2 ( 16 oz.) cans pinto beans-not drained
  • 2 ( 16 oz.) cans light red kidney beans -not drained
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ( 15 oz.) cans tomato sauce 
  • 2 ( 14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

    Stove Top:

    1. Spray a large stockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the lean ground beef or turkey, over medium high heat, until the meat is no longer pink.
    2. Drain off any excess grease and return to the pot.
    3. Add the onions, celery and green pepper, sauté until veggies are a bit tender.
    4. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
    5. Reduce heat and let it simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
    6. Serve warm.Garnish with your favorite toppings such as: scallions, fat free sour cream, non fat Greek yogurt, and cheese, for additional points.

    Slow Cooker:

    1. Brown meat and drain off any excess grease. Once meat is cooked place the browned beef into a 6-8-quart slow cooker.
    2. Add all ingredients. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
    3. Serve warm.Garnish with your favorite toppings such as: scallions, fat free sour cream, non fat Greek yogurt, and cheese, for additional points.

    Instant Pot:

    1. Turn on the sauté option and brown the lean ground beef or turkey, drain off any excess grease.
    2. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
    3. Cover the instant pot and turn knob to sealing and set to the device to manual for 30 minutes.
    4. Do a quick release to release the pressure from the Instant Pot after the cook time.
    5. Serve warm. Garnish with your favorite toppings such as: scallions, fat free sour cream, non fat Greek yogurt, and cheese, for additional points.

    Makes 12 ( 1 cup) servings

    0-2 Points® per serving*

    *points may vary depending on if you make it with lean ground beef vs. lean ground turkey

Notes

  • Smartpoints: GREEN: 5 smartpoints per serving BLUE/PURPLE: 2 smartpoints per serving of using 96% ground beef or 0 smartpoints per serving if using 99% ground turkey.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Not a fan of green peppers?  Then omit the green peppers.
  • Want more spice? Feel free to add diced deseeded jalapeños -which will give this chili a bit of kick! 
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1220mgCarbohydrates: 39gNet Carbohydrates: 26gFiber: 13gSugar: 6gProtein: 29g

    Stacy

    Tuesday 15th of November 2022

    Hi Linds, I am a huge fan of your recipes! Now that ww has changed the plan, should we just use what you’ve listed for the blue plan to track our points?

    Thank you!

    Lindsay Kehl

    Tuesday 15th of November 2022

    Hi Stacy,

    Thanks for your comment! I am in the process of updating the points on each recipe. However, the RED link at the bottom of each recipe will be the most accurate way to obtain, track, and save the recipe in the ww app. This recipe has already been updated and is accurate for the new plan.

    Right below where you see the point value-you can click on the red button that says "Click for WW points" and that will take you to the recipe in the WW app!

    Hope that make sense! Have a wonderful day!

    Linds

    lisa

    Friday 13th of May 2022

    Thanks Linds, This is a wonderful recipe. I just made half a batch in my crockpot( 4 hours on high) We love Wendy's chili BUT so expensive. Also lower in WW points This will definitely made frequently in my home. It is a recipe that you want to share with friends. Crockpot cooking is also great in the summer because it doesn't heat up the whole kitchen.

    If you have a chance, an apx cup measurement on onions would be great because like zucchini so variable in size.

    Stay well.

    Linda

    Sunday 27th of March 2022

    I just made the copy cat chili. It was wonderful. I am a big fan of Wendy’s chili because it isn’t too spicy. Your is just right too. Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed it for lunch today.

    Ellie

    Tuesday 15th of March 2022

    If I was to half the recipe, how should I adjust the instant pot or crock pot time?

    Luanne

    Sunday 6th of March 2022

    My Husband really likes Wendy’s chili but not the green peppers so I thought I’d try this recipe. It was so good and my husband asked me to make it this way all the time. He loved it

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