Copycat Wendys Chili Recipe

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When we think of fine cuisine, Wendy’s fast food might not be the first restaurant to come to mind. But when it comes to their chili, many people think they may have perfected the recipe.

Wendy’s idea to serve chili sets it apart from other fast food chains. While other restaurants were offering fries, Wendy’s chili made for an unusual option that made the chain a family favorite.

Those that eat at Wendy’s may be surprised to find out how healthy Wendy’s chili is. Each bowl contains 6 g of fiber, 17 g of protein and only 6 g of fat. The tomatoes it contains are rich in vitamin C and there are other vegetables in the chili like onion, celery and green pepper spices that can also provide optimal health benefits. The beans it in the chili are a great source of protein and fiber.

While there are some preservatives in Wendy’s chili, these are kept to a minimum.

Another surprising fact concerning Wendy’s chili is that the meat that is used in it is repurposed. Wendy’s always has a surplus of burgers that sit on the grill too long to serve to customers. Wendy’s places this meat in a refrigerator and then boils and chops it to put it into the chili.

This may sound odd to some but its actually a pretty smart way to avoid wasting food and money!

What we have here is a favorite recipe for Wendy’s chili that clones the dish served at the chain. Dave Thomas, Wendy’s founder, has been serving this chili since 1969, the year the first Wendy’s opened its doors. Over the years the recipe has changed a bit, but this version is an amazing copy of the of the Wendy’s chili that was served in the early 90’s.

Try topping this recipe with some chopped onion and cheddar cheese, as you can request in the restaurant for a delicious meal your family and guests are sure to love.

Wendy's Chili Recipe


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)
½ cup diced green chili (2 chilies)
¼ cup diced celery (1 stalk)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons 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, 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.

4. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.

5. For spicier chili, add ½ teaspoon more black pepper. For much spicier chili, add 1 teaspoon black pepper and a tablespoon cayenne pepper. For super hot spicy, add 5 or 6 sliced jalapeño peppers to the pot.