The Absolute Best Canned Chili, Ranked

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For a quick and easy meal that can satiate your hunger and warm your bones on a cold day, there's nothing quite as convenient as canned chili. Even compared to other canned food, canned chili stands out as being especially scrumptious. You could try to make your own chili but it's far from guaranteed that you'll be able to surpass the canned version.

Chili as we know it today rose to fame in South Texas in the 1800s with culinary influences from the Canary Islands and Mexico. Originally, it was known as chili con carne — or, in English, chili with meat. Nowadays, canned chili can be found with or without meat and can be spicy, sweet, or somewhere in between.

While locating canned chili at your local supermarket isn't a difficult task, it can be hard figuring out which brands are worthy of your hard-earned dollars. In this ranking, we've included all the top options. Pick any of the canned chili varieties listed below and you'll be thrilled with your meal.

12. Gardein Plant-Based Chili with Beans

If you have an unrelenting craving for a yummy bowl of vegan chili but you don't feel like spending time in the kitchen crafting your own, Gardein Plant-Based Chili with Beans is a canned chili that's perfect for satisfying your taste buds. Along with pinto beans and tomato puree, it contains plant-based meat that Gardein calls be'f crumbles. If you adore meatless alternatives like Beyond Burgers, you'll really enjoy everything this chili offers. Each spoonful is blessed with an authentic meaty flavor that's guaranteed to satiate any carnivore.

Looking at the ingredient label, you may be surprised that Gardein Plant-Based Chili with Beans has rolled oats in it. However, adding oatmeal to chili is a tried and true way to make chili heartier, lock in flavor, and enhance the texture. After trying this vegan chili, don't be shocked if you decide to add oats to every bowl of chili you eat going forward.

11. Campbell's Chunky Chili with Beans

By now, most people are well-aware that Campbell's produces an iconic chicken soup that both hits the spot and has become a dependable elixir for anyone feeling sick. But did you know that Campbell's also makes excellent canned chili? While Campbell's Chunky Chili with Beans might not be at the same level of fame as its chicken soup, the flavors are unquestionably delicious. If you're looking for something to fill you up, this is the stuff.

As the name implies, chunkiness is where this chili shines brightest. With a bowl of Campbell's Chunky Chili with Beans, you'll discover a vast amount of seasoned pork, juicy beef, red kidney beans, green peppers, and red peppers (via Campbell's). To spice things up and shift the party into overdrive, this chili also has a generous dash of garlic and paprika added to the mix. Eat a can of this chili and you'll have an ear-to-ear grin on your face and a tummy that feels full for the rest of the day.

10. Hormel Chili No Beans

You can grab a spoon and dig into a can of Hormel Chili No Beans and you won't regret that decision for an instant. You don't even need to heat it up to be impressed. That said, if you want to taste this chili at its best, use it as part of a recipe to make chili cheese hot dogs. For that purpose, no other brand of canned chili can compare. It can single-handedly transform a hot dog from a boring meal to one you'll be dreaming about for weeks to come.

The secret to Hormel Chili No Beans is that it's slow-simmered (via Hormel). That allows the flavors to become concentrated and results in a thicker chili that is bursting with goodness until the very last bite. It doesn't take much of it to vastly improve a hot dog or anything else you may decide to add it to.

9. Nalley Cheddar Cheese Chili with Beans

Nalley sells a wide array of canned chili including vegetarian, chunky, and spicy varieties. While it's all scrumptious enough for you to try them at some point in your life, the cream of the crop is Nalley Cheddar Cheese Chili with Beans. If you're someone who always adds cheese to your chili, this stuff allows you to skip that step. Along with the beans, meat, tomato paste, spices, and seasonings, you'll find morsels of cheddar cheese (via Nalley Foods). And not just a few shreds here and there; every mouthful will have an ample amount of cheese.

The only thing to keep in mind if you purchase this chili is that Nalley Cheddar Cheese Chili with Beans is best served piping hot. Heating it up allows the cheese to get gooey and it brings out all the chili's natural savoriness. If you don't want cheese in your chili, you can't go wrong with a can of Nalley Original Chili with Beans.

8. Dennison's Turkey Chili

When it comes to the type of meat you enjoy in your chili, don't limit yourself to typical selections like beef and pork. If you have any deer meat hiding in your freezer, even venison is a great choice for chili. In the world of canned chili, turkey is a relatively popular alternative and you shouldn't hesitate to try it. Not just a meat you should eat on Thanksgiving, turkey can play a starring role in chili along with health benefits like being a rich source of protein and selenium (via WebMD).

For the best canned turkey chili, Dennison's is the brand you should reach out and grab. While ground turkey may not have a lot of natural flavor, Dennison's Turkey Chili is supercharged with jalapeño peppers, dried onion, and pinto beans that will cause you to cherish every bite (via Dennison's Chili). It's spicy enough to keep you on your toes but not so spicy that you need to eat the chili with a glass of milk at the ready.

7. Trader Joe's Beef Chili with Beans

The next time you see a store brand of canned chili, don't dismiss it out of hand. That's because a store brand chili is delicious enough to crack this ranking of the best of the best. Trader Joe's Beef Chili with Beans features a taste so marvelous that you may never opt to pick a fancy name brand ever again. The standout characteristic of this Trader Joe's exclusive is the beefiness. If you desire big, bold, beautiful beef flavor, this is a canned chili you deserve to experience.

Despite all the beefy, hearty goodness, this choice is surprisingly healthy. The can says it is 99% fat-free, as there are only 3 grams of fat in each cup of the chili. Additionally, there are 18 grams of protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and a notable amount of vitamin A. Not only is this chili delicious, you can also enjoy it guilt-free.

6. Stagg Laredo Chili

For those courageous individuals who want to turn up the heat on their bowl of chili, Stagg Laredo Chili is the fiery concoction that you seek. Due to a combination of jalapeño peppers and green Anaheim peppers, this canned chili will light your mouth on fire within seconds (via Hormel). Even though eating it is undeniably painful, you won't hesitate to go back for a second spoonful. If smoke starts coming out of your ears, you still won't stop.

Beyond the spiciness, Stagg Laredo Chili also has the various layers of flavor that you'd expect from a top-tier Tex-Mex chili. Beef and pork team up to add a savory punch, while the beans help make it a hearty dish. If you want to customize this canned chili, toss in a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder. It may sound like a strange addition but it will give the chili a Mexican Mole-like flavor that you'll fall head over heels for.

5. Chilli Man Chili

Although Chilli Man Chili sounds like a whimsical name, what you'll find inside of the can is serious business. This chili was created by a man named Joe DeFrates, who launched Chilli Man Chili in 1953 and later won multiple worldwide chili cookoff championships in the 1970s. Utilizing a recipe that can be traced back decades, this stuff is amazing. It's available with beans, without beans, with lean beef, with less sodium, hot, and vegetarian (via Chilli Man). No matter which of the varieties you select, you'll be overjoyed.

If you're trying Chilli Man Chili for the first time, get the version without beans. That will allow you to truly revel in this chili's majestic flavor. What will keep you coming back for more is the mildly sweet aftertaste. The sweetness isn't enough to gross you out but it's perceptible enough for your sweet tooth to notice it. No other brand of canned chili has such a subtle yet delectable aftertaste.

4. Amy's Organic Chili with Vegetables

Most meatless canned chili is lacking in flavor, texture, and heartiness. The result is a listless, watery mess. However, none of those unfortunate issues are true about Amy's Organic Chili with Vegetables. This vegan chili is not only 100% organic, it's also free of gluten, dairy, and tree nuts (via Amy's). If you're looking for the healthiest chili that doesn't sacrifice anything when it comes to taste, end your search. You have found it.

To make up for the lack of meat, Amy's Organic Chili with Vegetables is jam packed with red beans, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, corn, carrots, and garlic. To add a medium amount of spiciness, jalapeño peppers also make an appearance. While you can warm it up in the microwave and it'll taste fine, it's best to heat the chili up on a stovetop to make sure that all the ingredients heat up simultaneously. The difference is noticeable enough that you'll agree that the extra effort is worth it.

3. Tony Packo's World Famous Chili

There's nothing bashful or halfhearted about Tony Packo's World Famous Chili. This Hungarian-style chili is so overflowing with spices that it will be a shock to your senses. While it's quite hot, the diversity of memorable flavors will be what sticks out the most. Even if you have a cowardly palate, you won't be able to help but love this chili. It's smart to take small bites at first while you adjust to the rush of flavors, but it won't be long before you'll be shoving large scoops of this stuff into your face.

If you want your chili cheese hot dog to be spicy, this is the chili to use. Hormel Chili No Beans has a lot of positive attributes but spiciness isn't one of them. Tony Packo's World Famous Chili, on the other hand, will kick things up a notch and make you rethink everything you thought you knew about chili dogs.

2. Skyline Original Chili

To say chili is an obsession in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an understatement. In fact, during the Cincinnati Bengals' recent run to the Super Bowl, Bengals fans celebrated their favorite football team's success by chugging chili. And not just any chili — canned Skyline Original Chili. Though you may think that someone willing to chug chili may have a screw loose, give this stuff a try and you too may become obsessed.

Compared to other types of chili, Cincinnati chili definitely has a style all its own. Looking at it, you'll notice that there are no beans in sight. Instead of spiciness, the first thing you'll taste when you put this chili in your mouth is a glorious sweetness. You'll then taste what seems to be a combination of cinnamon and chocolate flavoring, along with a hint of paprika, cloves, allspice, and oregano. If you're not quite ready to chug Skyline Original Chili straight out of the can, another option is to put it on your spaghetti. Don't knock it until you try.

1. Wolf Brand Angus Beef Chili

The history of the Wolf Brand Chili recipe dates back to Texas in the late 1800s. By the 1920s, it was being canned. It didn't take long for Wolf Brand Chili to be known from coast to coast as the brand to turn to when only the best chili will suffice. These days, Wolf Brand Angus Beef Chili is unquestionably the pinnacle of canned chili greatness. The quality of the chili's premium Angus steak elevates it to a level that no other brand can touch.

Available with or without beans, this chili features large chunks of beef that erupt with flavor when you bite into them. The rest of the chili is the perfect balance of spice – enough to increase your pleasure but not so hot that it'll interrupt your meal. By the time you reach the end of your meal, you'll be licking the bowl to ensure that you don't miss out on any of this legendary chili.