Thick Oven Baked Chili

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This flavorful, thick chili recipe is oven-baked in a Dutch oven with tender ground beef, sausage, and beans in a rich tomato base. A hearty meal perfect any time of year.

oven baked chili in cast iron pan

This chili recipe is part stew, part casserole. It’s baked in the oven for mess-free, hands-off cooking that doesn’t’ sacrifice flavor. The long-simmered dish is protein-packed with tender ground beef, sausage, and just the right amount of spice. 

If you’re a fan of thick, flavorful chili, you’ll love this cooking style!

Update: It’s the best time of year to make comforting oven baked chili, so I’ve updated this post with new photos and instructions. Enjoy! 

pinterest button for thick oven baked chili recipe

For Christmas one year, my sweet friend gave me a new cookbook, The Big Book of Casseroles. It was the perfect gift because I’ve been needing comfort food lately and this cookbook is loaded with warm, delicious comfort food recipes including this terrific chili.

How to Make Thick Chili in the Oven

You can use any kind of sausage you like for this recipe. I usually use choose sausage that’s sold in the breakfast meat area of the grocery store. Kielbasa, chicken sausage or chorizo would all work well too. 

Before you start cooking, be sure to drain and rinse the black beans very well. You want to remove as much of the starchy liquid as possible.

The first step is to brown the sausage and ground beef. I like to use a meat chopper to easily break the meat into smaller crumbles as it cooks. You can also use a wooden spoon. 

Add the bay leaves to the Dutch oven just before going into the oven. I like to give everything a good stir, then tuck the leaves into the chili so they’re easier to find for removal later. 

ingredients for thick oven baked chili

Toppings Ideas for Thick Chili

Turn your oven-baked chili into a DIY dinner with a fun toppings bar! Our favorite toppings for this chili are: 

  • Shredded cheddar
  • Chopped green onion
  • Sour cream
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Frito scoops or tortilla chips
cooking thick oven baked chili in a dutch oven

4 Ways to Serve Oven-Baked Chili

But that’s not the only way to enjoy this chili recipe. Here are four more fun and versatile ways to serve up your stew:

  1. Chili Fries: Spoon thick chili over homemade or store-bought french fries. 
  2. Chili Dip: top the chili in the casserole dish with shredded cheese, diced onions, sliced jalapeños, and bake until the cheese is melty and hot. Add cilantro and serve with Frito scoops.
  3. Chili Baked Potato: Top hot baked potatoes with steamed broccoli, chili and cheese. Pop them under the broiler to melt the cheese before serving. 
  4. Taco Salad: Scoop the chili on top of crisp lettuce and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips. 
pot of oven baked chili with beef, sausage, tomatoes and beans

Can I Freeze Chili?

If you have leftover chili, you can store it for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Or freeze the chili for up to three months. Let it defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove. 

blow of thick chili with grated cheese and more toppings

More Comforting Stew Recipes

If you’re like me and craving comfort food this time of year, you’ll love these other delicious recipes:

bowl of thick chili with grated cheese, sour cream and chips on top
Yield: 6-8 servings

Thick Chili Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

This meaty and flavorful Thick Chile Recipe is baked in the oven for a satisfying casserole with tomatoes, beans, ground beef and sausage. 


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14-ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4-ounce) green chilies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. 
  2. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil.
  3. Sauté the beef, sausage, onion and garlic until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bake 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer. Remove bay leaves and discard.
  5. Serve with sour cream, sliced green onions, or grated cheddar cheese.


Slightly adapted from The Big Book of Casseroles.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 539Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 1471mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 36g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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