I found this copycat recipe online - it really does taste remarkably similar to Wendy's Chili, only it's a bit heartier than what I usually get when I hit my local drive-thru. Be warned, this recipe makes a ton - it'll fill a 5.5-quart dutch oven almost to the rim. Add cheese or sour cream if you like, but they're really not needed here.
Just Like Wendy's Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pound ground beef
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 14-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 1.25-ounce packets of chili seasoning mix (or use my DIY recipe below)
1 14-ounce can kidney beans, undrained
1 14-ounce can navy beans, undrained
1 14-ounce can black beans, undrained
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, undrained
1 tablespoon white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Brown ground beef with salt and pepper until cooked through, stirring frequently to break up clumps.
Stir in celery, onion, and green bell peppers; cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
Add stewed tomatoes, rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.
Stir in dried parsley, cumin, and chili seasoning.
Add undrained beans and stir to combine.
Heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Stir in vinegar just before serving.
DIY Chili Seasoning Mix
makes approx 2 packets of chili seasoning mix
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place ingredients in a blender, food processor, or spice grinder and blitz to combine.
adapted from allrecipes.com