How to Improve the Kirkland Signature Beef Chili at Costco!

I picked up a container of Costco Beef Chili last week and we have been working on it for a couple of days.  The chili is made from beef, pinto beans and kidney beans along with a seasoned tomato sauce and is topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

You get about four pounds of chili per container which is enough for eight servings.  This is item number 50748 and is found in the refrigerated deli section by the other ready to cook meal options.

The chili is decent but unremarkable on its own but keep reading and learn some fun ways to seriously improve the chili.

Container of Beef Chili From Costco

Heating Instructions

The heating instructions on the container tell you to empty the contents of the container into a soup pot and heat over medium heat, while stirring, until a temperature of 165F is reached.

We are eating the chili one bowl at a time instead of using the whole container all at once.

To heat a single bowl of chili we:

  • Pour the chili into a microwave safe bowl.
  • Place the bowl in the microwave and cover with a paper towel.
  • Microwave on High for 90 seconds.
  • Stir the chili and recover with the paper towel.
  • Microwave on High for 90 seconds.
  • Stir and Serve.

Taste Test!

The chili is perfectly acceptable and absolutely unremarkable.

The chili contains a LOT of ground beef and I like the mix of pinto and kidney beans. The chili is very mild and not spicy at all.

Everyone who tried the chili at my house said something along the lines of, “This is okay but it would be better if it had XYZ”.  Some folks said it needed to be spicier, others said it needed more cumin/chili flavor, more cheese, etc.  The other suggestion was to use it as a base for Frito Pie and top it with sour cream.

Think of this chili as a blank canvas that you can doctor up to suit your tastes.

Ready to Eat Bowl of Chili

I liked this chili much better than Costco’s other ground beef dish of Shepard’s Pie but not as much as the Ravioli with Beef Bolognese Sauce.

Ready to Eat Bowl of Chili

Costco Beef Chili

The Kirkland Signature Beef Chili at Costco is heated and served with sour cream and Fritos.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 458 kcal


  • 4 lbs Costco Beef Chili
  • 1 bag Frito Scoops
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream


  • Pour the Costco chili from the container into a large pot.
  • Heat the chili over Medium Heat for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • When the chili is heated through, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • Scoop the chili into individual bowls and serve with Fritos and sour cream.
Keyword Costco Beef Chili

How to Improve the Chili

If you think the chili is as bland as I do then here are some ways to improve its flavor:

Spice it Up

Add additional spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. You can try adding more chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, or other spices to give the chili more depth and complexity.

You can also add more ingredients such as sautéed onions, garlic, and bell peppers, or even some corn to add more layers of flavor and texture.

Add Acidity

Add a splash of acidic ingredients such as lime or lemon juice, vinegar, or even a splash of red wine to brighten the flavors and balance out the taste.

Sweeten It

Sometimes a touch of sweetness can help a bland chili. I’m not sure exactly how or why this works but it does!  You can add a small amount of sugar, maple syrup, or honey to the chili and adjust to your desired taste.

Umami Boost

Umami is the savory flavor that can add richness and depth to the chili. You can try adding umami-rich ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste, or even a splash of fish sauce to give the chili more complexity.

Simmer and Adjust

After you make any adjustments simmer the chili for about 15 minutes to help develop the flavors, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Remember to taste and adjust as you go until you achieve the desired flavor.

Ingredients in the Chili

The main ingredients in this chili are:

  • Cooked Ground Beef
  • Kidney Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Green Bell Pepper

The chili is topped with shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of parsley.

There are plenty of other ingredients used for seasoning, etc.  I looked through the full ingredient list looking for any items that might contain gluten and the only item of concern that I saw was Yeast Extract.  If the yeast extract came from barley then there would be gluten in this chili but the source of the extract is unknown.

Chili Topped with Shredded Cheese

I saw a few people complaining on Facebook (shocker!) that “real chili doesn’t have beans”.  It turns out that the International Chili Society disagrees with that statement and crowns a World Champion every year for the best chili with beans.  Here is the link to some of the winning recipes if you would rather make your own chili.

Calories and Nutrition

The official nutritional information for the chili says that one serving is 302g and has the following calories:

  • Calories: 380
  • Fat: 17g (22% DV)
  • Cholesterol: 85mg (28% DV)
  • Sodium: 1600mg (70% DV)
  • Carbohydrates: 26g (9% DV)
  • Protein: 29g

I wasn’t expecting the chili to have such a high sodium content considering how bland it tastes.

Storing the Beef Chili

There is a LOT of chili in the container so it might end up sitting in your refrigerator for a few days while you polish it off.

The chili can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days past the “Sell By” date printed on the label without a noticeable decline in quality.  If you need to keep the chili longer than that then I suggest portioning it out into plastic containers and putting them in the freezer.

The chili will keep for about two months in the freezer without any issues from freezer burn.

You can heat the chili from frozen directly in the microwave by first using the “Defrost” function and then heating as usual.

Fun Ways to Use the Chili

Here are some creative ways to serve beef chili:

Chili Stuffed Peppers

Cut off the tops of bell peppers and remove the seeds and ribs. Stuff the peppers with a mix of 2/3 beef chili to 1/3 cooked rice, then bake them in the oven until the peppers are tender and the chili is heated through. Top with shredded cheese and fresh cilantro for an eye-catching presentation.

These would be just as good, if not better, than Costco’s stuffed peppers from the deli.

Chili Loaded Baked Potato

Bake a large russet potato until tender (425F, 1 hour), then split it open and fill it with hot beef chili. Top with sour cream, green onions, and grated cheese for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Chili Mac and Cheese

Grab a tray of Costco’s Mac and Cheese and stir in the beef chili. Transfer to a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs and additional cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden brown for a decadent twist on a classic comfort food.

Chili Nachos

Arrange a layer of tortilla chips on a platter, then spoon beef chili over the top. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, and black olives. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, then garnish with fresh cilantro and serve as a crowd-pleasing appetizer.

Chili Dogs

Grill or pan-fry hot dogs, then nestle them into split hot dog buns. Top with a generous scoop of heated chili, followed by diced onions, shredded cheese, and mustard. This fun and messy dish is perfect for game day.

Chili-Stuffed Avocado

Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out a little bit of flesh from each half to create a well, then fill it with the heated chili. Top with diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, and a dollop of sour cream for a unique and satisfying dish.

Frito Pie

Fill a bowl with Frito’s and add a ladle of the heated chili.  Top with sour cream and dig in!


The beef chili currently costs $3.49 per pound.

You get about 4 pounds of chili per container so plan on the container costing about $14 which comes out to a cost about about $1.75 per half pound serving.

Given how expensive ground beef is these days, the cost of this beef chili is a pretty good deal.

Price of Beef Chili at Costco



Good morning and welcome to the site dedicated to helping you find great products at Costco and other stores! My name is David Somerville and these are hands on reviews of products that I have bought and used or am seriously considering purchasing. I do most of my shopping at the Costco in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but will check out any other Costco warehouses I find while travelling. Please get in touch with any questions and let me know of any great products that deserved to be featured in this blog!

4 thoughts on “How to Improve the Kirkland Signature Beef Chili at Costco!

  1. 5 stars
    Similar to what I make using Johnson’s Chili starter with 1lb. of ground beef, a bit of “home style” and can be topped with pico de gallo or diced onion.

    Great choice for managing my type 2 diabetes; definitely an “add” to my menu.

  2. 5 stars
    Love, Love ,Love this chili!!!!!! I’m having a hard time finding it in my local costco. I buy several (4-6) containers & freeze it.
    My family really loves it! It taste awesome!

  3. 5 stars
    During the winter months when it is available, I eat this for breakfast every day. I do not like cereal. Lol. I buy 3 containers and put 1/3 cup in a zip loc bag and seal it flat. I put a piece of paper towel between layers so they don’t stick together. It freezes beautifully and defrosts quickly, so I have a meal in just a few minutes.

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