This is seriously the best Chili Recipe! It comes together so easily and just screams comfort. Make it your own by topping a bowl with all your favourite things!
I think most of us can agree that there’s really nothing better than a pot of somethin’ somethin’ simmering away on the stove all afternoon. Especially when that somethin’ somethin’ is a big ol’ pot of Chili. And I mean the Chili. The Chili inspired by my Mama’s famous Chili. Aka the Best Chili Recipe and my go-to when I’m in need of a big bowl of comfort. This Chili is perfect and what we always hoped was the somethin’ somethin’ simmering away on the stove as kids.
GAME DAY CHILI
It just so happens that I’m writing this post pretttttty dang close to the Super Bowl. And while I’m not exactly a Football fan, I’ve worked in bars all my life where Super Bowl was one of the biggest days of the year. From the game, to the half time show, to the fans, to the FOOD (okay, I’m really just talking about the food). Whether you watch Football or not, you just know that the food at a Super Bowl Party is almost as important as the game itself. Heck, for some people (ME) it is as (more) important than the game itself. And Chili might just be the most important thing on any Super Bowl Party menu. Amirite?
PRO TIP: If you’re planning on serving this Chili up on game day, whether it be for Super Bowl or Hockey Night, set up a “Chili Bar!” Lay out a selection of different toppings (i.e. shredded cheese, avocado slices, sliced jalapeño, etc.) in bowls on a table. Have everyone come up with their bowl of Chili and top it however they like!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THE BEST CHILI
You can always tell it’s gonna be a good AF Chili just by looking at the ingredients. Am I right?! Let’s get into ’em in a little more detail down below:
- Ground Beef: Screams traditional and classic. But, as always, you do you. Try using ground chicken or turkey for a twist. Vegetarian? No problem. Omit the meat and double up on the beans, baby!
- Red Kidney Beans: A Chili Staple! These could either be canned (drained and rinsed) or dry and prepared according to package instructions before adding them to the Chili. Feel free to use a mixture of Red Kidney Beans and another bean – Black beans, navy beans or pinto beans also work great in Chili.
- Mushrooms: Adds a meaty texture with a savoury/Earthy flavour. I used regular sliced white button mushrooms but you can use brown/cremini instead, if you prefer.
- Green Pepper: Makes the chili hearty and full while adding flavour and texture. I generally use green pepper but red, yellow or orange can be used instead, if you prefer.
- Jalapeño: For the slightest bit of heat. I like removing the seeds so people don’t have to chomp on ’em while eating. But hey, that’s just me. Feel free to use a hotter pepper (such as a habanero or chili pepper) to really kick things up a notch.
- Canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes: For a bit of ‘Oomph!’ They can be found next to all the other different canned tomatoes in a regular grocery store. If you can’t find fire roasted, you may use a can of diced or stewed tomatoes with juice instead.
- Spice Mix: Here we use a combination of Chili Powder, Paprika, Oregano, Cumin, Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Salt and Pepper. The cayenne pepper is for a bit of a kick but you could always eliminate it for no spice or put some more for extra spicy!
- Tomato Paste: Intensifies the flavours of the rest of the ingredients and helps give it that vibrant, deep red colour.
- Tomato Sauce: Adds flavours and thins out the chili base a bit.
- Bay Leaves: For an extra layer of flavour. Don’t forget to remove them before serving!
- Garlic: Adds flavour to the dish. I like using fresh minced garlic for this recipe. But if all you have on hand is garlic powder, use 1/2 teaspoon instead of the 3 fresh cloves.
- Olive Oil: For sautéeing the veggies. Feel free to use a different kind of oil or butter instead, if you prefer.
WHAT MAKES THIS THE BEST CHILI RECIPE?
- It’s simple and easy to follow which means anyone can make it! Once all the ingredients are in the pot, there’s nothing left to do other than bear witness to the house filling up with amazing aromas and wait (albeit, patiently) to make yourself an irresistible bowl of deliciousness.
- It’s quick! Minimal chopping is required and once you have everything laid out and ready to go, throwing it in the pot is easy! It makes the perfect dinner for any night of the week.
- It’s completely customizable! Like spice? Add more cayenne pepper or an extra jalapeño. Despise it? Omit ’em.
- It tastes even better the next day! As the ingredients sit, the flavours become more pronounced. It’s heavenly.
- And it can be topped however you like. Sour cream, cheeses, green onions? The list is endless. Have it different every time!
KEY TIPS TO MAKING THE BEST CHILI RECIPE
- Sauté the Vegetables in some Olive Oil first to get them soft. Then brown the meat in the same pot. This will save you from having to dirty extra dishes by cooking them separately and allow you to combine everything nicely.
- Drain the vegetable and meat mixture of any excess fat before adding the rest of the ingredients. This will ensure you don’t lose any of the flavour or juices that come afterward and keeps our Chili as healthy as can be. Side Note: You can choose not to drain the excess fat, if you prefer, or just drain half, as some would argue you’re throwing away “the good stuff” if you’re using high quality Grass Fed Beef.
- Once all the ingredients are in the pot, simmering the Chili on low heat for at least 30 minutes is key. If you have an hour or more, go for longer. The longer the better. A couple hours is ideal. It’ll thicken up the Chili as the liquids reduce and allow the flavours to really come together.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Simmering allows the Chili to naturally thicken. The longer it simmers, the thicker it will become. It also thickens some more after the cooking process, once removed from the heat and sitting.
Yes! Any ground meat will work well here. Ground Turkey, Chicken, veal, bison or venison would all taste great! Extra beans and no meat at all work great, too!
Yup, you most certainly can (for up to 3 months!) And that’s why I love it. After it has completely cooked, pack some away in freezer safe containers (I love using these). Let thaw in the fridge overnight the day before you want to use it. Reheat in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
Yes! Tomatoes, beans, vegetables and lean ground meat… Hellllo, Fibre and Protein!
THE BEST CHILI RECIPE
Comfort in a Bowl! Top it with all your favourite things and really make it your own!
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 Green Pepper, seeded and diced
- 24 oz Mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
- 2 cups Beef Broth
- 1 14 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
- 30 oz Red Kidney Beans, dry and cooked or canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne, optional, more for extra spicy
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
- Sliced Jalapeños
- Shredded Cheese
- Chopped Green Onions
- Sliced Avocado
- Lime Wedges
- Tortilla Chips
- Garlic Bread, for serving
- If using dry beans, cook them according the the package instructions. I soaked 2 cups of dry Red Kidney Beans overnight in some water then drained and cooked in boiling water for 55 minutes. I reserved about a cup of that and used the rest.
- In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the jalapeños, green peppers and onions. Sauté for a few minutes until soft and the onions translucent. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, an additional 30 seconds.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned 6-8 minutes, breaking it up with the back of a spatula as needed. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they're soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the ground beef back into the pot.
- Add the spices, tomato sauce, tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes, red kidney beans and broth. Give it a good stir. Add the bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to an hour (the longer the better).
- Top with your favourite toppings and serve with garlic bread!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 755Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 1159mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 18gSugar: 9gProtein: 66g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
LOVE CHILI? YOU’LL LOVE MY HEARTY AND BEANLESS PUMPKIN CHILI!
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