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Weekday chili recipe? Not complicated, please

  • w

Hello -

Looking for a great, but straightforward, cooking recipe. Not interested in home-smoking peppers or anything.

Want to make one batch for a meal and then have leftovers. Beef (hamburger, preferably) based might be best, with beans.

Maybe something in a crock pot?


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  1. Chili purists will probably shudder at this but I like it for simple quick dinners. When it calls for simmering, you can put it in the crockpot:


    Sometimes I add some beer in place of water but then cook it on the stove a little longer for it to evaporate. It can taste pretty strong in the crockpot if you don't.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowser

      I do 2 pounds ground beef, a bag of frozen chopped onions, bag of frozen chopped peppers, 2 cans of chunky crushed tomatoes, a can of black beans, a can of chick peas, and seasonings (chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc).

      Great in the crock pot! That's the only way I make chili.

    2. 1lb. ground beef
      1 onion sliced thin
      1 16oz can dark red kidney beans, undrained
      1 16oz can diced tomatoes
      2 Tbls. Spice Island chili powder

      Saute onion in enough oil to cover bottom of skillet. Add ground meat. Salt and pepper lightly. Brown meat. Add chili powder. Cook stirring to absorb chili powder. Add tomatoes and beans. Cover skillet and simmer about 20 minutes. Salt to taste. Serve.

      I thought about posting this under an assumed name. This is Oklahoma chili. I've only been in Texas for 51 years. We still make it this way, however. Quick and simple.

      1. We like this "copycat Wendy's" chili -- the ingredient list sounded good, and it was!

        1 Reply
        1. re: blue room

          when i saw that quart of tomato juice, i said "aha" that is why their chili has that "bright" flavor..

        2. I do a variation on the Consumer Reports Chili. I always use two different kinds of beans. I also use 5-6 Tbs of Gephardt's chili powder and either a large can of tomatoes or that amount fresh or frozen.

          Consumer Reports Chili

          1 pound ground beef
          1 clove minced garlic
          1 large -- finely chopped onion (about 1 cup)
          1 medium -- finely chopped green bell pepper
          4 tablespoons chili powder
          1 tablespoon cider vinegar
          1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
          1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
          1 teaspoon ground cumin
          1/2 teaspoon salt -- (or to taste)
          1/2 cup water
          2 cups canned crushed tomatoes -- (16-oz. can)
          1 can red kidney beans -- with liquid (16-oz. )

          Cook beef, garlic, onion, and green pepper in heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to break up meat. Cook until onion is soft and meat has lost its pink color. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer chili for 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

          Variations: To make chili hotter, add cayenne pepper or liquid pepper sauce. For thicker sauce and fuller flavor, add masa (corn flour). To improve flavor, let chili simmer longer; chili often tastes better the second day, after ingredients have had a chance to blend overnight.

          Beanless chili: Follow basic recipe. Omit beans; use 2 lbs. lean ground beef and 3/4 tsp. salt.

          Meatless chili: Follow basic recipe. Omit beef and water. Use 1 Tbs. vegetable oil to sauté garlic, onion, and pepper. Add 16-oz. can garbanzo beans and 16-oz. can pinto beans.

          1. This is basically how my mother used to make chili. I use ground turkey, with 6% or 7% fat (never 0% fat--it's like cardboard), but you can use ground beef. She always did. 15% fat.

            3 T. olive oil
            1 large onion, chopped
            4 cloves of garlic, chopped
            1/4-1/2 c. Penzey's ground ancho chili
            1 t. ground cumin
            1 t. cayenne
            2 # ground meat
            1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with liquid
            1 large green pepper, diced
            1 14 oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed

            Heat oil in large dutch oven. I use 5.5 qt round Le Creuset.

            Saute onion, then salt and sweat onion with lid on.

            When onion is translucent, add chopped garlic.

            Pour in ancho chili, cumin, and cayenne, and stir about a minute to get rid of "dried" flavor.

            Add meat and break into chunks. Brown meat on all sides.

            When meat is cooked nearly all the way through, add tomatoes. Cook 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.

            Add diced green pepper. Cook 15 minutes.

            Add kidney beans. Cook 15 minutes-1/2 hour.

            You're done cooking when green pepper has no more crunch. I add them last because I don't like them to turn to absolute mush, but I don't like crunch, either. Adjust for salt.

            I eat it with sour cream and grated cheddar, but use what you like to top it.

            I have never used a crock pot, so I can't tell you anything about how it would cook in one.

            1. Good selection of recipes here. I always wing it when making chili, using what happens to be around. Usually I use ground turkey but sometimes beef. If beef, be sure to factor in draining off the fat.

              I like to use a mix of mild peppers and a jalapeno or two instead of bells. Also, I prefer pintos to kidney beans.

              Finally, chili tastes so much better if it has time for flavors to meld. Sometimes I throw it together in the morning and then turn it off when I leave for work. Just let it sit on the stove and reheat at dinner time. Or make it in the crockpot overnight, refrigerate the next day and reheat on the stovetop at dinner time.

              1. I make this recipe for Chunky Turkey Chili for my kids and they love it. It also freezes very well. You can use ground beef instead and make it spicier if you wish.


                1. Regardless of the chili recipe you decide to use, add a small amount (will depend on the amount of chili you're preparing) of cinnamon to the list of spices. It doesn't take much and you can add it gradually (cook for 8 - 10 minutes after each addition to allow it to combine fully with the rest of the ingredients) about 1/4 tsp at a time and taste. It's one of those, "what is that background flavor" ingredients that people detect but can't identify specifically.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: alkapal

                      I'll play Devil's Advocate and really caution you on the Cinnamon thing. It's really an acquired taste and I would suggest only doing a small test batch to see if you like it. It's one of those things that distinguish Cincinnati/Midwest from Texas/Southwest style and some people love it and some people hate it.

                  1. Saute 1 large yellow onion
                    Brown hamburger
                    Add 1 or 2 frozen chili bricks (Johnson's hot or mild)
                    Bloody Mary mx & beer to right consistency
                    Stir in 2 pkgs dry Lawrys Taco mix (I like it better than their chili mix)
                    Add 1 can pinto & 1 can kidney beans
                    Add your favorite hot sauce to taste
                    Simmer for at least an hour
                    It's very freezer-friendly

                    1. What kind of dried peppers or powder do you have?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: paulj

                        My chili powder stash includes the tradtional mix-up up known generically as "chili powder", but I also keep around self ground ancho, pasilla, chipotle, guajillo and cascabel chili powder in left over empty spice jars.
                        My local mexican market sells bags of the whole dried pods of each of the above for a few dollars a bag. Toss in a heated toaster oven for a quick bit to dry out a bit and get soft, and then pull out the membrane (and seed if you wnat mild) and toss in the spice grinder after they cool down. As whole dried pods they keep for a long time and just roast and grind as needed.

                        Here a recipe on my to-try list soon a I keep everything needed around the pantry and fridge:

                        Ancho chipotle turkey chili

                      2. Here's my go to chili. The black beans add a nice, earthy, flavor.

                        Black and White Chili

                        2 Tbsp vegetable oil
                        1 Tbsp olive oil
                        1 cup yellow onions, diced
                        1/2 cup bell peppers, diced

                        1 pound ground beef (ground turkey can be substituted)
                        1 Tbsp garlic powder
                        1 Tbsp chili powder
                        1 Tbsp ground cumin
                        1/2 tsp ground coriander
                        1/2 tsp chrushed dried oregano
                        1/4 tsp seasoning salt
                        1/8 tsp ground black pepper

                        1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes - with liquid
                        1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
                        1/4 cup salsa verde
                        1 beef bullion cube
                        1 (15 ounce) can Bush's black beans - with liquid
                        1 (15 ounce) can great northern white beans- with liquid
                        1 cup water

                        In a 3-quart saucepan, saute the onions and bell peppers in the

                        cooking oils until the onions are golden brown.

                        Add ground beef and seasonings, crumble ground beef as it cooks,

                        mix well and saute until ground beef is browned.

                        Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salsa verde, beef bullion, two

                        cans of beans and 1 cup of water to saucepan.

                        Mix well and simmer for about 20 to 30-minutes, stirring occasionally.

                        1. I make mine in a crockpot all the time. In fact, I made a batch yesterday.

                          1 lb. ground chuck
                          1 large onion, chopped
                          couple of cloves of garlic chopped
                          1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
                          2-3 cans chili ready tomatoes
                          1 package Chili-O Mix
                          chili powder, garlic powder
                          cumin. ground red pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika
                          2 cans kidney beans, drained

                          Brown ground beef in skillet along with onions, garlic, and pepper. Drain. Put all ingredients in crock pot. Add enough water to desired consistency. Add in spices to taste. Set on low for 8-10 hours. Real good to come home to on a cold winter day. Serve with cornbread or crackers and top with cheese.

                          1. My recipe is very similar to many of these, but to add some flavor depth when I don't have all day to let it simmer, I first brown some chopped bacon in the pan and then add a bottle of pale beer for some of the liquid. Those are my cheats.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jboeke

                              When I want chili in a hurry, I use Rachel Ray's Uptown Down Home chili recipe. It's supposed to be a 30 minute dinner, but I let is simmer longer. If you decide to look into this recipe, be
                              forewarned that she has a heavy hand with chili peppers. However, it really very good.

                            2. Brown 2 lbs. of ground chuck (chili grind if it is available) and drain
                              14.5oz can Hunts peitite diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
                              1 cup beef broth
                              2 cups frozen diced onions
                              1/2 cup chili powder (use a good one like Gebhardt Chili Powder or Mexene)
                              4 tsp cumin
                              2 tsp paprika
                              1 tsp oregano
                              1/2 tsp garlic salt
                              Ground red pepper to your taste or omit entirely

                              Mix well and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

                              You can throw in a can of beans if you want but be sure to use pintos.

                              1. My recipe is very simple. It makes a MILD chili with little meat and lots of beans. The consistancy is thicker. This makes enough to feed 4.

                                1/2 lb lean ground hamburger
                                half an onion, diced
                                1 can diced tomatoes ready for chili
                                2 small cans tomato sauce
                                1 can mild chili beans UNDRAINED
                                1 can light red kidney beans UNDRAINED
                                1 packet McCormick mild chili seasoning
                                toppings of your choice ( I usually have shredded cheese, sour cream)
                                1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

                                In a pot, put tomato sauce and diced tomatoes on low heat. In a skillet brown hamburger and when it is almost done, add onion. Drain hamburger.

                                Add the cooked hamburger and onion mixture into the pot. Add chili beans, kidney beans, and chili seasoning packet. (As a sidenote, when you add the beans, dump the whole can of beans in..do NOT drain them!) Put over medium heat, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until hot and cooked through, stirring occasionally.

                                Prepare Jiffy cornbread as directed on box. Voila! Super easy and mild chili.