Chili always makes me think of how different families do things differently. When Baker’s Man and I were just starting out, I made him a pot of chili. He complained to me that it was too runny. “Chili is supposed to be thick.” He proclaimed. In my parent’s house, chili was very soup like. It was definitely not thick. I began to adjust my techniques to produce a thicker chili in order to please my new husband. Years later, I was talking to a coworker as we were eating chili. She shared how the first time she made chili for her husband, she served him this thick stuff, and he educated her about the correct way to make chili. His instructions were that chili was to be thinner and more soup like. I laughed, and she though I was laughing at how stupid she had been, then I told her about Baker’s Man’s preference for thick chili.
This recipe dates back to my college days. The original recipe was for a vegetarian chili. It was very good. In fact, it was the best home made chili I had ever tasted. The problem was that Baker’s Man, my new husband, missed the meat in his bowl of chili, so I eliminated the soy and replaced it with ground beef. The result was a big hit and continues to make periodic appearances on our table. Originally, I only made this chili using kidney beans, but over the years, I have begun to mix and match the beans in my chili depending on what I have on hand. No matter which beans I use, this dish is always a big hit.
This chili is not extremely thick. If you prefer your chili thicker, drain the beans before adding them to the pot, and consider replacing the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes. In our house, since we have those who prefer thick chili, as well as those who prefer thinner chili, we solve the problem by serving the chili with two different types of spoons. We use a slotted spoon for those who like it thick and a ladle for those who prefer it thin. If the chili’s still not thick enough, there’s always corn bread or saltine crackers that can be crumbled into the bowl.
Leftover Chili is great on hot dogs, on baked potatoes, as a topping for home made nachos, and as a filling for omelettes. That’s why I love a making a big pot of chili.
Here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think. Also, share if you are an advocate of a thick bowl of chili or if you prefer your bowl of chili to be more soup like.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.
- 1 pound lean ground beef (ground turkey or chicken also work well)
- 1½ medium onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Oregano
- Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
- Grated cheese and more chopped onion (Optional for Garnish)
- Brown ground meat with onion, bell pepper, and garlic until meat is cooked and vegetables tender.
- Drain excess grease if desired.
- Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans, chilies, cumin, chili powder, and oregano to the pot with the meat and stir well.
- Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls.
- Serve topped with optional shredded cheese and diced onion if desired.