Easy & Delicious Chili Recipes

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There's nothing like a steaming bowl of chili to warm you up as the nights grow colder. There are just about as many recipes for chili as there are people who cook it, but the one ingredient all recipes must contain is chili powder or chili peppers.

Beyond the chilies, just about anything else in the dish can vary. Beans or no beans, beef or turkey or no meat at all, hot as fire or mild, what defines a good bowl of chili is personal, and also varies by region of the country.

Beef

Here's an easy beef chili that can be made fiery with the addition of jalapeno chili peppers. Serve with cornbread and a salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa - mild, medium or hot depending on your preference
  • 4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix - heat depends on your preference
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans

Directions:

1. In large saucepan, combine the ground beef and onion and cook until meat is browned and onion tender, around 10 minutes.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, mix well. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Ready for Planting Finished Product

This is a thick, hearty chili made strong with the addition of coffee and beer. Serve with French bread for mopping up every last bite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 pound beef sirloin, cubed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle dark beer
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
  • 4 fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Cook onions, garlic, ground beef and cubed sirloin for 10 minutes, or until meat is well browned.

2. Mix in tomatoes with juice, beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth. Stir in brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander and salt.

3. Stir in 2 cans of beans and hot chili peppers. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.

4. Stir in remaining 2 cans of beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Chicken

Substitute mild green chiles for the jalapenos if you prefer a less spicy dish. Serve with a green salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (14.5) ounce cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans white beans
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:

1. Heat oil in saucepan. Cook onion until tender.

2. Mix in garlic, jalapeno, green chili peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Cook to release flavors, around 3 minutes.

3. Mix in chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and stir until melted.

Turkey

Ground turkey breast makes a hearty chili. Set out sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro and chopped bell pepper and let your family choose their own toppings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 (28) ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15) ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15.5) ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5) ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5) ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions:

1. Cook turkey in large pot, stirring frequently until no longer pink, around 5 minutes.

2. Mix in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, onion, garlic and red wine.

3. Stir in chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes and bay leaves.

4. Bring to simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

5. Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.

Vegetarian

So thick and delicious you won't miss the meat. Top with cheese and sour cream if desired, or leave out for a vegan dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 (28) ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (more if you desire)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Sauté onion, garlic and red pepper in olive oil until soft.

2. Add all other ingredients to pot, bring to boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

There are as many ways to prepare chili as cooks to prepare this spicy dish. Always tasty on a winter night, you can alter any chili recipe to suit your taste, and make a dinner your family will love.

Last Updated: December 19, 2011
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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