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It’s starting to feel a lot more like fall now. I’ve had to turn the heat on, the skies are grey and it’s getting darker earlier every evening now. So it’s about time to think about cooking chili on a regular basis! I love making chili, and experimenting with different flavors and ingredient, but today, I’m going to share my easy go-to pantry chili because if you can open cans, fry some hamburger and chop an onion, you are in business! I will warn you, that this is my super tomato chili – so if you love tomatoes like I do – this thick, hearty chili could hit the spot. If you like a thinner chili – you can adjust the ingredients easily with changing the types of tomatoes that you put in. There is no right or wrong for this chili – just adjust it to suit your tastes and enjoy how quickly it comes together.
Chili is not so much food as a state of mind. Addictions to it are formed early in life and the victims never recover. On blue days in October, I get this passionate yearning for a bowl of chili, and I nearly lose my mind. – Margaret Cousins
This started out as a way to use all different types of canned tomatoes, diced, whole, stewed, soup, paste, you get the idea. I will say that this recipe will make plenty for you to have leftovers. This chili freezes great, and I portion out my extra into bowls to put in the freezer. When I want to include it for an upcoming meal I just take the bowl out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge.
I want to call out that my chili spice of choice comes from Penzey’s. Their regular Chili Powder is made from a hand mixture of Ancho chili pepper, cumin, garlic and Mexican oregano. This is such a great blend, that this is the only spice I use in this chili – helping to make it so easy to put together. If you’d like to check out this chili powder, here is a link to it: https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/regular-chili-powder/c-24/p-55/pd-s
I make this chili in a stock pot that has a lid, because as you know, chili only gets better over time. I throw the ingredients in and if I have extra time I will let it simmer on the stove top for a while to let the flavors combine nicely. I will also say that it works great making it in a slow cooker. In this case, I try to fry up some hamburger ahead of time and put it in a bag that contains enough to make this recipe (1 to 1 1/2 pound of ground beef). I put the cooked hamburger in the freezer, and when I want to make this chili in the slow cooker, I can just add it right into the pot with all the other ingredients and I don’t need to “cook” anything that morning. Super simple, is a great thing!
So, let’s get to the recipe.
- 1 pound to 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion
- Chili Powder to taste
- 1 can dark red kidney beans (liquid drained)
- 2 small cans tomato paste
- 2 small cans tomato sauce
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 can condensed tomato soup
- 1 large can whole tomatoes
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- sour cream (optional topping)
- shredded cheddar cheese (optional topping)
- fresh chives (optional topping)
- Chop onion into small pieces.
- Fry ground beef into small pieces, half way through cooking, add in chopped onion to cook until softened.
- Add in chili powder to the meat mixture, add as much as desired to reach your desired level of heat.
- Add in the 2 cans of tomato paste to the beef mixture and let this tomato cook a little bit alone with the meat. This allows the strong flavor of the paste to mellow a bit before you add in the rest of the ingredients.
- Open up all the rest of the cans and start putting them in the stock pot in any order you like.
- Stir well and let the chili simmer for as long as you have.
- Add optional topping to finished bowls as desired
I love serving this chili with a nice thick slice of bread or cornbread. I hope you enjoy this simple chili recipe, and if you have any suggestion for added ingredients or sides to go with it, please let us know in the comments below. Happy Fall everyone!