A chill in the air, leaves on the ground, and the anticipation of snow any day – I love Fall! The
change from BBQ to casseroles, fresh veggies to soups, is something I look forward to every
year. What do you crave when the weather starts to turn?
Big bold flavors and comfort food is what I lean into. I want warm and rich. Chili checks all the
Chili recipes are often as customized as the clothes we wear and the way we decorate. Chili can
be a reflection of your taste and personality. Are you bold and spicy? Or calm and agreeable?
Are you a trendsetter? Are you daring and outgoing? There is a chili recipe just waiting for you
But you need some solid staples. You need a place to start. This chili recipe has traditional
flavors with ingredients that are easy to have on hand as pantry and freezer staples. On any given
day, I have all the ingredients to make chili and often find myself throwing it together on Sunday
afternoons as meal prep for lunches for the week.
This recipe is great on its own by the bowlful, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and green
onions. It is also perfect for chili cheese fries or chili dogs! My favorite is to serve a cup of chili
on a baked sweet potato.
Customize this recipe, adjust the spice, and adjust the flare! Add jalapenos, cayenne pepper, or
additional veggies. Change up the beans. Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder for even more depth
of flavor. We’d love to hear how you adapt this recipe to suit your style!
The Only Chili Recipe You Need
Prep Time: 15 minutes with kids as helpers!
Cook Time: 30+ minutes
Makes about 12 cups of chili
This chili recipe comes together quickly and gets better the longer it stands. It is adaptable to
your preference and to what you have on hand. As written, this recipe is mild and kid-friendly.
See add-ons for some great options! Eat it by the bowlful for supper, save or freeze for lunches,
or spoon over a baked potato, crispy fries, or even a hot dog! Chili Cheese Dog, anyone?
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, small dice
- 2 stalks of celery, small dice
- 1 bell pepper, small dice
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- ½ pound spicy Italian Sausage (about 3 links)
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- ½ Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ Tbsp salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 can baked beans
- 1 can of kidney beans
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes
- 1 can corn (or 1 cup frozen)
Add-Ins: (adjust to your spice preference, pick one or mix and match)
- 1 can green chilis
- 1-2 diced fresh jalapenos
- 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
I also often add carrots, zucchini, or mixed beans with chickpeas. I would use mushrooms as well, but they are controversial at our house! Use what you have, and add what you like!
Sauté diced onions, celery, and bell peppers in olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
When tender, add ground beef to the pot. Cut the links of Italian sausage vertically to make it
easier to squish everything out. Brown the beef and sausage, stirring often and breaking clumps
into small pieces.
While that is cooking, open your cans, drain and rinse the kidney beans. Keep the juice of the
tomatoes and baked beans.
Assemble your spices (chili powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, brown sugar)
and add to the ground beef mix once cooked through and browned. Stir.
Add canned ingredients (kidney beans, baked beans, corn, and tomatoes). Squeeze in a bit of
ketchup. I used to use tomato paste, but then I wasted most of the can and ketchup works great to
amp up the tomato flavor!
Stir. Allow the ingredients to come to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer until
you are ready to eat.
If you are making this on a weeknight and need it quickly, 10 more minutes is enough. If you
have time to let it simmer, that’s great, too. I often make this on Sunday afternoons to have for
the week. It simmers for an hour or more sometimes before we are ready to eat.
This recipe freezes well in individual portions or laid flat in a large freezer bag (thaws quicker
Top with sour cream or plain greek yogurt, green onions, crispy onions, or bacon bits.
Serve on a baked sweet potato (my favorite), crispy fries, or for chili cheese dogs!
This versatile recipe will quickly fall into your family’s rotation – Enjoy!
The nutritional information below is for the posted recipe. Your toppings should be added on top of
these amounts. Use this calculator to see how the chili fits into your daily macros.