I’ve had this recipe for many years, and it’s always been a main staple for our family. The seasonings are what make it so flavorful. Bland chili is a disappointment to me, so I really like to give ours some zip.
Start with an onion.
I use a small electric chopper. Easy and the kids can’t pick out pieces. You usually can find these cheap at yard sales. They are an invaluable tool in the kitchen, especially when you’re cooking for picky kids.
You can let the kids help with this part. They love to push those buttons! Pulse for big pieces and chunkier chili, or keep it running until the pieces are fine. Add in the garlic so you don’t have to press it or cut it by hand.
This recipe can be made with or without meat. I like this recipe with meat. I usually cook up a couple pounds of ground beef (my grandpa has a ranch, so we get meat from that), and freeze most of it for future batches. Add 1-2 cups of ground beef to the chili. I prefer using meat as a condiment, not a main dish.
To get softer onions and peppers and make them less noticeable (for picky eaters), just cook them a little longer. They’ll blend right in and they won’t even know they’re there.
Get 1 cup of corn (if you’re using frozen corn as I normally do, put it in a strainer and rinse to defrost), and add it to the pot. Then dump the beans into the strainer and rinse them to get off extra salt and preservatives, which may also help them be less gas producing.
In this picture is one of my optional ingredients (shredded zucchini).
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever you have in the kitchen! If you need to feed more people, it’s easy to throw in a few extra ingredients and make a bigger batch.
Here’s a list of optional ingredients you can throw in:
- Shredded zucchini (as you see above, yellow squash can work as well), 1-2 cups
- Diced or blended tomatoes, canned or home bottled, 1 pint
- More canned beans: black, pinto or kidney, a can (about 2 cups)
- Refried beans, 1-2 cups
- Ground beef (I add just enough to give it flavor)
- Water, 1-2 cups for a soupier chili (but don’t add extra water if you like it chunky)
The tomatoes and zucchini really don’t change the texture too much, but the refried beans make it much smoother. The taste was still good, although that could depend on the kind used. It’s just personal preference.
We usually eat it with cornbread or plain corn chips. It’s a huge winner in my home and around town.
Here’s the recipe:
Chili and Then Some
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or chopped with onion in chopper)
- 1 TB Italian seasoning
- 2 TB chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin (don’t leave this out, it’s awesome!)
- 1 tsp powdered yellow mustard
- 2-3 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- Optional add ins: zucchini, canned or fresh diced tomatoes, extra beans, ground beef or water
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Real Garlic Salt (or salt & pepper to taste)
Heat oil in a pot and saute onions and peppers. Add remaining ingredients, except beans and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring periodically. Add beans and simmer 10-20 minutes more. Serves 8.
I put Real Garlic Salt on everything. I buy it in bulk, 6 shakers at a time ($4 each instead of $6-7 at the store).