Beef and Bean Chili aka “Red Chili”

This time of year, when it’s cold outside and we are longing for something warm and comforting, I love to make soups, stews and chili. My recipe for “red chili”, as my girls calls it (because I also make “white” chili), is quick and easy and hits the spot every time. I usually serve it with tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sour cream.

One thing to note about the way I cook – I rarely measure things. If I share a recipe of mine with you, I’ve done my best to measure as I go to give good directions. The food I make can usually be “fudged” for your tastes. Don’t get too picky – have fun!


Beef and Bean Chili
Serves 4-6

1/2 large onion, diced
1 tbls canola oil
1 pound ground beef*
2 15oz cans kidney beans
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Green onions
Tortilla chips

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add canola oil and onions to pot and cook for about 1 minute. Add ground beef and brown. While meat is browning, drain and rinse the kidney and pinto beans. Once the meat is browned, drained off the excess grease. Add rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and spices. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook for 30 minutes (or longer!) to let all the flavors get happy!

A few side notes about this recipe – the longer it simmers the better it tastes. I usually try to let the chili simmer for about 2 hours when I can, but you can toss it all together and eat it right away if you’re in a hurry. Be sure to have leftovers – it will be better the next day! Also, you can really play with the ingredients in this chili. I’ve added green pepper when I have it or even some frozen corn. If you aren’t serving the kiddos, you can kick it up a notch (Hey Emeril!) and add some cayenne pepper.


*I usually end up putting in a little more than 1 pound of meat in – I never seem to find packages that are a pound even.

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