I love chili. On a cool night what better way to spend it than with a hot bowl of chili, a blanket and a movie! It’s even better the next day, too.
This has a ton of variations – items can be added or deleted. I am posting my basic chili recipe here, then scroll down to read my tips!
- 1 pound of lean, organic turkey of beef (omit to make vegan)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and dices
- 1-2 medium jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic or 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 can tomato paste, 6 oz can
- 1 large can whole tomatoes with juice, quartered
- 7 cups kidney/pinto beans soaked overnight, or 2-3 cans of kidney/pinto beans with liquid.
- 2-3 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- hot sauce (sriracha) to taste
Heat olive oil in large skillet with half of the onion, all of the garlic and half jalapeño. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add meat, if using, and brown. Salt and pepper to taste. When meat is browned, add the remainder of onion, jalapeño and bell pepper. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the mixture to a crock pot/slow cooker.
Turn you crock pot to the highest heat. Add beans to crock pot and stir together. Then add 2 cups of water water, spices, tomatoes, tomato paste and cilantro. Blend well and cover.
Check every half hour, stirring. After 2 hours taste to see if you need salt and pepper or more spice.
It will take 6-7 hours to fully cook. Do not add flour as the chili will thicken the last few hours of cooking.
Serve with cornbread or a salad. Garnish with fresh cilantro, cheese or avocado.
Serves 6-8 people.
TIPS & HINTS:
The jalapeno doesn’t add spice, only flavor. When I want to spice it up I add chili flakes, sriracha (hot sauce) or use your own favorite way to spice up food. Add a small amount at a time and taste 30 minutes later. Use this same technique with salt and pepper, onion powder(optional) and garlic powder. I never use the same amount for each batch.
When soaking the beans over night, do not measure out 7 cups as the beans will expand. 4-5 cups will be plenty of beans for soaking. I use a mixture of pinto and kidney beans. You can even use black beans if desired.