Homestyle Chili

Homestyle Chili

This is the chili I grew up with -in the Midwest. You can make it as spicy as you want and make it with or without beans. I like the heartiness the beans add. This batch of chili was made with both pinto and dark kidney beans, but you can use whatever beans you prefer. I also like to taste the bits of onion and green pepper, so I chop them small, but not fine. The tomato flavor is prevalent, particularly at first, and the chili will seem thin, so it’s important to cook it down – at least two hours is best.  The chili is even better the second, or third day, and it freezes well. Serve with any of the following toppings on the side : shredded cheese (Mexican blend works well), sour cream, chopped green onion, crushed tortilla chips – let everyone choose to top as they please. Cornbread and/or a simple green salad are a great accompaniment. This recipe serves 4-5, double or triple it for a crowd (great for Superbowl).


  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Sweet or Spanish Onion – chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper – chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper – (seeds and membrane removed) finely chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – finely chopped
  • 2 28 oz. Cans Chopped or Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz. Cans Beans (Pinto, Kidney, Black or any combo)
  • 4 TBS. Chili Powder (more if you like spicy)
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 TBS. Sugar (don’t omit this, it mellows acidity of tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Pepper
  • 2 TBS. Olive Oil


In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions, green pepper, and jalapeno and saute until softened, transfer to a bowl. Add ground beef to pot and cook thoroughly. After beef is cooked, spoon off excess fat and return sauteed vegetables to pot. Drain off majority of liquid from the beans, but do not rinse; add beans to pot. Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, and pepper to pot. Stir to mix thoroughly. Heat over medium until simmering, turn down heat, and continue to simmer over low, stirring occasionally,  for at least 2 hours, or until chili has reached desired thickness. Throughout cooking, taste for seasoning; add additional chili powder, sugar, salt, pepper as needed. Enjoy.


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