your classic chili recipe: but better

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your classic chili recipe: but better

your classic chili recipe: but better

I guarantee one thing: You did not come here to get a new classic chili recipe.  You already have THE BEST classic chili recipe.  Award winning chili recipe.  Requested by everyone.  Just the best ever.  And you know what?  I believe you.  There’s not a chili out there that I don’t love.   But just IN CASE – I’m going to share my no-frills no-nonsense chili recipe at the end of this post. But truly –  you could also go out there and get ANYONE’s chili recipe and use these tricks I am about to show you to mix it up.  

Before I move on –  I’ll just say a word on beans. My mom’s chili has beans and she’s the best cook in the world as far as I’m concerned. I know Texans don’t believe real chili has beans, but I’m from Alabama and I love beans. However, my son won’t touch any part of a chili that has touched a bean and APPARENTLY they’re really starchy. So my chili no longer has beans. You can totally add them in if you want. It’ll be delicious.

Corn? Absolutely not you’re insane. Cornbread: absolutely. Masa in the chili: fantastic. Just keep your kernels out of my chili. Or don’t. Whatever. I’ll probably still eat it. LOL I definitely will.

1. Chilis in Adobo. If you have known me for more than 5 minutes I have suggested you put chilis in adobo in something. This is no different. They add a rich, slightly sweet, smoky, spicy element to your chili and people think you are totally legit. Start small because they are crazy hot and use gloves when you chop them or just be REALLY careful when you take your contacts out. Trust. Me.

2. Add a little acid. I’m not suggesting you do anything that will have you fail a random drug test. At least not here, anyway. Give your chili a little splish splash of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, lime juice (better yet, serve with lime wedges) and/or Tajin.

3. Masa Harina: Masa is the Spanish word for dough and you make corn tortillas from this stuff. HEAVEN. If you like Frito pie (Who doesn’t?) You will LOVE this addition. Once your chili is at the simmer stage, make a little paste of masa and water – start with a 1:1 ratio, but you don’t want it too thick, you want it to incorporate into the chili and give it a nice, corny flavor. Yes, corny. If you guys know a better word for that taste – I’m all ears and eyeballs. As weird as that was, this is so delish, I promise. A total show stopper

4. Brown sugar. Not too much, but just for kicks, add a tablespoon next time you make a pot of chili and see what happens.

5. Liquid smoke. JUST A DROP. but it’s nice and gives it a little BBQ feel. I also like a little smoked paprika from time to time for a similar effect.

I’d try these one at a time to see how you like them before you start mixing and matching – but let me know how it goes! And YES – I also want your world-famous chili recipe. For now, here’s my humble addition:

LC’s Very Basic Weeknight Chili Recipe 

Classic Chili Recipe Ingredients:

Olive Oil

3 small yellow onions

1 red or orange bell pepper (gotta sneak it in there. No greens or yellows if you want to slip it past the veggie police aka your kids. Don’t @ me. I said what I said. )

Note: I dice all these veggies with my onion chopper. I am a very lazy prep chef and this has really been a lifesaver for me. Check this link.

3-37 cloves garlic (I kid, but I do love me some garlic. I probably put 4-5 small cloves in by the end of it) I love this garlic press.

1lb ground beef (or turkey, idc – but like, double the seasonings if you are going that route)

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 can water




Chili Powder

Optional: cayenne or Cholula or something spicy, cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, Fritos, white rice, whatever you want.

Classic Chili Recipe Directions:

– Give the Dutch oven or pot or whatever a big glug of EVOO. Get the pan and oil HOT as hell. Don’t skip this part. Add onions and garlic and sauté until all are translucent, then add your peppers and sauté until everything is a little bit caramelized. Or until you’re tired of sautéing or are running out of time. Salt and pepper throughout. Season every step.

– Take the veggies and garlic out of the pot (sorry) and put your meat into brown. Salt and pepper. Drain.

– Add your veggies back in, with the fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and spices. I just sort of sprinkle in – start with a tablespoon or so and add to taste. I like a lot of seasoning, personally. Salt and pepper again.

– Stir and bring to a boil – then bring to a simmer, cover and let simmer for approx 40 minutes or however long you need it to be there before you need to serve dinner. I’ve left it simmering a LONG time, like hours, but if you simmer less than 40 minutes – the flavors don’t come together quite as well. Best case scenario is you make it a day ahead or have pulled it out of your freezer from a previous chili night.

– Top with your favs and go to town!

Love you, pretty! LC

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