Chili is somewhat of a treat in our household because I don’t make it very often. But when I DO decide to make it, I go all out. I cook up a big pot of loaded chili that’ll feed a crowd. This past week, I made so much that I gave some away to my parents and still had plenty of leftovers for days. So, if you’re looking for a filling, hearty meal that will feed a lot of people, you’ve come to the right place.
My chili recipe is filled with a great list of ingredients giving it the perfect “comfort food” taste. I use about 2 pounds (sometimes more) of ground beef, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions and a few spices. But the secret ingredient that really gives this chili its amazing flavor is Bear Creek’s Darn Good Chili Mix. This isn’t even an advertisement and I’m not getting any compensation for saying this! I genuinely just love the stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever made chili without it. It’s a full 9.8 oz package of dried ingredients and spices that can be made into standalone chili, or added as extra to your own chili recipe.
You can find this chili mix at any regular grocery store. I get mine from Ralph's (aka Kroger). It’s usually in the same aisle as your canned and packaged food. You can also use any other type of chili mix packet of your choice if you have other preferences. OR just leave it out all together and play around with your own spice/ingredient mixture. I just find the packet to be a nice shortcut and it compliments my own ingredients quite well. It also adds even more flavor and “body” to the chili.
I usually love all things spicy, including chili. But since having kids, I’ve had to dial down the spice in most of my recipes. I don’t want to burn their little mouths off. Even though my daughter seems to be slowly following in my footsteps, powering through the spice of the hot cheetos she likes to share with me. But she’s still not quite at my level so for now, I have to take it easy on the jalapenos and red pepper when I’m cooking.
I used to add everything spicy to my chili recipe back in the day: fresh jalapenos, pickled jalapenos, cayenne pepper, chili powder, AND red pepper flakes. But lately, I’ve surrendered to only about ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. It gives it just enough kick for a traditional “chili” taste, but is completely bearable for those who are sensitive to spicy food. My own personal bowl on the other hand, will have everything spicy and then some!
One of the best parts about chili is all the toppings you can add to your own bowl. We love to have our chili with oyster crackers, shredded cheese, green onions and sour cream. And of course, a big pan of perfectly baked cornbread on the side! I haven’t quite perfected by own cornbread recipe from scratch yet. So, in the meantime, I always use the boxed cornbread mix which is actually REALLY GOOD and saves me so much time. Chili with all its add-ons and sides really is an amazing, filling meal! With the cold weather approaching, I hope this chili recipe will help keep you all warm! Enjoy!
VISIT MY MAIN COURSE PAGE FOR MORE IDEAS!
My name is Renee McGinley and I'm a self-taught cook, constantly learning as I go. Please check out my About Me page for more on my recipe motto and cooking style.