Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Perfect Traditional Chili


Everyone needs a traditional chili recipe to keep on hand. Similar to the baked potato soup I recently posted, I have made a few different chili recipes. I was actually close to giving up... but when Russell requested chili one day I began my search for the perfect traditional chili recipe and I have found it. This chili has the perfect amount of spice with a meat to bean ratio that is spot on. Allowing the chili to simmer for 3 hours helps to thicken things up while also enhancing the flavor.


I only made one batch of this chili since I wasn’t sure if this would be my "go-to” recipe.  Now that I know that is it, I will definitely double the recipe the next time I make it to have some leftover to freeze. Russell enjoyed his over basmati rice while I enjoyed mine over fries (chili cheese fries!). Any way you prefer it, this is the perfect traditional chili. The recipe does call for a 12 ounce bottle of beer and after doing some reading, I have come to the conclusion to just use whatever brand you enjoy or have on hand. The original recipe suggest using either black beans, red kidney beans, or pinto beans, I choose to use red kidney beans for a more traditional chili. 

Traditional Chili

Printer-Friendly Version


  • 1.5-2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2- 15 ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (you could also use black beans or pinto beans)
  • 24 ounces tomato sauce
  • 12 ounce bottle of beer
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 4.5 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you would like your chili
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, depending on how spicy you would like your chili
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, brown ground beef with onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Drain beef of excess grease, if necessary. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Allow chili to simmer for 3 hours or until thickened. Stir occasionally. 

Top with shredded cheese, green onions, or sour cream, if you would like. You can also serve chili over rice, fries, or even top your hotdog with it. 

Source: Originally adapted from the Southern Living Cookbook, as seen on Peace, Love, and French Fries