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Thick and hearty chili made with ground beef, pinto beans, onions, garlic and spices. A delicious dinner on a cold day and perfect for feeding a hungry crowd.
Chili is a go to dinner for cold winter days. It’s delicious comfort food that everyone seems to agree on. This chili recipe is also perfect for making Barbecue Frito Chili Pie Burger, Chili Cheese Fries or Chili Baked Potatoes.
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Make a big batch to enjoy for dinner and you can have leftovers for lunch or freeze the rest for a quick weeknight dinner. Reheat in your crock pot and enjoy!
Check out more ground beef recipes to cook for dinner this week!
How to Make Chili:
- Add bacon grease or olive oil to dutch oven or large pan. Cook diced onions and garlic over medium heat, until caramelized.
- Add ground beef and sweet Italian sausage to skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Breaking up as you cook until crumbled and well browned.
- Next, mix brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, black pepper, and kosher salt together.
- Add seasonings to browned meat along with one pound of cooked pinto beans or 3 cans of drained beans.
- If using a skillet, you can add mixture to a dutch oven or soup pot at this point.
- Then, stir in vegetable juice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke.
- Cover and simmer for 2- 3 hours, stirring occasionally until thickened.
- Dish it up into bowls and add your favorite toppings.
Favorite Toppings for Chili:
- We love to add extra toppings. Fritos, tortilla chips or crackers are a must for crunchy texture.
- Shredded cheese is always a favorite. Try sharp cheddar, colby-jack or if you like a spicy kick, pepper-jack is perfect. Cotija cheese is always on hand for Mexican street corn and it’s a favorite for all things Tex-Mex.
- Add something fresh like sliced jalapeños, green onions or chopped cilantro.
- Sour cream is a little controversial, but I love adding a hint of creaminess and it can cool the spice.
Tips for Making Chili:
- Brown your ground beef well. The flavors really develop when it gets good and browned.
- Cook the onions slowly to caramelize and get the most flavor. By caramelizing the onions, you are not likely to have those picky eaters complaining about the onions. They add amazing flavor and virtually disappear into the dish.
- Use vegetable juice in place of tomato juice. You can also use a bit of beef broth if you are short on juice.
- Ketchup adds just the right flavor to chili and if even if you are not a fan (like me), you won’t notice it’s there.
- Spice up your chili by adding in red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. We like our dinners on the mild side and skip the hot peppers.
How to Make Chili Thick:
Slow cooking will develop into a thick and hearty dish. The liquid will slowly evaporate, producing a thicker consistency. A longer cooking time will also allow all of the spices and flavors to combine for a very delicious dinner.
If you are pressed for time, just remove about 1 cup of the beans. Mash the beans with a fork and combine back into the mixture. This will give a more thick and creamy consistency without the longer cooking time.
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- 1/4 cup bacon grease or olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 pound cooked pinto beans (or 3 cans, drained)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups vegetable juice (like V8)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- Using a large pan or dutch oven, cook diced onions and garlic in bacon grease or olive oil over medium heat, until caramelized.
- Add ground beef and sweet Italian sausage into pan with onion mixture.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often until crumbled and well browned.
- In a bowl, mix brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, black pepper, and kosher salt. Stir into cooked meat.
- Stir in one pound of cooked pinto beans with vegetable juice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke.
- Cover and simmer for 2- 3 hours.
- Stir often, making sure chili is not sticking to bottom of the pan as it thickens.
- Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1097mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 36g