Nothing Fancy Chili


Great chili doesn’t take a lot of time and money

Chili should be a staple for any family on a budget. The ingredients go on sale all the time–and the leftovers can be frozen for future meals.

This is a basic chili recipe I’ve made up over the years. I’ve won many church chili contest with this recipe–and it’s really nothing fancy. People try to add expensive meats, fancy peppers and all sorts of spices to chili. But in the end, sticking to a basic, home-style chili always wins!

I never measure the spices, just shake in the ingredients using the “sift” side of your spices. I give a suggested number of shakes–but make your chili to taste. If you put too much heat in, have an extra can of chili beans and chili-ready diced tomatoes ready to add in. You can’t mess up chili!

Makes 8-12 servings!

Add all ingredients to crockpot (or use dutch oven for faster cooking–peppers/onions should be soft):

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef or lean ground turkey (you won’t notice the difference using turkey).
  • 2 cans of chili beans
  • 1/2 can of seasoned pinto beans (do not drain)
  • 2 cans of chili-ready diced tomatoes
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 to 1/3 chopped large onion or 1 small onion (yellow or white)
  • 1 chopped fresh jalapeno (take seeds out if you don’t like a little heat)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder–then add to taste
  • 2 shakes of hot sauce (optional)
  • 2-3 shakes of black pepper
  • 1 shake of cinnamon (optional–something I added after living in Cincy for a while)
  • 2-3 good shakes of garlic powder
  • 1-2 shakes of oregano
  • 1-2 shakes of cumin (careful with this–makes it hot!)
  • 1-2 shakes of cayenne (optional)


  • For a more beany chili, toss in some drained black or northern beans
  • For a more watery chili, add half bottle/can of your favorite beer.
  • For a sweeter chili, add tablespoon of dark brown sugar
  • For meat-lovers, add in 1-2 pre-cooked polish or italian sausages–sliced

Note: I like to check the Chili after an hour in the crockpot and see if more seasoning is needed.


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