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Simple and Easy Chili Recipe

posted in Lunch, Main Dishes by Kathy Maister
difficulty rating

Chili is a great dish to serve on Super Bowl Sunday. If you are wondering how to make chili, look no further!

There are tons of different chile recipes out there. One of my favorite ways to make chili is with Wick Fowler’s “2 alarm chili kit.” (There are many different “chili making kits” available at the grocery store.)

It contains 7 packets of seasoning mix which you can adjust to your own taste. I like to use this kit because:

  • you know you have all the spices you need
  • you know they are still potent (Dried spices don’t last forever!)
  • you won’t have lots of expensive leftover spices sitting in your cupboard
  • For added taste and texture I like to add one can of kidney beans and one can of stewed tomatoes. (Diced tomatoes with green chilies also work really well here!)

    Using a large 4 quart pot, brown 2 pounds of ground beef

    Then drain the fat off the beef, and put the beef back into the pot.

    Now, just add:

    • the packets of spices (Except for the white packet of masa, which is corn flour used for thickening the chili. That gets added later.)
    • one 8-ounce can of tomato sauce,
    • 2 cups of water,
    • 1 can of stewed tomatoes

    (I haven’t forgotten about the kidney beans. Those will get added at the end.)

    Be very careful with the RED PEPPER spice packet.

    I actually don’t even add it to the chili. It gets too hot for me.!

    If you do like your chili HOT, try adding 1/8 teaspoon at a time, but BE CAREFUL!

    You can always make it hotter, but once you add the red pepper THERE IS NO TURNING BACK!

    Cover the pot and bring the whole thing to a boil then turn the heat way down to simmer. Let the pot simmer covered for 30 minutes.

    Rinse and drain the kidney beans.

    Put the masa in a small bowl. Add ¼ cup of warm water and mix it together. Add it to the beef along with the drained kidney beans.

    Simmer everything for another 15-20 minutes.

    THAT’S IT!

    If I’ve made a big batch of chili, I often freeze some immediately. Label and date a freezer bag then with the bag balancing over a cup, fill the cuffed bag with the chili and then seal the bag. This way it takes up very little space in the freezer. Plus all of your plastic containers don’t end up in the freezer!

    If you are storing the leftover chili in a plastic container, first spray the inside of the plastic container with cooking spray. It will stop the chili from permanently staining your plastic container. Who knew?


    OOPS! Don’t forget the corn chips!

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Beth Best said:

Good Morning Kathy,

Enjoying my morning coffee and reading through your website.

Although I’ve been cooking for 40 plus years, I always pick up some tips reading your blog. I was adding my kidney beans without rinsing them – so will try rinsing them. Also like the idea of your counter top colander that will sit nicely beside the stove top.

Comparing recipes, I make a “sloppier” chili since my Grandkids like to dip a whole wheat bun into the chili. They like the saucy sloppy version. I add two cans of kidney beans – one white and one red just for a bit of interest and sometimes add more tomatoes. I have never measured my spices so thanks for showing the amounts of chili powder and cumin etc.< Chili and a bun – is my 3 1/2 year old Grandson Ethan’s favorite lunch and I serve it in over-sized heavy china cups with a sturdy handle that he loves.

Thanks also for the tip about spraying the plastic containers with cooking spray before freezing the chili in them. I like the idea of filling the freezer bags so the containers are not sitting in the freezer for weeks.

I guess it’s true that you never stop learning – Granmum learned some new tips.

Bye from Beth,
Calgary, Canada

Shaula Evans said:

Kathy, this looks REALLY amazing — and I bet if I made it meatless (maybe with Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) or seitan or just lots of extra beans) it would still be great.

One of our favourite bachelor friends is just moving into a new apartment (from our guest room!) — I’m thinking I should cook up a freezer-set of this for him as a house warming present.

Thanks very much for including the spice substitutes for the Chili kit — I haven’t noticed that brand in the stores around here, so I really appreciate having a workaround.

will said:

Hi, Kathy, Shaula,

Stepping right up to the plate for the vegetarian substitution, There is something here in Canada that has come out in recent years, called Veggie Ground Round.” and it is manufactured by a company called Yves Veggie Cuisine

Veggie ground round I think is made of a combination of Soya (tofu) and Gluten (Seitan or as my mother would say Satan — she hates all these “fake meats”)

As a Meat substitute, this “Veggie Ground Round” has come a long long way since the 60’s, when here in the West we began to get interested in meatless alternatives.

One of the ones they sell, is already flavored tex-mex, and is pretty much taco or chili ready.

I think it’s an amazing subtitute, because some of my carniphobic (meat-fearing) friends won’t touch the stuff because it’s just to close to the real thing for comfort. Although, mind you, I doubt a commited carnivore will be fooled.

But in chili, and other dishes where ground beef is one of 5 or six very strong flavored ingredients, it might just pass unnoticed ( one can always try)

I always figure, if they have it in Canada, they must have it 25 different flavors in the USA

So take a look in a large super market that has a vegetarian section. or in health food stores. This stuff is really great, and your doctor says, “No more red meat!” then try this.


Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Will, I will check for this at my grocery store! The great thing about chili is that you can throw in just about anything YOU like. The seasonings are pretty much up to as well. Many consider beans in chili to be a definate no no. Clearly i’m not one of them! Cheers!

j.p said:

I like to add chipotle sauce to my chili. You can find it in the ethnic foods aisle near the mexican foods.

Nina Jarvis said:

I am getting ready to try your chili recipe using the Wick chili kit, but would like it more soupier. I dont want to delute the taste with water so what else can I do to make it more sloppier? Thank You, Nina

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Nina,
How about starting with 8 ounces of canned tomato sauce. That should be enough to give you the consistency you are looking for! If not add more tomato sauce!
Good luck,

mdr said:

I love this chili kit but i cant find it anywhere in the stores in washington. I am soo sad. I have used this kit for years. any tips, please e-mail me.

Kathy Maister said:

Hi mdr,

I just google Wick Fowler’s 2 alarm chili kit and discovered that you can buy it online.

You might also want to ask the manager of your local grocery store if they can start ordering it again. You would be surprised at how accommodating your local grocer can be!

Good Luck,

mdr said:

Thank you. :) I will try that. maybe i can just buy a box through the grocer.

Courtney said:

I just used the kit for the first time, but the chili has a tangy aftertaste. What should I do?

startcooking said:

Hi Courtney,
My guess is that the tangy aftertaste may well have to do with the type of canned tomatoes you used. Not all canned tomatoes taste the same. Here is a very comprehensive review on tomatoes that you might find helpful.
In the meantime, try adding a teaspoon of sugar to your chili. That might help to balance the tangy aftertaste.

Chuck said:

If you want a “sloppier” chili, add a small can of V8 vegetable juice.
I usually add a beef bouillon cube, a can of V8, and a can of diced green chilis along with the other items listed above, and serve it with diced onion, shredded cheddar and chips.

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