Looking for something to eat with your cornbread? I have just the ticket!

I have a confession when it comes to chili. I never, ever, ever use a recipe. Not even my own recipe. I just throw everything together, taste test, and season according to my tastebuds’ liking.

I used to think that chili was very time consuming and complicated. It doesn’t have to be. Delicious chili can be made easy!

Step 1: Chop your veggies. For super simple chili, I usually go with one medium onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, and one small red pepper. You don’t need the peppers, but make sure you use the onion and garlic.

Step 2: Saute your veggies in a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. This only takes about 5 minutes. You want the onions and garlic to be soft and fragrant.

Step 3: Add your meat, if any. This can easily be made into 4 step chili if you leave out the beef. We continually change it up, using ground beef or turkey, buffalo, or even chicken. Just depends on how we are feeling. Or how hangry Mr. How Sweet is.

Step 4: Add your canned goods. This is another step where I normally grab what I have and throw it in the pot. My favorite combination includes tomato sauce, tomato puree, tomato paste, and light red kidney beans.

Step 5: Add your seasonings. I wish I could tell you to add a pinch of this and a dash of that, but I rarely measure when it comes to chili. I will give you approximations in the recipe below, but feel free to change/include/exclude depending on your personal tastes. It is YOUR chili after all.

As the story goes, your chili is going to taste better the longer it cooks. I have been known to cook a pot of chili overnight. But since I live with that guy that must eat every 7 minutes on the dot, sometimes allowing my chili to simmer just isn’t in the cards. It is almost as delicious with just a few minutes of cooking. If you let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes, you should be good. You can also let it cook all day in a crockpot.

Oh, and I did forget a step. Perhaps the most important one…

…DEVOUR. My favorite toppings are smoked gouda, avocado and chopped red onion.

Easy 5 Step Chili

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs ground beef (or meat of your choice)

1 29 oz can tomato sauce

1 29 oz can tomato puree

1 29 oz can of diced tomatoes in juice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 15 oz cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cocoa chili powder

1 tablespoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt & pepper to taste

Chop onions and garlic (and any other vegetables). In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped veggies and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until soft.

Add in ground beef (or meat) and cook until meat it heated through and no longer pink. Add sauces, tomato paste, and beans. Add spices and seasonings and stir. Let cook for at least 20-30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.

Note: This recipe makes a very chunky chili. Feel free to add more/less sauce depending on your preferences.

Don’t forget to throw a big hunk of cornbread, slathered in butter, on top for good measure.

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69 Responses to “Easy 5 Step Chili.”

  1. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — October 18, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    I have only made corn bread once, and I found it to be “grainy.” It was also my first time eating corn bread … is this how it is supposed to be?


  2. #
    Nicole, RD — October 19, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    YUM! I’m making your chili this weekend for my chili contest, I’m excited!! It looks awesome, of course!


  3. #
    Sophia — October 19, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    I love chili! Perfect for a cold night! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living’s Champion Chili Recipe Contest! It looks delicious!


  4. #
    Eliana — October 20, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

    This would be absolutely perfect with the honey corn muffins I posted today. Score!


  5. #
    Maggie Ramsey — September 19, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

    I made this chili yesterday–I live in Charleston, SC and it was finally cool enough (in the 70s) for me to be ok with eating chili. It was great to eat while watching the Steelers game! It was perfect–I didn’t have cocoa chili powder so I just used regular and added a couple tbsp of brown sugar. Delish!


  6. #
    Caitlin — September 20, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    Love your recipes! Making this today, substituting one or two things I don’t have (Using ground sirloin instead of ground beef, and no cocoa chili powder so I’m adding a bit of sugar), can’t wait to taste! Thanks so much!


  7. #
    Caitlin — September 20, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    PS It is 97 degrees here right now, but I just don’t care. I NEED CHILI!


  8. #
    Shayla @ The Good Life — October 5, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    I’m first time commenter and I just love your blog, your sweets along with your savory recipes are just awesome…and I love how you add in a bit about what goes on in your life here and there :)

    I was looking around for Chili recipes and I knew to come to you first, this looks and sounds awesome, easy too! However we only have lean (93/7) ground turkey on hand…would that work in place of the ground beef? Thanks Jess!


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:57 am

      Thanks! And yep, that should work!


  9. #
    Allyson — June 6, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

    Would it take 8 hours in a crockpot too? (Sorry, cooking noob over here.)



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