Create your own signature chili recipe using Food Network Magazine's expert formula.
1: Make the Base
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 each chopped onion and bell pepper or poblano; add 3 cloves minced garlic and/or 1 to 2 minced jalapenos. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
2: Add Seasonings
Stir in 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Add 1/4 cup chili powder (classic or ancho) and 2 teaspoons each ground cumin, coriander and dried oregano. Add one of the following, if desired, and cook, stirring, until brick red, 1 to 2 minutes.
- 1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (sweet or hot)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 chopped chipotle chile in adobo
3: Choose Your Ground Meat
Add 2 pounds ground meat to the pot (pick one kind below); season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
4: Pick Your Beans
Stir two 15-ounce cans of beans or hominy into the pot. Don’t drain them — you’ll want the starchy liquid in your chili.
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Pink beans
- White beans
5: Cook the Chili
Add three 14.5-ounce cans crushed tomatoes to the pot. Stir in 1 cup water or beer, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 3 bay leaves.
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft and the chili has thickened, adding more water if needed, 35 to 45 minutes. During the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, add 1 to 2 cups frozen vegetables (corn, sliced okra or chopped kale or collards), if desired.
Remove the chili from the heat and season with salt and pepper. (For extra flavor, stir in 1 teaspoon chili powder, cumin or cocoa powder, a few dashes of hot sauce or a splash of vinegar or lime juice.)
6: Add Toppings
Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with your choice of toppings.
- Sliced radishes
- Fried onions or tortilla chips
- Chopped jalapenos shredded or crumbled cheese
- Cilantro leaves
- Chopped scallions
- Sour cream or ranch dip
Recipe developed by Steve Jackson and Melissa Gaman for Food Network Magazine.
Photograph by Christopher Testani.
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