Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Beef Chili

Tasty and simple, this easy Beef Chili recipe is sure to please hungry families and busy cooks alike.

Beef Chili

Ask a dozen cooks the secret to a great beef chili and you’ll get a dozen different answers. Some will tell you it’s a family recipe that they can’t share. Others will say it’s the spices or the type of pot they use or the bean to beef ratio. One thing they all agree on, however, is that time is one of the most important ingredients.

A good chili needs time for the flavors to develop and mingle. The beans, beef, tomatoes, and spices all simmer together and get to know each other. The earthy kidney beans balance out the acidic tanginess of the tomato sauce. The ground beef adds depth and texture. And in this recipe, there is a secret ingredient, but I’m not going to keep it a secret.

Grab a bottle of Coca-Cola from your pantry and add a cup to this while it simmers. That’s where some of the slightly sweet, slightly caramelized flavor comes in.

This is a pretty simple beef chili recipe, designed specifically for busy cooks who want a hot, fresh meal right from the stovetop, but don’t have hours to cook beans, slice onions, and measure out herbs and spices. In fact, thanks to taking advantage of canned beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and a packet of onion soup, you only need about five minutes to get this recipe going. Once you brown the beef, you’re pretty much done. Just add a few more ingredients and let it simmer.

And did I mention that everything gets cooked in one pot, so there’s almost no clean up involved!

I like to serve this with a glass of iced tea and a bottle of my favorite hot sauce. That way, everyone can make it as spicy (or not!) as they want. If you don’t finish it all in one sitting, it makes for great leftovers the next day.

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Beef Chili

Beef Chili

Tasty and simple, this easy Beef Chili recipe is sure to please hungry families and busy cooks alike.

  • Author: Addie Gundry
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Soups

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 packet onion soup
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can (6-ounce) tomato paste
  • 1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup Cola

Instructions

  1. Brown beef, oil, and soup mix, pepper, and cocoa in pan. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Add kidney beans, tomato paste, and sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cola.
  4. Simmer for 30 more minutes.
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Beef Chili

Print

Beef Chili

  • Author: Addie Gundry
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Soups

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the beef and onion together in a large pot or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the beef is browned well, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add it to a 6-quart slow cooker and then add the garlic, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours or Low for 6. Scoop into bowls and serve.
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