Chili season is upon us! Those first super crisp days of winter have swept through the valley where I live, and I’ve got a hankering for some good classic chili. This recipe came from my mama, and is pretty basic and simple. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s just a base to get you started; there are so many ways to vary this chili that you can make it just right to suit your taste. The original recipe was just meat and beans; I’ve added the veggies to really make it my own. You can vary the veggies, switch up the meat, and make it spicy or mild. And it’s easy enough to make on a weeknight. Here’s how I do it with five main ingredients and a couple spices.
1 lb.of ground turkey or beef, based on your preference
1 40 oz.can of chili beans in chile sauce
½ of a green bell pepper
½ of a red bell pepper
6 oz.of frozen corn
Approx. 32 oz. Tomato juice (enough to cover all other ingredients when they are mixed in a pot)
salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Your choice of cheese, sour cream, and avocado
Makes about 8 servings
Step 1: Cook the ground turkey or beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. If using beef, add 1 tbsp.of flour to absorb some of the grease once it is cooked.
Step 2: Dice the bell pepper.
Step 3: Combine the cooked meat, chili beans in chili sauce, diced bell pepper, and spices in a large saucepan.
Step 4: Pour in enough tomato juice to barely cover all the ingredients. ***You can vary the amount of tomato juice you use depending on how soupy or how chunky you like your chili.
Step 5: Let the chili cook for about 20 minutes and then add the frozen corn.
Step 6: Let the chili cook until the bell peppers are soft.
Step 7: Top with your choice of cheese, sour cream, and avocado.
***Variations of this chili: add onion, skip the meat, add more spices and/or hot sauces to give it a kick. We’ve even used ground venison in this recipe before! It’s hard to go wrong with this one.