Chili for when its chilly

As you may have heard on the news we are getting pounded this winter.  Lots and lots and lots of snow.  I don’t mind it really except for when I have to drive in it or shovel it. Luckily I work from home several days a week and have a husband with a snowblower! So I kind of have it made.  When the temps dip low, I like to make lots of soups and chilis.  They’re hearty and fairly healthy.  And they freeze well, which is great for those nights when I don’t feel like cooking (and there are many nights that fit that description).  I’ve heard there’s some kind of big football game this Sunday? And that people like to gather around to watch it and eat a lots of nachos and chili? So seems like good timing for this recipe.

Here’s my tried and true chili recipe, adapted from the New Good Housekeeping cookbook. The picture isn’t that great, for some reason this batch came out a little bit watery.  Might have been better served in a wide shallow bowl.  But hey I sprinkled it with chopped fresh parsley to try to make it look fancy! Points for that, right?

Plate of chili

Jean’s Chili


  • 1-2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 lb. ground beef (can also use ground turkey)
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chopped chipotle chili (optional; from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder (optional; I add this if I’m adding the chipotle to balance the flavors)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 14-16 oz. Can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • optional – rice, grated Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, chopped avocado, chopped scallions


  1. In large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.  After a minute or two add the ground beef or ground turkey, and cook until the onion and pepper are soft and the meat is cooked through.
  2. Add tomatoes and sauce and mix in.  Add spices and chipotle and cocoa powder if using.  Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2-1 tsp. salt and about 10-15 turns of the pepper grinder).
  3. Bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add kidney beans and simmer for another 10-20 minutes.


  • Serve over rice with grated cheese on top.  You can even be healthy and use brown rice, its hard to tell the difference when its soaking up the chili.
  • Some chopped avocado on top is good, too.  Or scallions.
  • Increase spices to taste.  I keep it on the mild side for the kiddo.