Thursday, January 29, 2015

Our Favorite Chili

With the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday, I thought this was an appropriate time to share our favorite chili recipe. Paul and I used to host many game watches and Super Bowl parties before we had kids. At each one, we would try out a different chili recipe - we tried steak chili, vegetarian chili, beef and bacon chili, and used all different combinations of beans, spices, beers, and condiments. In the end, our favorite chili recipe is this chipotle-spiced recipe. Every time I make chili, this is probably the version we will have. It is probably Paul's favorite meal.

I originally found this recipe on the blog My Fare Foodie and loved the almost mole-inspired combination of chipotle peppers, ground espresso (or coffee), and chocolate. It makes a yummy, smoky, spicy chili that the whole family loves. I have tried making it with beef, ground turkey, ground pork, and with extra beans for a vegetarian-friendly version and they all are fantastic. Paul of course favors the all-beef version. The kids will even eat it - especially if we serve it with lots of delicious toppings. Our favorites are shredded cheese, sour cream, frito chips, diced avacado, and diced green onions. Or just plain. It's fantastic as is!

Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your preference - taste as you go along. If your family is a little hesitant around spicier food, reduce the canned chipotle peppers and ground cayenne. You can always add more later!

Oh, and serve this with a big batch of cornbread. The sweet kind. Like this. It's a beautiful pairing!

The Best Chili Ever
adapted from My Fare Foodie

Note: This makes a lot of chili. My slow-cooker is on the smaller size, so I normally halve this recipe. However, if you have a really big slow-cooker and like cooking for a small army, go with the full recipe!

2 pounds ground beef (or turkey, pork, or sausage)
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced bell peppers (I use red and yellow)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons diced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (scrape the seeds out if you want less heat)
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers above)
2 29-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can chili beans with the sauce
1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
11-12 ounces beef broth
3 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cayenne red pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped dark or unsweetened chocolate (I actually use Baker's)
2 tablespoons espresso powder or ground coffee

In a skillet set over medium heat, cook the beef until brown. Drain the meat and dump it into the slow-cooker.

Return the skillet to the oven and let it rewarm a bit. Cook the diced oinons and peppers until softened. Add the garlic and diced chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce and let cook until very frangrant, about 1 minute longer. With a spatula, scrape the vegetable mixture into the bowl of the slow-cooker. Top with the canned tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beans, broth, seasonings, chocolate, and coffee (aka everything else). Stir well, then cover and cook on LOW for about 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. Your house will smell amazing. (You're welcome)

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced green onions, diced avocado, Frito chips, etc.


  1. I've never had much luck with chili recipes I've found. Will have to try yours! Thank you!

    1. Let me know if you like it!! Paul is obsessed with it!!