Homemade Chili


Photo by Nicole Ramos

Texas style chili can be a great way to use up ingredients from the fridge and pantry. It is a comforting dish that always reminds me of elementary school. This is because we had “Frito Pies” for lunch sometimes. If you don’t know what a “Frito Pie” is, then you are missing out! Basically it is chili layered over Frito’s (or corn chips) topped with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and onions. I recommend trying it next time you make chili! I like to make this chili recipe from scratch (i.e. with dried beans) if I have the time, and if not I don’t have the time canned beans are ok too.  For those who haven’t had experience using dried beans there are a few different ways to prepare them. I like to soak the beans that I’m using overnight, covered in the fridge, and then cook them for about 1 ½  hour in salted water with a few whole cloves of garlic before I put them into the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. There are so many methods for preparing dried beans though that I recommend just trying a few out to find which you like best.

Prep Time: Cook   Time: Level: Serves:
40 min 4 hours Intermediate 6-8


1 lb. of dried beans (Kidney, black or pinto) soaked and cooked

1 ½ lb. Ground beef

3 cloves Garlic

1 Yellow onion diced

1 Red bell pepper diced

2 Stalks celery diced

2 Carrots diced

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 can Sliced black olives

1 28oz can Diced tomatoes

4 Tomatoes diced

2 tsp. Tomato paste

Chili Spice mix:

4 Tbsp. Chili powder

3 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Cayenne pepper

1 tsp. Paprika

2 tsp. Oregano


  1. In a large pan sauté onions with olive oil until transparent. Add ground beef and season with salt and 1 Tbsp. of the Chili spice mix. When the beef is browned on the outside add the celery, carrots, bell pepper and tomato paste. Stir until combined then cover and let cook over low heat for 20 min, stirring occasionally.
  2. While that cooks, add the tomatoes, garlic and beans to the crock pot to start warming up.
  3. Add the meat and the olives to the crock pot and combine. Add enough water to cover everything as well as 1 Tbsp. of the Chili spice mix.
  4. Let cook on high heat for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Keep the salt and spice mix nearby to season more as needed.
  5. Enjoy!

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