Chili is one of those dishes that is so insanely diverse, you almost can’t go wrong. Key word being “almost.” Please don’t put pasta in your chili and call it “chili.” It’s not. That’s Yankee food, y’all.
Every time I make a big pot of chili during the winter, I vary a little each time. However, the basics stay the same: a ground meat of some kind (turkey, beef, pork), diced tomatoes, and canned beans. As far as the meat goes, I’ve seen people use bison and venison too. Get as creative as you want!
For this particular recipe, I used three different kinds of beans (hence, the name). Typically, black beans or pinto beans are used for chili (I prefer black). I like to add several different varieties of beans to give my chili more color and texture. Another thing I added (not pictured) was a third can of diced tomatoes with added green chilis. Totally optional. I just like my chili to have a little kick to it.
In this particular batch of chili, I used half ground pork and half ground beef. Sauté your meat(s) of choice in the pot first, along with diced onion and minced garlic.
While that’s cooking, the next thing you’ll want to do is rinse your beans. Dump the canned beans into a strainer (colander) and rinse thoroughly with water. The bean water that comes in cans gives off a weird, chalky texture that I’m not a fan of. It also makes your broth look “muddled.”
Once your meat is cooked, start adding the beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. I only add one can of sauce because I like my chili thick. If you like, add another can or a cup of beef broth. In this batch, I threw in some corn for added color and texture. (Again, this is optional.) Let your chili cook on low heat for a good 1-2 hours. Or if you want to cook your meat ahead of time and dump all of the ingredients into a slow-cooker to simmer the entire day, that’s even better!
Don’t forget to top off your chili with some shredded cheese and serve some warm, buttered corn bread on the side for some extra-southern goodness!
- 1 can of black beans*
- 1 can of pinto beans
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 3 cans of diced tomatoes (2 regular + 1 with green chilis)
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 (1-ounce) package of chili seasoning**
- 2 C sweet corn kernels (basically, an entire 16-oz package of frozen corn)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
*All of these canned items were around 15 ounces. Just get as close as you can.
** If you don’t have chili seasoning easily available, you can make your own:
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper