Seven Flexible Chili Recipes

Seven Flexible Chili Recipes

Chili is as much an art as a food. There are all kinds, from Betty Crocker to Buffalo Breath, and they range from something very Hormel-like, to soupy, to so thick a spoon stands up and bounces back when you hit it just like an inflatable Mr. Magoo (look it up, young blood, it was a thing).

The thing about chili is that YOU have to make up your OWN recipe. Oh, you may eventually try enough recipes to find one that is distinctly YOU, but it happens a whole lot faster if you are confident enough to just TRY to change a few things. So I'll give you some instruction in what to change for what kind of result.

  • Some kinds of beans change the flavor, some kinds do not. And some people can TASTE that change, and some cannot!

    Some beans just have a different texture, so they are noticeable. Different shapes may feel different in chili also.

  • All of the recipes below that have beans take 2 lbs of dry beans. If you need to use canned beans, then you can sub about 9-10 of beans instead. You need about a gallon of cooked beans, and each can has a little less than 1 pint. Same with your home canned beans, due to headspace and other issues, you'll have just less than a pint of beans per pint jar.

  • Wheat can be subbed for beans, but it absorbs a LOT of flavor, and tastes different.

  • Onions are important to the flavor of a good chili, they add a mellow sweetness and savoriness. For people who do not like onions, subbing in onion powder instead of chopped onion can help. For people who are really sensitive to onion, you can leave it out.

  • Many people like a really garlicky chili. No reason not to bump it up if you like, but if you leave it out, you may or may not notice. Garlic flavor can get stronger during canning, also, so if you are going to can your chili, keep it mild.

  • Chili powder is the essential flavor of chili. The thing that makes it chili. It isn't QUITE just chili peppers. Mostly. But not entirely.

    This is a possible chili powder recipe - but don't blame me if you don't like it, I never tried it, I just went hunting to see if anyone gave a clue.  
     
        1⁄4 cup sweet paprika
        1 teaspoon garlic powder
        1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
        1 tablespoon onion powder
        1 teaspoon dried oregano
        2 teaspoons ground cumin
        citric acid is often added for a little tang

    Now, one of the things about chili is that if you like really flavorful chili, make a mild chili powder, and put a LOT of chili powder in. Keep adding it until the flavor just sings! THEN add your heat - cayenne, chopped hot peppers, hotsauce, etc. Get that really zingy chiliness into it first, using only chili powder. That way you don't add a hot chili powder, and have all hot, no flavor. Flavor first, heat second.

  • You can put in any kind of peppers. I love sweet red or green peppers in chili, and have used orange or yellow. They do give different flavors. Hot peppers may have flavors in addition to hot, or they may just be HOT - you can also add hot sauce. Put in what you like, but be sure that you heat the chili and simmer for 10 minutes or so after each addition, because it takes time for the flavor to fully permeate the chili, and if you taste it too soon, you won't get the full impact of the heat that will come out within a few more minutes!

Red chili, and white chili kinda behave differently.

Red chili is thick because of the tomato base. White chili doesn't have that advantage, and there are three common ways to thicken it:

  • With flour or masa flour, or other common thickeners, just like you thicken a stew.
  • With cream cheese and sour cream.
  • By just mashing some of the beans to let the beans thicken the chili.

We opted for method three, because it is the simplest, and requires the least specialized ingredients. But you can change that up any way you like.

White chili is less likely to be a heat challenge, more likely to be mild, but you can make it as hot as you like, just get the FLAVOR right, and then bump up the heat.



Black Bean Special

2 lbs dry black beans
5 qts water

3 lbs cooked ground beef

1 can diced tomato
1 can beef broth
1 large chopped onion
2 chopped sweet peppers
1-2 tbsp chili powder, maybe more
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp seasoning salt (I use Redmond Organic, and it is herby, so it really does make a difference)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup mango chutney (or other sweet chutney, apple butter, etc) (Shhhh... this is the secret ingredient!)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 stick real butter
salt to taste

Rinse and cook the beans until tender (if you don't know how to do this, you'll need to look it up). Drain the beans until there is just enough water to reach the top of them. Throw all the other ingredients in, and let simmer for at least half an hour, then start adjusting flavors. Remember to simmer after each adjustment, for 10 minutes or so, in order to really KNOW what the flavor did from the changes.

I make this in my instant pot. It's a 6 qt, so it barely holds all of this. I like my beans fairly tender, so I run it on a full bean cycle, throw everything else in, and run it again a second time.

This is a fairly simple chili recipe, but it is NOT terribly hot. It is more mellow than hot. My husband does not like hot spicy foods, so I just let him be with it. This also has a bit of a fruity side note, because of the chutney. It is just barely there, and not really obvious.

I serve this for dinner, and can the leftovers. That way I always have chili on hand for quick meals. It is just as good canned as it is right out of the pot.



Red Chili Con Carne

I've made chili for many years, and this is our family standard, from the days before I had so many digestive issues and found I could handle black beans better than pinto. Pintos are the standard for chili, but you can use Pink beans, small red beans, or combinations of beans. Kidney beans are a bit tough for me, for chili anyway. I like them in salad, but not in my chili!

This is a little hotter than the Black Bean Chili.

2 lbs dry pinto beans
5 qts water

3 lbs cooked ground beef

1 can diced tomato
1 can beef broth
1 large chopped onion
2 chopped sweet peppers
2-3 tbsp chili powder, maybe more
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste

Rinse and cook the beans until tender (if you don't know how to do this, you'll need to look it up). Drain the beans until there is just enough water to reach the top of them. Throw all the other ingredients in, and let simmer for at least half an hour, then start adjusting flavors. Remember to simmer after each adjustment, for 10 minutes or so, in order to really KNOW what the flavor did from the changes.

You can make this in an instant pot, it will fit in a 6 qt pot, just barely. I like my beans fairly tender, so I run it on a full bean cycle, throw everything else in, and run it again a second time.

This is a fairly simple chili recipe, and it is very flexible. You can change it up all you want, with any customizations you need to suit your tastes.

Serve for dinner, or can it up. Or both. You can go ahead and can it even after it is cooked, and it doesn't lose much texture.



Red Chili No Beans

Oh, there is nothing better than a chili dog smothered in no-bean chili. I don't know what it is about the meat combo, but when I am craving real protein, it just hits the spot.

5 lbs cooked ground beef

1 can diced tomato
2 cans beef broth
2 large chopped onions
3 chopped sweet peppers
1-2 tbsp chili powder, maybe more
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt to taste

Throw all the other ingredients into a pot, and let simmer for at least half an hour, then start adjusting flavors. Remember to simmer after each adjustment, for 10 minutes or so, in order to really KNOW what the flavor did from the changes.

You can do this in an instant pot, if you want to cheat, just cook the hamburger in a lump, and then break it up with a fork.

This is a fairly simple chili recipe, and it is very flexible. You can change it up all you want, with any customizations you need to suit your tastes.

Serve for dinner, or can it up. Or both. You can go ahead and can it even after it is cooked, and it doesn't lose much texture.




Red Chili Beans

Just the beans. You can bottle this up and can it for use in soups or as a chili-starter (so you can add different kinds of meat), or you can eat it as a veg chili.

2 lbs dry pinto beans
5 qts water

1 can diced tomato
1 can beef broth
1 shredded carrot (optional)
1 large chopped onion
2 chopped sweet peppers
1-2 tbsp chili powder, maybe more
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp lime juice
salt to taste

Rinse and cook the beans until tender (if you don't know how to do this, you'll need to look it up). Drain the beans until there is just enough water to reach the top of them. Throw all the other ingredients in, and let simmer for at least half an hour, then start adjusting flavors. Remember to simmer after each adjustment, for 10 minutes or so, in order to really KNOW what the flavor did from the changes.

I make this in my instant pot. It's a 6 qt, so it barely holds all of this. I like my beans fairly tender, so I run it on a full bean cycle, throw everything else in, and run it again a second time.

This is a fairly simple chili recipe, and it is very flexible. You can change it up all you want, with any customizations you need to suit your tastes.

Serve for dinner, or can it up. Or both. You can go ahead and can it even after it is cooked, and it doesn't lose much texture.



White Chili Con Carne

This is as basic as it gets. You can add corn, or Monterey Jack cheese (or Pepper Jack) to it if you like, and top it with sour cream or other toppings to serve.

Remember, Great Northern and Navy beans DO taste different.

2 lbs dry White beans (Navy, Small White, Great Northern, Cannelini, or even Garbanzo)
5 qts Water

2 pints Broth (to match your meat)
3 lbs cubed and cooked Chicken, Turkey, or Pork

1 large onion
1 tsp garlic granules
1 stick butter
1 can green chiles (you may need to chop these, and you may want more)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp lime juice

Rinse and cook the beans until tender (if you don't know how to do this, you'll need to look it up). Drain the beans until there is just enough water to reach the top of them.

Throw all the other ingredients in, and let simmer for at least half an hour, then start adjusting flavors. Remember to simmer after each adjustment, for 10 minutes or so, in order to really KNOW what the flavor did from the changes.

Mash a little of the beans if you want it thickened, and stir well.

You can make this in an instant pot. A 6 qt will barely hold it all.

This is a fairly simple chili recipe, and it is very flexible. You can change it up all you want, with any customizations you need to suit your tastes.

Serve for dinner, or can it up. Or both. You can go ahead and can it even after it is cooked, and it doesn't lose much texture.



White Chili No Beans

No-bean white chili can be used as a topping over cornbread, rice, barley or other grains, or you can serve up White Chili Baked Potatoes, or White Chili Cheese Fries.

This is as basic as it gets. You can add corn, or Monterey Jack cheese (or Pepper Jack) to it if you like, and top it with sour cream or other toppings to serve.

2 pints Broth (to match your meat)
5 lbs cubed and cooked Chicken, Turkey, or Pork

2 large onions
1 tsp garlic granules
1 stick butter
1 can green chiles (you may need to chop these, and you may want more)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp lime juice

Rinse and cook the beans until tender (if you don't know how to do this, you'll need to look it up). Drain the beans until there is just enough water to reach the top of them.

Throw all the other ingredients in, and let simmer for at least half an hour, then start adjusting flavors. Remember to simmer after each adjustment, for 10 minutes or so, in order to really KNOW what the flavor did from the changes.

Thicken with 3-4 TBSP flour.

You can make this in an instant pot. A 6 qt will hold it all.

This is a fairly simple chili recipe, and it is very flexible. You can change it up all you want, with any customizations you need to suit your tastes.

Serve for dinner, or can it up. Or both. You can go ahead and can it even after it is cooked, and it doesn't lose much texture.



White Chili Beans

Sometimes you just need beans. Cook these up as a veg only meal, or can them for a meal starter so you can throw in whatever kind of meat you want.

This is as basic as it gets. You can add corn, or Monterey Jack cheese (or Pepper Jack) to it if you like, and top it with sour cream or other toppings to serve.

Remember, Great Northern and Navy beans DO taste different.

2 lbs dry White beans (Navy, Small White, Great Northern, Cannelini, or even Garbanzo)
5 qts Water

2 pints Broth

2large onions
1 tsp garlic granules
1 stick butter
1 can green chiles (you may need to chop these, and you may want more)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp lime juice

Rinse and cook the beans until tender (if you don't know how to do this, you'll need to look it up). Drain the beans until there is just enough water to reach the top of them.

Throw all the other ingredients in, and let simmer for at least half an hour, then start adjusting flavors. Remember to simmer after each adjustment, for 10 minutes or so, in order to really KNOW what the flavor did from the changes.

Mash a little of the beans if you want it thickened, and stir well.

You can make this in an instant pot. A 6 qt will hold it all.

This is a fairly simple chili recipe, and it is very flexible. You can change it up all you want, with any customizations you need to suit your tastes.

Serve for dinner, or can it up. Or both. You can go ahead and can it even after it is cooked, and it doesn't lose much texture.

Notice

The information on this site is presented for informational purposes only, and consists of the opinions and experiences of the site authors. It is not to be construed as medical advice or to be used to diagnose or treat any illness. Seek the assistance of a medical professional in implementing any nutritional changes with the goal of treating any medical condition. The historical and nutritional information presented here can be verified by a simple web search.

 

 

 


Copyright © 2011-2012. All Rights Reserved.