– Ben Martens


I love chili, and when I make chili, I generally say the spicier the better. I made it last week and I think I finally made it too spicy even for me. I won’t go into details. You should just be thankful you don’t live with me. Here is the basic recipe I use and I’ll point out where you can adjust the heat.


  • 2  tsp  Each – Salt, Pepper
  • 2  tbsp  Each – Chili Powder , Sugar
  • 1  lb(s)  Lean Ground Beef or Turkey
  • 1  can(s)  Tomato Soup, 10 3/4 oz
  • 3  can(s)  Red kidney beans (Undrained) 15 oz cans. I’ve also used “chili beans.”
  • 2  can(s)  Stewed Tomatoes, Italian/Mexican style, 14 1/2oz
  • Cheddar cheese and sour cream to top the chili when you serve it

Brown ground beef, drain, put in 4 quart pot. Add all other ingredients. I drain off a bit of the juice in the beans but leave most of it. Adjust spices to your liking. Sugar reduces the acidity of tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly! Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and cover pot. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent burning on bottom. After 2 hours, remove cover and continue to simmer until desired thickness.


  • This works better on the stove than in the crock pot. Don’t forget to stir every 15 minutes though. It will burn if you don’t.
  • Taste it about an hour in and see how the spices are doing. Add sugar if it’s too spicy and add pepper and chili powder if it’s not hot enough.
  • If you know you like it hot, chop a jalapeno and throw it in at the beginning. I used two jalapenos last time and that was too much for me.
  • I put the stewed tomatoes through a food processor before I start to get them chopped up into smaller pieces. I don’t like big chunks of tomato in the finished product.

I’ve tried a lot of chilis over the years and this is my favorite. I don’t make it very often because it takes a lot of attention, but when I do, I like to eat leftovers on the bed of rice.

Tyla isn’t a big fan of beans so I’m going to start experimenting with beanless chili. If you have a favorite recipe, please let me know! Apparently the chili gurus in Texas consider beans in chili to be blasphemy so I’m sure there are plenty of good beanless recipes around.