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How to Make the Best Vegetarian or Chicken Chili Recipe

Updated on October 17, 2018

Kidney Beans


Chili Bean Recipe

This is a tried and true chili recipe that I have used for years. It's a great meal to bring to a friend after a new baby, surgery, etc, or a great meal for gameday. Pair it with homemade cornbread and honey butter. This chili can be made ahead of time and kept on low heat with occasional stirring. It can also be refrigerated and reheated and frozen in a freezer safe container.

Preparations and Cooking

1. In a 8 to 10 qt. stock pot, combine chopped onions, carrots and oil. Stir often over medium-high heat until onions are golden and soft, 15-20 minutes.

2. Add mustard seeds and stir for 1 minute.

3. If you are adding ground beef or turkey, do so now. Crumble apart with a spoon and cook stirring occasionally until lightly browned.

4. Stir in chili powder, cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, tomatoes and their liquid, stewed tomatoes and their liquid, tomato paste, and zucchini.

5. Add water and undrained kidney beans.

6. Simmer rapidly, uncovered, until chili is thickened and almost all liquid has evaporated, about 40 minute. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Taste your chili before serving. I almost always add a bit more chili powder or garlic salt before serving.

7. Ladle chili into wide rimmed bowls and top with cheese, chopped onions, and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with a side of homemade cornbread and warm honey butter.

Chili Ingredients

4 large onions chopped (If you can buy the sweet onions they are better. I love the sweet Walla Walla onions.)

2 medium zucchini

2 cups chopped, peeled carrots

6 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of mustard seeds

1 tablespoon of chili powder (at the end of making the chili I may add more chili powder for a spicier taste)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3 large cans (about 1 lb. each) of kidney beans

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (14 oz.) stewed tomatoes

1 cup water

Grated cheddar cheese for topping

Sour cream and chopped onions for topping

Optional: 1 1/2 lb. ground beef or ground turkey, or 2 cans or 1 lb. canned chicken breast in water, drained.


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