ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Main Dish & Side Dish Recipes»
  • Stew Recipes

The Best Chili Recipe From Grandma's Kitchen And Ways To Use The Leftover Chili!

Updated on December 30, 2010

The Best Homemade Chili Comes From Grandma's Kitchen!

Chili is an American favorite! There are hundreds of chili cookoffs every year and the winners always say that theirs is the best. This chili recipe has never been to a cookoff, but it could offer some serious competition. Loaded with beef, garlic, onions, tomatoes and some fresh beans, the smell of chili simmering on the stove will not only fill your house, the aroma will escape and let your neighbors know that they need to be eating at your house tonight. Invite them! This chili recipe makes enough for a crowd!

Set aside a few hours. This chili takes some time to make but is perfect for Super Bowl parties or even a little bit of tailgating. Try it on New Year's Day! It is a great meal to welcome the new year!

Not Too Spicy, But Packed Full Of Goodness!

Grandma's Best Chili Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds of top sirloin or chuck steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces, with most of the fat removed
  • 3 - 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 large cans of diced tomatoes, 29 ounce cans
  • 1/2 can of water
  • 1 can of diced chiles, 7 ounce (do not drain)
  • chipotle en adobo, 2 or 3 peppers, chopped, plus 2 Tablespoons of sauce (Buy a small can, take out what you need and freeze the remaining in a baggie. When you want to spice up a dinner, scrape off some of the frozen peppers and frozen sauce.)
  • 4 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound of fresh pinto beans

The pinto beans:

The night before starting the meat sauce for the chili, rinse the fresh beans and sort them, making sure to remove any rocks or oddly shaped beans. Then put them in a large pot and cover them with cold water. The next day when you are ready to start the chili, bring the beans to a boil and cook for one hour or until soft and tender. Make sure to add water as it evaporates. I always add a peeled apple to beans as they cook. Supposedly, it helps to absorb gas that is released by the beans. I have done it for years and cannot remember where I heard the hint, but when the beans are done, I have a completely blackened apple to throw away. 

There is a quick cooking method to beans if you forget to soak them overnight. Put the beans in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the beans to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Leave the lid on for one hour, then remove the lid, add some water if any has evaporated and cook the beans until they are tender, probably another hour.

The chili sauce: 

I use top sirloin, if I can get it on sale. If not, chuck steak is a great substitute. It actually has more flavor than the sirloin, because it is higher in fat.

Heat the oil in an 8 quart stockpot. Brown the steak on all sides. Remove to a plate. Add the ground beef to the pot and brown it. Once brown, add the chili powder, red pepper flakes, onions and garlic. Sauté the onion until tender. Return the steak to the pot and add the tomatoes, water, chipotle peppers and sauce, the can of diced chiles and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, put a lid (slightly tilted) onto the pot and simmer. Make sure that you stir every once in a while, so that the sauce does not burn. Simmer the sauce for a couple of hours and then add the drained, cooked beans. Stir to combine and at this point, check for salt. Add more if needed. Simmer fo an additional hour so that the flavors combine.

When the chili is finished, I ladle it into bowls, and let everyone add their own toppings. I chop up some green onions, grate some sharp cheddar cheese, dice up some tomatoes, put some sour cream on the table and also put some nice tortilla chips into a large bowl. Everyone's favorite hot sauce also makes an appearance. This will serve 10 people easily and that is why it is perfect for a crowd.


What To Do With Leftover Chili? Try Some of These Recipes!

You can freeze leftover chili. Before you do, decide what you want to make with it, that way you can freeze it in containers that are the appropriate size for any future meals you are going to be cooking. If you have chili the first night as described above, consider making tacos, burritos, taco salad, chili dogs or nachos the second night.

Taco Salad is one of my favorite meals and is the best with leftover chili, made for dinner on the second night. Of course, it can be made in other ways, but I will give you my two favorite ways to make taco salad. One is with leftover chili, the other is made with S & W Chili Makin's.

1) Best Taco Salad Recipe with Leftover Chile:

  • 4 cups of leftover chili, heated
  • Fritos, 2 cups, broken up
  • 1/2 to 1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 to 4 diced tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 diced green onions
  • sour cream, to taste
  • your favorite hot sauce

Heat the chili in a pot til it is boiling. Remove from the heat. Ladle a nice portion onto a plate and sprinkle with some cheddar cheese. Then grab a handful of broken Fritos and put them on top of the cheese. Add some hot sauce and some chopped green onions. Put a healthy amount of shredded iceberg lettuce over that and add the tomatoes. Top this all with some sour cream. Delicious!

The taco salad can be made with S & W Chili Makin's if you have no leftover chile. The other ingredients are the same as above, with the exception of the chili. Brown up one pound of ground beef and then add a can of Chili Makin's. Simmer for about 10 minutes and use this as your first layer. Serves 4 as a main dish.

2) Recipe For Leftover Chili Nachos:

  • 3 to 4 cups of leftover chili
  • Velveeta cheese sauce
  • 1 bag of restaurant style tortilla chips
  • 3 to 4 diced tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 chopped green onions (optional)
  • 2 or 3 sliced jalapenos (optional)
  • sour cream to taste
  • your favorite hot sauce

Use a 1 pound box of velveeta. Chop the velveeta into small squares and place them in a microwave safe bowl. Add about a cup of milk. Cover and microwave for one minute at a time, stirring after each minute until the velveeta is completely melted. In the meantime, heat the chili in a pot on the stove. When the chili is hot, ladle some onto a plate. Cover the chili with a layer of tortilla chips, sprinkle with diced tomatoes, chopped green onions and some jalapenos. Spoon the velveeta cheese sauce over the top and add some sour cream and your favorite hot sauce. Serves 4 as a main dish.

3) Chili And Rice:

  • 4 cups of leftover chili or 2 cans of chili
  • 1 to 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 cups of cooked rice
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped or a few Tablespoons of chopped up chives (as garnish)

This cannot be compared to Louisiana style red beans and rice, which is a favorite of mine, but it is a good way to serve leftover chili. If the chili has been frozen, add some chicken broth to it and heat it up in a pot. Ladle it over some cooked rice and garnish it with some green onions or chives.

4) Leftover chili can be used in tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Everyone has a favorite recipe for each of these. Substitute leftover chili for whatever meat you use in your favorite recipes.

More Ideas For Leftover Chili!

Chili cheese dog pizza and chili cheese mac are family favorites. They can both be made using leftover chili. For the recipes, link to:! They are easy and quick! Another idea is to use some leftover chili for chili cheese fries. The link to that recipe is as follows:! These, too are quick and easy!


Submit a Comment

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    Thank you, SSaul and Pixienot! With winter here, chili just always comes to mind and I just try to keep it simple. Dear SSaul, don't think mine will make you cry! I try to keep it on the less spicy side and figure people can spice it up with some sliced jalapenos or more diced onions on top. Happy New Year to you both!

  • Pixienot profile image

    Pixienot 7 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

    It's been a long time since I made a big pot of chili. It sounds awesome.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • profile image

    ssaul 7 years ago

    oh my, i love chili it makes me cry when i eat it but i still go back for more because its so good!