Easy Beef Chili

We love to cook soups, stews, and chili in the winter. I have a meatless chili that my husband and I have enjoyed for years. Last winter, my boys wanted to eat chili, but weren’t interested in all those veggies. Here’s what we came up with. I got the basics from The Pioneer Woman, and then we added our own spin.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Two 14.5-oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • One 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup Guinness beer
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tobasco sauce (could use cayenne pepper)
  • One 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed


  • Shredded cheddar
  • Tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream


I used a big dutch oven to cook this. Put in the ground beef, onion, and garlic; cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off excess fat, then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Guinness, and spices. Cover, reduce heat to low. Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. If the chili looks too think, you can add water. Finally, add the beans and simmer another 30 minutes. Serve in individual bowls, topped with any desired toppings. Delicious with corn bread or beer bread.


Slow Cooker Brisket BBQ Chili

Magazine Purge #7! This one comes courtesy of Family Circle, September 2012. I always love something I can toss in the slow cooker in the morning.


  • 1 beef brisket (or chuck roast), about 2 pounds, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked white rice [I will probably use brown rice]
  • ¼ cup chopped scallion
  • lime wedges (optional)


  • Coat slow cooker bowl with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add brisket, onion, and garlic. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, mustard, and cumin. Stir into beef and onions. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.
  • Stir in beans and cook for 30 minutes. Serve with rice. Garnish with scallion and, if desired, lime wedges.

A Big Bowl of Red Meatless Chili

When my husband and I first got married, he was a vegetarian. That posed a few cooking challenges for us; we didn’t want to cook two meals all the time. For chili, at least, this recipe solved our problem! My husband does eat meat now, but this is still the chili we make. Experiment with the spices; I went all out on this one the first time I made it and it was pretty spicy!

Now I found this recipe on the internet in the late ’90s, but in researching for this post I discovered it is from a cookbook! Lean Bean Cuisine by Jay Solomon. So if you like this one, there’s a used copy of his cookbook somewhere in your future…


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil [Kristi note: I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil]
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced [Kristi note: I buy a small can and add to taste]
  • 1 large tomato, cored and diced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes [Kristi note: Add another 14 oz if using two cans of beans]
  • 2 cups cooked or canned red kidney beans, drained
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder (sweet or mild)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons Tabasco or other bottled hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • chopped raw onions (optional)
  • shredded cheddar (optional)
  • sour cream [optional per Kristi]
  • Frito’s [optional per Kristi]


Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, bell peppers, celery garlic, and jalapeno [Kristi note: if using canned jalapeno add with canned tomatoes]. Saute for 6 – 8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the fresh tomato and cook for 3 – 4 minutes more. Stir in the canned crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, [canned jalapeno], and seasonings, and simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally. Ladle the chili  into bowls and serve hot, garnished with onion and/or cheddar [or sour cream or Frito’s] if you like.

Kristi Note: I found that this mix of spices makes a pretty mild chili if that’s what you’re looking for:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Frank’s hot sauce
  • few spoonfuls of canned jalapenos
  • use the rest of the spices that the recipe calls for