This recipe keeps it simple with pantry ingredients paired with some fresh veggies & ground beef to create a dish that will warm you from the inside out! Finish with your favorite toppings & you have a totally customizable bowl of heaven!
Classic chili is the perfect comfort food & nothing beats Mom’s Chili.
Growing up, my mom wasn’t the biggest fan of cooking. She didn’t hate it, but she didn’t love the clean up that followed. Enough so that she didn’t cook often. She had what we called the “rotation” of dishes she would choose from when she did cook. Chili was one of those dishes that was always a favorite in the house. It had such a distinct smell that we knew immediately what was for dinner the second we entered the door after getting home from school. This dish was also a favorite of my moms because it is fairly simple. It requires a little prep work in the way of chopping vegetables & opening cans, but after that, smooth sailing. She always said she found chopping vegetables “soothing” & as a child I thought she was a freak. Fast forward to adulthood & I’ve never related to a sentence more.
This recipe can easily be made vegetarian / vegan by omitting the meat entirely!
My siblings & I most likely enjoyed the chili toppings more than the actual chili, but that’s neither here nor there. Mom would serve this up with tortillas, sour cream, Fritos, lettuce & cheese. Sometimes she’d shake things up & serve it with pasta. This dish is pretty versatile with it’s toppings, so it’s great for feeding a family of picky eaters (which we all were as children, let’s face it). This is comfort food at its finest & with the weather finally cooling down (I’m in California where winter JUST started) this is something you’re going to want to have on the dinner table!
What to serve with Mom’s Chili-
- sour cream
- sliced jalapenos
- corn bread
- diced onion
What I love most about this recipe is the way it fills the house with the most delicious aroma, that tells your nose, something GOOD is cooking. Coming home from school & smelling this Chili is one of my fondest memories. This is a great make ahead recipe because it can sit on the stove all day, simmering away, while your house fills with the delicious smells of chili powder, peppers, tomatoes, & other seasonings. The longer the Chili simmers, the more the flavors will develop, so dont be afraid to leave it on the stove for a few hours.
Freezing the Leftovers-
You may have noticed this recipe makes a lot of Chili, but it’s very freezer friendly if you can’t eat it all. To freeze the chili, allow it to cool completely, then transfer it into freezer safe containers. I like to portion mine out so when I want a serving of Chili, I dont have to defrost the whole batch. Souper Cubes are great for freezing leftover soups! You can also freeze the Chili (or any soup / stew) in freezer bags for easy storage. Fill the bag & lay it flat on your counter so everything is evenly dispersed in the bag. Remove as much air as possible & freeze flat. Once it has frozen solid, you can stand it up & store it that way. The flat freezing method is also great for quickly defrosting because everything is in a single layer!
FAQs about Mom’s Chili
Absolutely! This recipe is a great one because you can leave out ingredients you don’t like or dont have, and swap in ingredients you love. Just make sure you have enough liquid so the chili doesn’t dry out while you’re cooking, and it will be delicious!
This is a great freezer friendly recipe. Read the section about find out exactly how to do so.
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Bell Peppers assorted colors, medium diced
- 1 medium Yellow Onion medium diced
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- 2 lbs Ground Beef or ground turkey, but you can leave out the meat for a vegetarain version
- 3 tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
- ¾ tablespoon Dried Basil
- 1 15oz can Red Kidney Beans
- 1 15oz can White Kidney Beans
- 1 15oz can Pinto Beans
- 1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 15oz can Tomato Sauce
- 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- Sour Cream optional
- Corn Chips optional
- Cheese optional
- Sliced Jalapenos optional
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Toss in bell peppers & onion, then season with salt & pepper.
- Sauté the veggies over medium heat until they become soft & translucent, about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Once the veggies have become soft, add the ground beef & season with salt & pepper once more. Cook the beef until it becomes brown & you can no longer see any pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go.
- Add chili powder, dried oregano & basil. Stir to combine & cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Next, add the beans & their liquid, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce & tomato paste. Stir to make sure everything is combined & tomato paste has disbursed into the mixture.
- Bring the whole mixture to a boil. Once the chili has reached a boil, lower the heat to simmer & cook, uncovered for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to ensure everything cooks evenly.
- After the hour is up you can serve the chili immediately, or it can continue cooking, covered, for another hour to deepen the flavor.
- Serve up with your favorite toppings & enjoy!