Darn Good Chili is my go-to when it’s cold and gray outside. What’s better than a warm bowl of chili topped with a few tortilla chips and a dollop of guacamole?
The best part of this recipe is how flexible it is. Add or subtract types and/or amounts of vegetables. Use ground venison or bison instead of ground beef. I’ve even eaten it for breakfast…..not your typical morning fare, but it’s a great alternative to traditional breakfast food.
Follow this perfectly, or change it up however you want. I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same way twice, and it’s always been good.
Darn Good Chili
- 2 tbsp olive oil, butter, or coconut oil
- 1/2 to 1 cup diced onion
- 2-3 cups chopped, grated or diced vegetables. I usually use a combination of carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow squash and/or zucchini, depending on what I have on-hand.
- 1-2 pounds ground beef (or bison, turkey, a mixture, whatever you like)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1-14oz can diced tomatoes
- 1-14oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup beef broth (I’ve used water in a pinch….worked out fine)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I forgot this once, and while it was still really good, I prefer the flavor it adds)
- 2 bell peppers, diced (I almost never add these, unless I’ve made a special trip to the store to buy them. If you have them, use them)
- Heat fat of choice in large dutch oven over medium heat
- Add ground beef and crumble, cooking until meat is cooked through
- Add all the vegetables, except the peppers, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes
- Add all the seasonings and mix well
- Add remaining ingredients (except peppers) and mix well
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer partly covered about 45 minutes (longer is always better, but you won’t sacrifice all the flavor if it simmers less than 45 minutes)
- Check and stir every so often, adding more water or beef broth if it gets too thick. It’s not meant to be soup-y, however, you don’t want it to completely dry out.
- Remove lid, add peppers, and simmer another 15 minutes or so
- Serve and enjoy!
I always serve chili with grated cheese and Fritos. I really like sliced avocado with this recipe, as well as a dollop of sour cream.
My version is pretty mild on the spicy-scale, so add more chili powder or red pepper flakes, or serve with a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce if you prefer more heat.