It is officially Fall and here in the Pacific Northwest we are feeling it with crisp morning air and leaves falling to the ground. Even though we are blessed with beautiful sunny afternoons I am ready to pull out my Fall favorite meals. Classic beef and bean chili is one of my favorite meals for so many reasons.
It's delicious, easy and filling and my entire family actually eats it! A huge hurdle in my house with picky eaters + gluten dairy and sugar restrictions.
Chili with cornbread and honey butter is also my go to meal to give to a family who just had a baby, is going through a hard time, or just needs some help in the dinner department. Mainly because everyone loves chili but also because it freezes well. If you've ever been a 'meal train' recipient you know that having the option to freeze your food gifts is so useful.
For large parties and events, chili bars are always a hit! Set out an array of toppings plus some baked potatoes and/or hot dogs and you have such an easy cook ahead and crowd pleasing party meal.
Another great thing about chili is that it's easy to bring all the ingredients and cook in a dutch oven over a fire when camping. I'm a huge fan of slow campfire meals.
If you're looking for a super inventive new take on chili you're not going to find it here. This chili is not going to knock your socks off with interesting ingredients and new methods. It, like all the recipes I share here, is a classic, no nonsense, tried and true recipe. You won't have to wonder if this beef and bean chili is going to turn out right or taste good. Trust me, it will be perfect. Every time.
Gather your ingredients
2 Tablespoons cooking oil (canola oil, vegetable oil or olive oil),
2 onions, 1 bell pepper (I prefer red or orange but any will do), 6 garlic cloves,
1/4 cup chili powder (make sure you use chili powder not ground chilis - if you make that mistake your chili will be spicy and completely inedible for most people),
1 Tablespoon cumin, 2 pounds ground beef,
2 15.5 ounce cans red kidney beans, 2 15.5 ounce cans tomato sauce,
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, salt and pepper
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.
Chop the onion and pepper and mince the garlic.
Add the oil to the preheated dutch oven and heat until shimmering
Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until they begin to soften (about 2 minutes).
Add the chili powder, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat and cook until the vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 15 seconds).
Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and beans (undrained).
Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer.
Add the beef while stirring to mix in.
Return to simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue to simmer an additional 45 minutes uncovered.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with your choice of toppings.
I like to have little bowls of green onion, red onion, cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled queso fresco, and sour cream so everyone can customize their chili to their liking.
Homemade cornbread with honey butter is a perfect pairing for chili. See below for my recipes for both sweet cornbread and honey butter.
You can cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze in 1 gallon freezer bags (laid flat) for up to a month. Reheat on the stove top over low heat and serve.
Classic Beef and Bean Chili
recipe by Tristin Rieken of ONEarmedMAMA.com based on a recipe from America's Test Kitchen
- 2 Tablespoons cooking oil (vegetable, canola or olive oil)
- 2 Onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 Cup chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- salt and pepper
- 2 Pounds lean ground beef
- 2 15.5 ounce cans red kidney beans
- 2 15.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil until shimmering.
- Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until they begin to soften (about 2 minutes).
- Add the chili powder, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat and cook until the vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 15 seconds).
- Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and beans (undrained).
- Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer.
- Add the ground beef and stir to mix.
- Return to simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to simmer an additional 45 minutes uncovered.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with your choice of toppings (diced green onion, red onion, cilantro, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled queso fresco, and sour cream are great options). Or cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze in freezer bags laid flat up to 1 month. Reheat on the stove top over low heat.
recipe by Tristin Rieken of ONEarmedMAMA.com based on the recipe from Albers corn meal
- 2 Cups yellow corn meal
- 2 Cup flour (any gluten free flour mix can be substituted)
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 2 Teaspoons salt
- 2 Cups milk
- 2/3 Cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan
- Beat egg in a large bowl. Add milk and oil and mix well.
- Add corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and lightly mix dry ingredients before stirring into the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm with honey butter.
recipe by Tristin Rieken of ONEarmedMAMA.com
- 1/2 pound room temperature salted butter (2 sticks or 16 tablespoons or 2 cups)
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- Stir honey into butter. If the butter is not soft, you can use a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Spoon onto parchment paper or plastic wrap
- Roll into log and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze up to 3 months (longer if you use a food sealer).