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Jen’s Favorite Chili

Jen’s Favorite Chili

It’s Cold and Snowy so I’m starting off with my favorite Chili Recipe!

It snowed before Halloween this year – not a regular occurrence but one that leaves me feeling cold and damp when I should be feeling all cozy and warm like I do when there’s a beautiful, sunny Fall day.  When I saw the snow, I instantly decided that it was going to be an excellent night for a big bowl of chili. 

I tend to prefer a tomato- based chili so you’ll see lots of tomatoes and some tomato paste in the recipe below.  It’s not too spicy so consider adding spices or hot sauce it you like it hot. 

I like to serve the chili with a few add-on options:  shredded cheese (sharp is best for a nice contrast with the chili); ripe avocado is my personal favorite; some members of my household demand crackers – old fashioned soda crackers are fun!; sour crème when I need a touch of something cool and creamy.  I find the best way to do this is to make a “chili bar” – I set all of these out in small bowls and let everyone help themselves.

I always use my go-to Le Creuset oval pot.

Try it and let me know what you think – or add your favorite chili recipe!

How to make Jen’s Favorite Chili Recipe – Video


  • 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes (San Marzano if you can find them; I often can’t find diced so I buy peeled and chop them up a bit before adding, or use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut once in the pot)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 14 oz or 1 28 oz kidney beans
  • 1 medium or 1/2 large onion – finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I usually buy grass fed, 93% lean; if you buy 85%, be sure to drain the excess fat before adding additional ingredients)
  • 4 – 8 cups water (depends on how soupy vs stewy you prefer it)
  • 2 packets chili seasoning (use your favorite brand or make one to monitor ingredients; I have used Lawrys and McComicks; I use 1 packet mild/regular and 1 packet hot)


  • Add your favorite cooking oil (I use olive or avocado) to cover the bottom of the pot and heat to medium
  • Add onions and saute 5-10 min on medium until almost translucent – you do not want to cook them at too high a temperature – if they start to brown turn down the heat
  • Add ground beef and brown, stirring often, until it’s cooked through
  • Add tomato paste and seasoning and cook for a few minutes to let beef absorb flavors – watch the heat, you do not want it to burn
  • Add tomatoes, beans and water
  • Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, let simmer at least an hour and longer if time.
  • Stir often; keep an eye on bottom of pan, you don’t want it to burn. If it burns, do not stir up the bottom.

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