Friday, January 11, 2013

Easiest Weeknight Chili

So I know I spent some time in the last post talking about not rushing through the cooking process when time allows and using a low and slow technique to develop new, deeper, richer flavors--which is great when you have hours of time and leisurely afternoons to spend near the kitchen. But let's get real, that's a luxury that comes just a few precious times a month and there's still all those other days in between that require meals.

This chili recipe is fool proof and so simple to throw together after a long day of work or on a packed weekend when you've forgotten your husband has invited 10 of his buddies over to watch the big game. Substitute in any of your favorite chili ingredients (like extra veggies or corn!) and toppings or bake up this along side---whatever you choose,  in just about 30 minutes you'll have a pot full of huggable deliciousness to feed an army (or yourself for a few days).

Consider it for a chili bar (just set out the toppings and let everyone serve themselves) for the super bowl or for a Golden Globes get together this Sunday night.

Easiest short-cut Chili
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken--you choose!)
  • 2 (14oz) cans light red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (14oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 standard size jar of chunky salsa of your heat preference (I like "medium" organic/low sodium varieties)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/8-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (start with 1/8 and add slowly to adjust heat level)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2- 3 1/2 cups low sodium original V8
**optional toppings, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, crushed tortilla chips, rice (1/2c per person will stretch your chili and make it heartier).  

Getting started:

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Brown the ground meat until cooked through, then season with the garlic, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, paprika and black pepper. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the salsa. Add in the drained beans and mix well. Add the V8 until it covers all of the beans/meat. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon over white or brown rice and/or top with favorite chili toppings. 


  1. Oh man, I LOVE chili - the perfect cold weather food! I've never put salsa in chili, but I love that idea. I'm going to have to give it a try!

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

  2. Ashley,
    Thanks for stopping by! The salsa in the chili was always my Mom's short-cut to get all those veggies in there without the dicing and long, slow sweat. An extra can of fire-roasted tomatoes would also be a delicious addition of flavor for a short-cut version of a long, simmered classic!

    (I hope it's not to chilly where you're reading from!)


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