The Best Chili Recipe

This is a great chili recipe that can be customized depending on the kind of meat you have and how spicy you like it.

beef chili with jalapeno and cheeseThe past two weekends we spent helping out at the boys’ schools’ Harvest Festivals. As I mentioned in my last post, for the Bake Sale I baked a Lemon Cream Pie and a Banana Bundt Cake with Lemon Icing. For the Cake Walk I made two batches of my Chocolate Chip Cookies that everyone always loves. Both events were a lot of fun, work and a great opportunity to meet new families and get to know people a bit more. We also attended a Halloween party at my husband’s work. My older son won first place for his Alien costume, alien halloween costume

and a co-worker won for “Trumpkin”, a Trump-like carved pumpkin.trumplike pumpkin

There was a Chili Cook-Off at one of the schools with 12 different chilis and that made me realize that there is no chili recipe on my blog! How is it possible? Everyone needs a good chili recipe, one that can be easily customized.

A few of the chilis I tried were rather bland while some were oh so spicy! I like chili to be somewhat spicy but not too much, so the kids can eat it. This recipe is great for either ground turkey, beef, or combination of both. As with most chilis, the flavor will improve overnight. It should be slowly cooked in a Dutch oven or slow cooker. I like to brown the meat and bloom the spices (make them fragrant and “active”) on a large skillet first before transferring to the slow cooker.

Start by chopping 1 large onion and 4-5 garlic cloves, then cook them with some olive oil in the Dutch oven, large pot with thick bottom or a skillet if you are going to transfer everything into the slow cooker. When onion is slightly golden, add the spices: chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir well and when everything becomes fragrant, after about 30 seconds, add the ground meat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes stirring until the meat turns brown. If you are going to use the slow cooker, transfer everything now.

turkey chili in a red bowlNext, add two 28 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes with their juices, 1 cup vegetable or beef broth, one 15 oz. can of tomatoes with chili peppers and 2 cans of rinsed pinto beans. Stir well and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot. If using the slow cooker, cover it and set it for 4 hrs on high heat or 7 hrs on low.

During the cooking, stir the chili every now and then and adjust the seasonings. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, sliced jalapeno and some chips on the side. Sprinkle a bit of cilantro on top. Come back for seconds!chili with beans, jalapeno, sour cream


Serves: 8-10           Prep time: 25 minutes         Ready in: 4 hrs


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 medium garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 lbs ground turkey, beef or both
  • two 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 cup vegetable or beef broth
  • one 14.5 oz. can of tomatoes with chili peppers
  • two 15 oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed (or 1 can pinto beans and 1 can kidney beans)

Serve with: sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeno, tortilla chips and some cilantro.


  1. Heat up a large skillet (if using slow cooker) or Dutch oven, add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, then onion and garlic. Cook on medium heat until the onion starts turning golden. Add the spices, stir well and cook for about 30 seconds. When everything becomes fragrant add ground meat. Stir well and cook for about 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. When meat is no longer pink transfer everything into the slow cooker, if using. Add tomatoes, broth, and beans. Set the timer for either 4 hours and high heat or 7-8 hours on low heat.
  3. If using Dutch oven add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, covered, for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally and taste.
  4. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, some jalapeno for more heat and freshly chopped cilantro.



  1. I’ve got to say, Magda, those Halloween pictures are hilarious! Trumpkin!! I love it!

    And your chili recipe looks delicious. I love chili but I’ve never put sugar in it or cooked it in a slow cooker. I’m also glad that you say that you brown the meat first. I’ve always wondered about placing meat directly into a slow cooker. I’ve got to try to make it your way sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Cioppino | It's Cooking with Magda

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