Perfect Hearty Chili Recipe

This hearty chili recipe offers just the right balance of sweet and spicy.

I love chili. I don't often make it, but when I do, it's an event! The following is a very hearty chili recipe. The tomatoes and sweet peppers offer a sweetness which is readily followed by a spicy hotness. 

If you like spicy foods, eat it alone. If you need to tone down the amount of spice, eat it with saltines or sweet corn bread. Or throw a dollop of sour cream into the chili. It is easily balanced. That how we do it. The youngest children can tame the "hot" while the adults the spiciness. 


This recipe can be made with or without meat (we have vegetarians in our household). I will include both versions below. 


1/2 cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef, browned and2(15.5 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
2 (15oz) cans crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
6 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 1/4 teaspoons hot pepper sauce


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until they start to become soft. Add the green peppers, red peppers, garlic (and tofu if using vegetarian alternative below). Cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
  2. Pour the beans into a pot and set to Low. Stir in the vegetables and tomatoes. Add ground beef. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, vinegar and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat low; simmer, covered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

(Options: I use an electric skillet instead of a pot, cover and cook at 200°F for about 20 minutes. Then leave on warm until we're ready to eat. Another option is to cook for 6 hours on low in a crock pot.) 

Vegetarian Alternative:
Substitute the ground beef with 1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu, drained and cubed.

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Happy Cooking!


  1. I'm with you, I associate chili with fall and winter. We do love a good bowl of chili at our house. I'm loving finding all these great recipes at the Souper Bowl Soup & Chili Cookoff. Thanks for sharing with us. Pinned to our Souper Bowl group board. #souperbowl2015

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Shirley! (and for the PIN!)


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