Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love Chili? Try this recipe!

A couple of months back, I saw a post from Daily Mothering titled The Best Chili Recipe Ever. Okay, so I admit, whenever I see "the best" or "world's greatest" before something, I am generally skeptical. I do love chili, however, and my husband.... well, he doesn't. Yep, you read that right. He doesn't love chili. This, of course, led me in a pursuit to find a chili he would like so that I could finally get chili again! (Hey, no point in making chili for only one person!)

I pinned the recipe to my interest account as soon as I saw it (find it on Thoughts Of Fluff's Pinterest board here), and finally the day came where he had no idea what to do for dinner, but we had thawed ground beef. Jackpot! I sent him the link to the recipe, and he was confused. It called for... green beans? Wait, green beans? In CHILI? Yep. Zucchini too! This is part of what intrigued me so much!

We made the recipe two different ways, and I wanted to share both with you. I went back to the original post to make sure I could credit the correct source, but found this appeared to be an original recipe! Of course, I made certain to get permission from Daily Mothering before I posted their recipe!

Here's the (original) recipe:

Photo Property of Daily Mothering

You will need:

  • 2 lbs Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 large can (29 oz) and 1 small can (15 oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) Green Beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) Corn, drained
  • 1 large Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium Zucchini, chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable, Olive or Coconut Oil


  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp White Sugar
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Ground Red Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin


  • Crushed Saltines or Oyster Crackers
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado, peeled and diced


In a large pot, cook Ground Beef until lightly browned, then drain. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, combine Green Bell Pepper, Zucchini, Garlic Clove, Onion, and Oil and saute on medium for a few minutes until just starting to brown. Add sauteed vegetables to the Ground Beef in the large pot. Add Kidney Beans, Green Beans, Diced Tomatoes, Corn, and Tomato Sauce and stir until blended. In a small bowl, combine seasonings. Pour seasonings mix into the large pot and stir everything together. Bring to a boil on High, then reduce to a simmer on Low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with desired toppings.

While we intended on following this recipe exactly... it didn't work out so well. We found out (a bit late) that we didn't have any ground red cayenne pepper.... so we used the exact same amount of crushed red pepper instead. We also didn't top with crackers simply because we thought the greek yogurt (plain... we always use plain greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream... healthier and tastes the same!), cheese, and smashed avocado was plenty! (Yes, smashed... we opted for that over diced. Again, our preference.)

The chili was amazing. Perfectly spiced... flavourful.... just fantastic! I loved it so much that I decided we should make it again for a potluck we were going to host.... but I wanted to make a few changes.

  • Change #1: double the green beans (they seriously rock in this!)
  • Change #2: actually use cayenne pepper like the recipe calls for instead of ground red pepper
  • Change #3: add a can of black beans in addition to everything else 
The end result was surprising, actually. First, the bean addition was GREAT. I love black beans, and I thought it was a little light on the beans over all the first time... so more green beans and throw in the black beans! Love beans! I would have loved lentils in it, too, but we didn't have them on hand and I thought of it too late.

The biggest surprise of the second batch was the spice (heat). It was SPICY! The first batch was perfect for me because it wasn't too spicy, and I'm pretty sensitive to spice (heat). I kept telling people at the potluck that it wasn't a spicy chili, and they kept commenting it did have a kick to it. Apparently, crushed cayenne pepper is a lot spicier than crushed red pepper in the same quantity. If we make this again with cayenne pepper, I will add 1/2 the amount that it calls for... but the crushed red pepper worked great, too.

I still devoured that spicier batch of chili... I just made sure to plop a LOT of plain greek yogurt on top to help neutralize the heat. It worked great. The only thing I regret is not having corn bread either time. It would have been perfect!!!

We had enough left over from our initial batch (made in December) that we froze a big gallon bag of the chili. I thawed it a week or two ago so we could have a quick meal (well, it really fed us more than 1 meal, but still!), and I was pleasantly surprised and how well the chili froze. It tasted great, still!

Chili reheated after 6 weeks of being frozen (and sans toppings)

Check out Daily Mothering's original post The Best Chili Recipe In The World for a few tips and a link to her cornbread recipe (check the additional notes at the bottom!). I didn't think to snap a picture either of the times the chili was fresh, so the picture is from my lunch at work, and from the batch that had been frozen and then thawed. Not the best photo, but still looks yummy!


  1. zucchini? in chili? I never thought of that. sneaky way of getting kids to eat veggies.

  2. We put zucchini in chili all the time, but I'm skeptical about the green beans. Looks like something I would try, though.