Lifestyle Recipes

Quick Chili with Red Beans

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There are very few things that sound more appealing than a warm bowl of chili on a chilly autumn evening. Pun intended (I’m sorry…I had to.).
This post was actually supposed to go up yesterday, but I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a freight train. I’ve got a nasty cold/flu/something with a mild fever, so there was no productivity in the forecast. Instead, I spent the day in a zombie-like state, napping, sniffling, cuddling with the dog, and watching an interesting combination of Pretty Little Liars and Barefoot Contessa, during which I learned, quite surprisingly, that Ina Garten is not that much better at decorating cookies than the rest of us. Major ego booster.
I’m still stuck on the couch with a fever today, but lucky for me I’ve got leftovers from this recipe in the fridge so all I have to do when I need a bite to eat is pull it out of the fridge, eat cold microwave and eat, and go back to bed.


My trusty (pink!) Onion Goggles. I seriously use these all. the. time.


1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93% lean ground sirloin)
2 cans red/kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 cup beef broth
2 T chili powder
1 T tomato paste dissolved in about 2 T warm water*
1 t cumin
1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
salt to taste
Heat stockpot over medium-high heat. Add beef to pot and cook it until browned, adding a teaspoon of water every now and then as needed to keep it from scorching. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Turn heat down to medium/medium-low. Add broth, tomato, tomato paste and seasonings, mixing well and scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the residue from the beef all mixed in. Place lid on the pot and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the red beans and mix well. Simmer uncovered for 10-20 minutes more. Spoon into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, cheese, chives, hot sauce, or whatever else you like on your chili. Serve with cornbread, crackers, or crusty French baguette.
*The tomato paste may seem unnecessary, but it helps give the chili a rich red color. If you don’t mind spicy food, you can increase the amount of chili powder to 1/4 cup or more and omit the tomato paste. I don’t like lots of spice, so I only use a small amount of chili powder and rely on the tomato paste for color.
*Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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