How to Make Chili From Scratch

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A pot of chili makes a great meal. On a cold day, a bowl of steaming, spicy chili with a handful of oyster crackers will warm you all the way to your toes. On a hot day, a ladleful of chili from the non-house-heating crock pot poured over a plate full of tortilla chips makes wonderful nachos. Chili can be made with inexpensive ingredients and it freezes well. It's also easy to make, so kids and novice cooks can make a satisfying meal in very little time.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • 1 pound of ground meat
  • Packet of chili seasoning
  • Onion
  • Sharp knife
  • 16 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce (or 4 oz. for thicker chili)
  • Chili powder or cumin
  • 8 oz can of kidney beans

Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces.

Combine the chopped onion, the ground meat (ground beef or ground turkey, whichever you prefer), and the chili seasoning in the pot and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally until meat is browned. If you want add some extra chili powder or cumin for more "heat," now is the time.

Once the meat is browned, add the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Open and drain the can of kidney beans and add to the pot.

Turn the heat down to "low." Let the chili simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally; letting it simmer for an hour is better.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are cooking chili in a Crock-Pot, brown the meat, onions and seasoning in a frying pan before adding to the Crock-Pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the Crock-Pot and cook on "low" for eight to 10 hours or "high" for five hours. Serve your chili with a dollop of sour cream, saltines or oyster crackers, or maybe grate some cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top.
  • Be cautious if you add fresh chilis to your pot. One habanero will make it too spicy to eat.

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