Chili is comfort food for many people, and a nice way to spice up dull drab winter days. In Austin last month, my husband and I had a Texas chili sampler that included a beef chili, pork, chicken, bison, and vegetarian. They were all delicious!

It’s also a great dish to customize to your own taste by substituting ingredients. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are both great alternatives to carrots in this recipe. You can leave out the meat and use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian, and chickpeas are a nice meaty bean alternative when you do that.

Sunday Chili

recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lb. meat (ground or cubed — beef, pork, bison, lamb, chicken, etc.)
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • jalapeno, minced
  • carrots, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 3–4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 14-ounce cans beans, rinsed and drained (black, pinto, kidney, other)
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth (plus more to thin as needed)
  • toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, red onion, green onion, cilantro

Directions:

  1. Mix salt with ground beef. Set aside so it can get nice and salty while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, fry your bacon pieces until crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plates. Pour off most of the bacon fat, but leave 1-2 tablespoons for sauteeing.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and carrots. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add the ground beef and spices. Brown until fully cooked.
  5. Add the tomato paste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, and bacon. Bring to a low simmer. Cover it and let it hang out over low heat for at least 30-45 minutes, but ideally 2+ hours (this helps the flavors develop and this is why it’s Sunday chili). You can alternate between keeping it over a low flame and just letting it rest in the hot pot. It will thicken, so use extra water or broth to thin it out to desired consistency.
  7. Top with all your favorite toppings. Make a different version next Sunday.

You can spice your chili up with hotter peppers if you like more heat. Serve with a green salad — or even use it as a topping for a taco/chili salad!

Don’t forget to check our recipe archive for more delicious chili recipes.