Homemade Chili

There is little better on a cold day than a big bowl of chili — the spiciness and heartiness are comforting. One of the greatest things about chili is that there are a million variations and anyone can make their own. It is also easy to whip up on a whim, though it will take some time for the flavors to meld together as it simmers.

If you like beans, you can toss some in, or, if you don’t, leave them out. Add whatever seasonings you like, just make sure it is spicy. Really, all you need are the basics. I have heard of some people who add a little cocoa powder, you can add a can of tomatoes with green chilis. The sky is the limit, just make sure the flavors complement each other. As always, you can adjust my seasonings to get the flavors you want. I encourage you to take my recipe and make it your own.


  • Wooden spoon or rubber scraper
  • Heavy Dutch oven


  • 3 lbs. ground beef (don’t go too lean, I used an 80/20 fat content)
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Olive oil, about 2 Tbsp.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1.5 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2-3 bay leaves, depending on size
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, optional


  1. Warm olive oil in bottom of Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic saute until onions begin to soften.Onions & Garlic
  2. Add ground beef, cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, cumin, and coriander.
  3. Crumble beef, mix in spices, and cook until thoroughly browned.Browning Meat
  4. Once beef is cooked through, drain off the grease.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes, beef broth, and bay leaves and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until flavors are melded.Starting to Simmer Chili
  6. Add salt and/or sugar to taste.Simmered Chili
  7. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

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