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My Favorite Chili Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
Nothing is more comforting during the winter than a warm, messy bowl of chili! Everyone has a favorite way of making chili and this is mine.
For the Chili:
  • 2 Slices Thick-Cut Bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 Large Onion< diced
  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves, finely minced
  • 2 Jalapenos*, chopped
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder*
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • ¼-½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Cans Kidney Beans
  • 2 Cups Tomato Juice
For Serving:
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Cilantro or Scallions
  • Sturdy Chips Tortilla Chips or Corn Chips
  1. Cook the bacon in a 4-6 quart dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate (leaving the bacon fat in the pot) and set aside.
  2. Add the ground beef and onion to the hot pot and leave it untouched for a few minutes to get some color on the beef. (I do this in two batches in a 4 quart pot, so half the beef and half the onions, then remove and repeat with the remaining beef and onions).
  3. Remove the beef and onions to a bowl, leaving any fat behind in the pot. Add the garlic and jalapenos to the pot and sauté for a minute or until fragrant. Stir in the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Allow the spices to toast for 30 seconds to 1 minute before adding the beef/onion mixture back to the pot. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the kidney beans and tomato juice, making sure to mix well to get everything combined.
  5. Bring the chili to a low simmer and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow it to simmer for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 hours*.
  6. Serve the chili with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*I leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapenos as we like added heat to the chili. You can certainly remove them for a mild chili.


*Ancho chili powder is preferred over “chili powder” as it’s pure ancho chili powder and gives the best flavor. Spices labeled chili powder are typically a mixture of spices. If you can’t find ancho chili powder, use the same amount of chili powder, but omit the cumin.


*Chili is best when made ahead and allowed to sit overnight in the fridge. It’s certainly tasty after simmering, but the next day it’s always better after the flavors have time to meld. If possible make it the day before you want to serve and then just heat it up on the stove before serving!