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Chili Recipe with Vegan Option

chili in

This is a very easy standard chili recipe with meat1 and beans that is slightly spicy. With the optional addition of peppers, onions and garlic, it should almost pass as a health-food dish!


  • 3 lbs ground beef (1.4kg)
  • 1 can (15-18oz) red kidney beans (0.5kg)
  • 4-8 cloves garlic2
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 2 x 28oz cans crushed tomatoes (1.6kg)
  • 3 tblsp chili powder (44ml)
  • 1 tblsp ground cumin (15ml)
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper (10ml)
  • 2 tsp black pepper (10ml)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (5ml)
  • 1 tsp salt (5ml)3


Total volume: About 15 cups = 3.75 qts = 3.5L
Approximate prep time: 1-1.5 hrs
Cook Time: 0.5-1 hr

Brown the Meat

browned ground

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet on med-high heat. There should be enough fat in the meat that you don’t need any shortening. Split up the meat in batches as needed so you can easily break it apart and mix it, occasionally sprinkling chili powder and cumin on the meat. Transfer each batch (with fat) into a large pot.

Fry the Vegetables

peppers onions

Mince the garlic. Chop the peppers and onion into small pieces. If available, pour the grease from the beef back into the skillet using a spatula or similar to hold back the meat. If the meat was cooked a long time, it may have soaked up the grease. In that case, use some butter or olive oil in the skillet. Cook the vegetables over medium heat until they are soft. They will be reduced in volume to about 50-75%.

Combine and Cook

chili in

Rinse the kidney beens well in a strainer to get the liquid off. Add the cooked vegetables, crushed tomatoes, and spices to the meat in the large pot. Mix well and cook over med-low heat for 30 mins, or until desired consistencies are reached. Occasionally stir the mixture. It will be very thick and will splatter if heated to quickly.


  • 1Make it VEGAN by substituting an equal amount of brown rice for the meat! Maybe 7-9 cups of cooked rice.
  • 2If you leave out the garlic, peppers and onions, use less crushed tomatoes or more meat (maybe 1/2lb ?).
  • 3Some “chili powder” may contain more than chilis. There may be added salt or other spices. Read the ingredients.
  • Serving Suggestions: Top with shredded cheddar or jack cheese and/or freshly chopped sweet onions. Serve with plain Saltine-type crackers.

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