Don't have time to cook a delicious dinner or think you can't cook? Think again; super easy chili recipes are one way to feed yourself and/or your family, and not for a lot of money. You don't have to slave over a hot stove all day long to make an easy, tasty dinner. Many chili recipes can be thrown together in a few minutes and cooked for under an hour; alternatively, of course, you can also use a crock pot for some of them and make a delicious crock pot chili.
If you are a vegetarian, leave the ground beef out of the recipes or substitute textured vegetable protein for a meat like texture. You can find textured vegetable protein (TVP) at health food stores or online.
Basic "super easy chili" directions
If you're using ground beef, choose ground sirloin and use about a pound's worth, then add a little salt and pepper. Cook it in a crock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring, until the meat is done. You can drain the fat off to lower the fat content or can use a baster to remove grease without having to remove the meat.
Ingredients to add
With super easy chili, really, the sky's the limit. You can add just about anything you've got in your pantry and refrigerator and make a decent chili recipe as long as it "fits" the general flavor. One possible variation is to take a pound of ground sirloin, and add the following spices:
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- A quarter teaspoon of pepper
- Half a teaspoon of cumin
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
To that, add a 15-ounce can of kidney beans that have been rinsed and drained, some ketchup (a tablespoon or two), and a cup and a half of water. Add two 10-ounce cans of tomatoes (undrained). If you want some spice in addition to what you've already put in with the above spices, you can choose a variety of canned tomatoes that has green chilies included.
For really quick and easy chili, you can stir in all of the ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. After that, let the chili sit in the pot for another 15 minutes to absorb more flavors and improve even further.
For a little refinement, you can stir the chili powder and cumin into the meat first, saute, and then add the rest of the ingredients.
Besides the vegetarian substitution of textured vegetable protein for the meat, you can also add ground turkey instead of ground beef if you want a dish that's lower in saturated fat.
For a more "Italian" flavor, add half a cup of chopped red bell pepper, half a teaspoon dried oregano, and five cloves of chopped garlic to the recipe above. With this variation, add the garlic and red bell pepper to the cooked meat, stir for three to four minutes, and then add the remaining ingredients.
For more kick, you can also add more green chilies besides those that are already included in the tomatoes above, up to two 4-ounce cans, drained and rinsed. If you want a milder chili, you can omit the chilies altogether, and you can use tomatoes that do not have green chilies included.
These are pretty basic instructions, but as you can see, chili is meant to be a self-invented recipe to some extent. Have some fun with ingredients you've already got in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer, and see what you come up with. Remember that it's meant to be fun and easy, so be creative!