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Award-Winning Chili

25 October 2010

Cooler weather turns my thoughts to colorful sweaters, pumpkin-spice candles, fall foliage and above all … cold weather food. Chili is the king of cold weather foods. But this isn’t just chili — it’s award-winning chili!*  I think the secret is that it’s a very simple, very basic, not-too-spicy recipe that can be adapted to suit any palate. Think of it as the culinary equivalent of the “little black dress” and the toppings are its accessories. My own favorite toppings are shredded cheddar, Fritos Scoops, and lots of red wine vinegar.    

Chili Ingredients

Basic Ingredients



1 TBS olive oil   

Small onion, minced   

½ green bell pepper, minced   

1lb ground hamburger meat   

Seasoning salt   

Garlic salt   


1 ½ – 2 TBS chili powder   

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce   

1 can (15 oz) whole tomatoes, roughly chopped   

1 can (16 oz) chili beans, with sauce   

1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney bean, drained   

Chili in Crockpot


½ can of water   

1 ½ – 2 TBS red wine vinegar   

A couple dashes of sugar   



1. Sauté onions and pepper in oil for about 5 minutes until onions become translucent. Transfer to crockpot.   

2. Without adding more oil, crumble hamburger meat into skillet and stir frequently for about 5 minutes.   

3. While meat is browning, add seasoning salt, garlic salt and pepper to taste, then chili powder. Drain and transfer to crockpot, stirring in with onion mixture.   

4. Add to crockpot tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chili beans, kidney beans, vinegar and sugar. Mix well and turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4.   

Suggested toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, chives, sour cream, crackers, Fritos    


Perfect for a "Chili" Day!



  1. Use 93% lean meat – less grease

Shred whole tomatoes with clean hands instead of chopping them with a knife

I like to use Bush’s brand chili beans in a mild sauce

Consider serving over rice — yum!

Check label of chili beans to ensure that they are gluten-free; when in doubt go with Bush’s

Great for freezing and reheating

*It’s won first place twice in chili cook-offs!

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5 Comments to “Award-Winning Chili”

  1. We tried this the other day and enjoyed it immensely. For some reason, it reminded me of Christmas in Paris, France. It’s been cold here in Texas for a spell, so some chili on a cold, winter day is just the thing!

    Ps. It also makes great leftovers.

  2. I just made your recipe, and I must say…it is amazing! I have tried for 10 years to find a chili that I like and this is it! My husband and I both agree how great tasting this is and the added bonus…how easy it was to make. I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you for posting this, I can see why it has won awards. 🙂

  3. Told ya I’m stealing recipes from you, sister! I’m going to make this…probably tomorrow ;).

  4. Our kitchen never looked so good.

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