I’ve tasted and created different chili recipes, but it’s always hard for me to stray too far from my family’s Classic Tomato and Bean Chili recipe. It is a classic chili with simple ingredients that can be doctored to cater to different tastes, diets and preferences. I’ve made this Classic Tomato and Bean Chili my whole life, and it’s probably never been the same twice.
You see, a tradition in my family doesn’t necessarily focus on the details. Tradition is about the creative process. It is about getting the dish to be better or “just the way grandma made it.” It’s about finding yourself in the dish and putting your mark on it so that future generations will know you through tasting what you’ve created or reimagined. So in that sense, I would say that this chili is more of a base with room for interpretation.
Allow your tastebuds to guide you. Maybe you want a meat chili, a vegetarian chili (double the vegetables and add a can of beans), a thick chili (use crushed tomatoes), a thinner chili (diced/whole tomatoes), spicy chili (more cayenne) or mild chili (no cayenne); you can make it happen by altering this basic chili recipe.
This is a Classic Tomato and Bean Chili recipe that I hope you make your own. The ingredients are staples and are usually on hand in a pantry (one of my favorite aspects of this recipe). Not to mention the endless toppings and sides to go along with it.
Delicious Classic Tomato and Bean ChiliPrint Recipe
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 small red pepper diced
- 1 pound ground turkey/beef
- 2 cans beans (kidney/cannellini)
- 28-ounce can tomatoes (diced, crushed, or whole)
- chili powder to taste
- ketchup to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
1. In a large pot, combine meat, peppers and onions. Saute until meat is cooked through.
2. Stir in beans (with juice) and tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper and ketchup (a couple of tablespoons AT LEAST) to taste. The following five minutes will be a tasting game. Once you get it to where you want it in regards to flavor and spice, let the chili simmer for 15-20 minutes, then taste again.
3. Once done, serve right away with grilled cheese for dunking or allow to simmer longer for more developed flavors. I hope you enjoy it!