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My Husband’s Best Chili

Let’s be clear. My husband doesn’t make chili. I do. Every year, my husband begs me to make it, hoping it will taste like the chili he remembers as a kid. I finally nailed it so he calls it his best chili.

My Husband's Favorite Chili with a great balance of beef, beans, tomatoes and spices. Thick and rich.

I’m not a chili fan, so I don’t make it very often. And my husband is not a cook by any stretch of the imagination. He was so motivated a couple of years ago, however, that he attempted a recipe himself. Big reject. This year, he suggested we try a recipe together on our weekly ‘date day’.  He flipped through several of my magazines and found one in Food Network Magazine (Oct 2017 Chili edition) that he thought looked right.

We adapted the recipe a bit as my husband insisted it had to include ground beef (not cubed) and it needed to taste more ‘tomato-y’, so we added considerably more tomato paste. With those changes and a warm crusty baguette for dunking, he was a happy man. “Best chili! We did it!” he declared. I can finally stop looking for his favorite chili recipe. And, with any luck, he can now tackle this recipe on his own.

It’s thick and rich and medium spicy.  I have to admit, for a non-chili fan, I thought it was pretty good too. To round out this ‘best chili’ recipe, try serving it with a perfect grilled cheese on the grill. Perfect for dunking.

Tailor to Your Taste

  • Add more heat by leaving in some of the jalapeno seeds or adding more chili powder.
  • If desired, add chopped peppers, carrots or other vegetables – and saute them along with the onions.

Jazz it Up

  • Serve with homemade croutons (fry bread cubes until golden brown in oil and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder)
  • Or, quicker, serve with french or multi-grain bread, warmed and buttered.
  • Top with grated Cheddar cheese or fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Serve over buns like a Sloppy Joe
  • Add a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions as a garnish.

Make Ahead 

  • Chili is the ultimate make ahead recipe.  It gets thicker as it sits in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove. It keeps in the fridge 4-6 days. Or freeze it in a sealed container for 4-6 months.

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My Husband's Favorite Chili with a great balance of beef, beans, tomatoes and spices. Thick and rich.
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4.75 from 4 votes

My Husband's Best Chili Recipe

Let's be clear. My husband doesn't make chili. I do. Every year, he begs me to make it, hoping it will taste like the chili he remembers as a kid. I finally nailed it so he now calls it his best chili. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Author: Cheryl


  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 teaspoons)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (remove seeds then finely chop)
  • 3 tablespoon chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can tomato paste (6-ounce)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce)
  • 4 cup beef broth (plus 1 cup water)
  • 2 cans kidney beans (15-ounce) undrained


  • SAUTE ONIONS AND MEAT: In large pot, heat oil to medium high. Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef, breaking up with large spoon. Saute, stirring occasionally, until brown all over, about 4-5 minutes.
  • ADD SPICES ETC: Lower heat to medium. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes. Add chili powder, salt, cumin and tomato paste. Stir to mix well.
  • ADD LIQUIDS: Add tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 10 minutes without the cover. Stir occasionally.
  • ADD BEANS TO FINISH: Add beans. No need to rinse. The liquid will help thicken the chili. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, uncovered, until the chili is the consistency (thickness) you like. Taste and adjust seasonings (chili powder, cumin, salt).
  • SERVE: Ladle into bowls and serve with homemade croutons, Cheddar or Parmesan cheese, or warm crusty bread if desired.


Make Ahead: Keeps in the fridge 4-6 days. Or freeze in a sealed container for 4-6 months. 
Nutrition values are estimates.


Nutrition Facts
My Husband's Best Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 94mg31%
Sodium 1729mg75%
Potassium 1776mg51%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 45g90%
Vitamin A 1745IU35%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 123mg12%
Iron 9mg50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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