I wanted chili the other day, but it was only an hour until dinner time and I was low on ingredients. Enter stage left: this Easy Weeknight Chili. Now, if you have the time and inclination I definitely recommend you try my other recipe: María’s Favorite Chili – as the name suggests, it’s my own personal favorite chili!
Easy Weeknight Chili Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Easy Weeknight Chili recipe:
- Ground beef, light red kidney beans: Make sure it’s lean ground beef, so you don’t have to drain too much excess grease in the pot after browning it. Not a huge deal, tho. If you’d like to substitute another protein go right ahead! If you use turkey, or a meatless substitute add a teaspoon of oil to the pan first to help it cook and brown well. If you’d prefer a different type of beans, feel free. If you leave the beans out I’d double the meat, but that’s just me.
- Diced tomatoes, tomato puree: Hot Rotel is my preference, but any canned diced tomatoes will work. If you can’t find tomato puree then canned tomato sauce will work in its place.
- Bell pepper, yellow onion: Any color bell pepper is fine. You can also omit it if you’re not a fan. Any type of onion will work, or you can substitute onion powder if you’d rather not use fresh onion in this Easy Weeknight Chili.
- Beef broth, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce: Our liquids! Use vegetable broth if you’re going plant-based.
- Dark red chili powder, granulated garlic, ground cumin, dark brown sugar, Kosher salt: Our seasonings! If you’d prefer to use fresh garlic I recommend dicing up a LOT of it. I used ancho chili powder specifically, but any chili powder will work. If you want to use regular sugar to cut the acidity you can.
How to Make Easy Weeknight Chili
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Easy Weeknight Chili recipe:
- Prepare for Chili! Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and allow the pan to preheat for 2 minutes. Add your ground beef, onion, and bell pepper to the pot. Sprinkle in about half of the kosher salt over everything, then use a wooden spoon to break the ground beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Start the Easy Weeknight Chili. Cook until no more pink remains and the onions have softened – about 7-10 minutes – then drain any excess grease from the pan. Pour in the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic, cumin, and remaining Kosher salt. Stir together, give it a taste, and adjust for seasonings as you see fit. If the chili tastes tangy or bitter, add the brown sugar.
- Simmer and Finish. Bring the pot to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the broth has reduced and thickened just a bit. Dassit!