Chili con Carne

This is a fairly simple recipe and takes about an hour or so. Even picky eaters like this one. Do you sense a theme here? Welcome to my world.

The ingredients can be adjusted for servings, but this is how I do it so I can have leftovers. Generally, one pot of the following will serve approximately 6 to 8 people.


3 lbs. ground hamburger (I prefer lean because it’s less greasy-at least 85% lean-and you can also substitute ground turkey)

2 14oz. cans of dark red kidney beans, drained

3 12oz. cans of tomato soup

2 1/2 cans of water

Shredded Colby Jack cheese (or a mild cheddar, if you prefer)

Chili powder (optional, along with whatever else you’d like to add)

Fritos corn chips (optional)

I do this all in one pot, a 5-quart Dutch oven.

Brown the hamburger or turkey over medium to medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked and drain the grease.

Add the drained kidney beans and all contents of the tomato soup cans.

You’ll need to use those 3 tomato soup cans for the next step, so don’t throw them out. Fill the first tomato soup can with water and pour half of it into the pot. Then swirl the water around in the can to remove any remaining soup and pour the rest of it into the pot. Do the same with the second can, and only fill the third can halfway, swirl water around and dump it into the pot. This amount of water gives it a decent consistency–not too watered down and not too thick, but do it to your preference. NOTE: swirl the water in the can OVER the pot. This will keep it from going all over your stove.

Stir it all together and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Be sure to check on it because you don’t want the kidney beans to burn on the bottom, so stir often. Next, you’ll add spices. I just use chili powder because, as I said, Umi is a picky eater. I cover the top of the mixture with chili powder, stir it, and then cover the top again. It gives the chili just enough flavor without it being too spicy for Umi. Stir it all together one last time.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. When the kidney bean are soft, it is done. Remember, don’t let the kidney beans burn. You won’t like the taste.

(don’t ask me why that stupid picture rotated on me. I have no idea, but I can’t fix it) This is generally what it looks like right before serving.

Now, you can serve this a couple of ways. I tend to add colby jack cheese to the bottom of my bowl, add the chili, and then add more cheese on top, like in this photo. It’s very yummy.

Or you can add the Fritos corn chips to the bottom of your bowl, add chili, and then add cheese to the top, which is called Frito pie.

That’s pretty much it. Easy.


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