Hearty Chili Recipes You’ll Love

Chili Sauce

As the fall chill begins to set in, there's nothing better than a steaming, hearty bowl of chili on a windy Sunday afternoon. It's a healthy, filling snack or dinner that gives you a full serving of vegetables accompanied by hearty meat. Best of all, you can customize chili around your current diet or specific favorite tastes. Easy to make and delicious to eat, it's a perfect fall recipe for the family.

Easy Crock-Pot Chili

This is a classic, timeless standard chili recipe that's easy to make for beginners. It's Paleo-diet friendly and gluten free, consisting of only meat and veggies. Stir the ingredients into your slow cooker and enjoy a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fall dinner.

  • In a large skillet, cook 1.5 lbs of ground beef, one chopped onion, one chopped green bell pepper, and two minced garlic cloves. Cook on medium heat until the beef is no longer pink and has a brown, crumbly texture.
  • Add this mixture to the slow cooker along with two rinsed and drained 16 oz cans of red kidney beans, two cans of diced tomatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a few tablespoons of chili powder.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or medium for 5-6 hours.
  • If you're not going totally Paleo or gluten-free, you can top the chili with shredded cheese and corn chips. If you're looking to stick with one of these specific diets, the chili is absolutely delicious on its own.

White Bean and Chicken Chili

If you're not a red meat eater, you can also make a delicious chili recipe with rotisserie chicken and white beans. This recipe is also Paleo-friendly and gluten free, as long as you don't add sour cream, cheese, or tortilla chips on top.

  • Drain and rinse two 16 oz cans of white beans, then mash the beans in a bowl with a potato masher.
  • In a Dutch oven, add one tablespoon of canola oil and turn the oven onto a medium-high heat.
  • Add four minced garlic cloves, one chopped onion, two chopped poblano peppers, and a chopped jalapeno pepper. Saute for five minutes, adding pinches of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add a tablespoon of cumin, a tablespoon of coriander, and a teaspoon of chili powder. Saute another minute.
  • Stir in four cups of chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Stir in the white beans and continue simmering for 20 minutes.
  • Add shredded rotisserie chicken to the mixture (we recommend shredding the entire chicken) and a quarter cup of chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Continue simmering for five minutes until the chicken is softened.
  • You can serve the chili with sour cream, tortilla chips, or shredded cheese if you want, or just eat it as is.

Customizable Chili Recipes

The above recipes are two fairly standard and popular chili recipes, but all cooks know that you can add or substitute ingredients as necessary. You can always take out the cumin or add a little squirt of lime juice to make your chili unique and flavored to your taste buds. Experiment and enjoy!

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It’s Getting Chili: Harvest Chili Recipe

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Chili is the perfect fall food. Full of harvest vegetables, this recipe is easy to make, nutritious and filling. In just 45 minutes, you can have a hearty vegetarian meal that the whole family will enjoy and leftovers to freeze for a day when you just don't feel like cooking.

Spicy Butternut Squash Harvest Chili


4 small roasted jalapeno peppers
4 cups of peeled and chopped butternut squash
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 cup of chopped onions
½ teaspoon of minced chipotle peppers
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of corn kernels
1 can of red kidney beans
1 ½ tablespoons of oregano
1 can of white kidney beans
olive oil
brown sugar and sea salt to taste


Preheat the broiler and slice the jalapeno peppers in half. Spoon out the seeds, then place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Broil them for about three minutes or until the skin is just charred. Remove them from the heat, then wrap them in foil for about five minutes to steam. Peel the peppers and chop the flesh. Set them aside to use later.

Next, preheat the oven to 475. Add the chopped butternut squash to a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Bake for about ten minutes per side (turn over with a spatula or tongs) or until the squash is golden brown.

While the butternut squash roasts, coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil. Over medium heat, add the onions and garlic. Cook for about four minutes or until the onions turn slightly brown. Toss in the chopped roasted jalapenos, chili powder, chipotle peppers and cumin. Cook for one minute, then add the butternut squash, corn, tomatoes and kidney beans. Simmer for about ten minutes, then add the salt, oregano and brown sugar.

Leftovers can be frozen and served later. Do not over-stir as it is thawing. Doing so will result in mushy beans. For easy freezing and thawing in the microwave, fill coffee mugs with small servings of the chili. When you want to enjoy the vegetarian meal again, just pop the mugs in the microwave and enjoy the fall treat straight out of the cup.

It’s Getting Chili: Classic Chili Recipe

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When the weather turns cool and the leaves begin to fall from the trees, you know it's the perfect time to whip out your stock pot or slow cooker and make a batch of chili. As your family and friends gather around for a tailgate party or to watch a football game, you can ensure that their bellies will be full when you serve them this traditional hearty dish.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can serve it the day you make it or freeze it for use at a later time. Whether you want to eat a steaming hot bowl of chili, top hotdogs with it or slather it on top of spaghetti noodles, chili is a versatile dish.

Here is a traditional recipe you can make anytime:

1 pound of ground beef (or ground turkey, for a healthier alternative)
2 - 15 oz. cans of kidney beans
2 - 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
2 - 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
sugar (optional: 1/4 - 1/3 cup for a sweeter mixture)

While your ground beef is frying in the skillet over medium heat, peel, slice and dice your onion into 1/4 inch pieces. Once your ground beef is almost cooked, throw the onions into the pan and continue cooking until the onion is translucent. Once done, drain the grease from the mixture and place it in your stock pot or slow cooker.

Drain and add the kidney beans to your meat and onion mixture. Add the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes to the pot, as well. Choose your level of heat. You can turn the fire up to medium-high when you're in a hurry, or use medium-low when you plan to let your concoction simmer for several hours.

Now it's time for seasoning. Start with one teaspoon each of the chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Taste your dish frequently and adjust the amounts to suit your taste if necessary. If you prefer your dish to have a sweet quality, add 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of sugar to the mixture. Add seasonings slowly and taste as you proceed. Once you have the amounts just right, record them for future use!

As the days grow shorter and darker, you can rest assured that everyone who tastes this dish will request it again and again, and by planning ahead, you can always have it on hand to fulfill those requests.