How To ~ Make Chili

Winter is in full effect and the snow flurries are starting to fly outside my window.  Time to make chili! This is a recipe I have developed over a few years, a bunch of trial and error and it works for my family. Use this as a guide to make your own chili. Add more of what you like and take away what you don’t. This is food..not science…well sort of.

how to make chili


    • Ground beef ~ 1 lb.
    • 1/2 lb bulk sausage.  (Jimmy Dean pictured)
    • 3 cans crushed tomatoes 28 oz each (2 of Furmano’s and 1 quart of home canned)
    • 2 cans of Kidney Beans 15 oz each (Hanover brand pictured)
    • 1 can of Cannellini  Beans 15 oz  (Giant brand pictured, behind the sausage)
    • 2 onions
    • 1 pepper (red pictured but green is good too!)
    • Corn 8 oz of frozen or 1 15 oz can
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • Peanut butter (Crazy Richard’s pictured)
    • Chocolate (Hershey’s pictured)
    • Cumin (3 tablespoons or 1 small palmful)
    • Chili powder (2 oz. or 2 large palmfuls)
    • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

how to make chili

Brown both the ground beef and the sausage.  Make sure to cook all the pink out of the meat.

Remove the cooked meat and keep the meat drippings in the pan to sauté the vegetables. No need to add oil if you have flavorful pan drippings to use!
how to make chili

Dice the onions.
how to make chili

Dice the peppers.

how to make chili

Add them both to the hot pan and sauté till translucent and take on a bit of color.

how to make chili

Either finely mince 2 cloves of garlic or run them over a Microplane. I love mine and use it not only for garlic but to freshly grate nutmeg. Need an easy way to peel garlic? I have a post for you!


how to make chili

Add the grated garlic to the vegetables. I like to add the garlic after the vegetables are sautéed because if I add it at the beginning it always burns! No one likes burnt garlic.

how to make chili

The hard work is done. Add everything else to the pot.

Add the cooked meats, the beans (drained and rinsed) 1/2 of a 1 lb. bag of corn, the spices but NOT THE SALT. I always salt after a dish is cooked.  Especially when canned vegetables are used. Stir to combine.

how to make chili

Add a large serving spoon full of peanut butter to the chili.

how to make chili

Add 1/2 a bar of chocolate. Stir once melted.

how to make chili

Let the simmer on low for 45 minutes or longer. I love to let it simmer all afternoon. The flavors just marry and meld together and get better with time. This freezes beautifully and it is a great way to pinch pennies and save a buck when it comes to feeding your family.

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About Sarah

Sarah is married and a mother of 3 small children. She is always in search of a better or lower cost way to go through life. She finds excellent deals and creative ways to save money around the home. On this blog she hopes to share with you how she pinches pennies and how you can too!


  1. I’ve heard of chocolate but never Peanut Butter in Chili!!   whatever possessed you to add that?   And how does it help the taste?

  2. Adding peanut butter is something I picked up when I was in culinary college. I was helping a chili competition team with a recipe, it was added, the chili won. I can’t argue with that! I think it adds a slight sweetness to cut a bit of the heat with out being overly sugary.