Make Your Own Chili Seasoning - Easy Chili Recipe

I love chili.  Not the canned dog food kind, though.  I like real, homemade chili.  (Is it still homemade if you use canned beans?  I think yes!)  And it's pretty healthy if you think about it - all that protein and fiber and veggies disguised in warm, spicy, tomato-y goodness.

I like to think I have mastered chili this fall. I started making my own seasoning simply because I didn't have any one day and then I made it a few more times to get it just right. I add a little cocoa powder which you could certainly omit but I have to mention that my husband who is very picky a meat-and-potatoes guy with a very good palate, unknowingly preferred it. It adds depth. But it's not all about the cocoa powder. This certainly isn't a ground-breaking chili recipe but its one you can trust.

I also played around with beef vs. beef+pork, diced tomatoes vs. tomato sauce, and draining the beans vs. not (the ones in boldface were better). You could, and should, add more veggies if you like - bell pepper and corn go really well (although technically corn is  a grain if we're splitting hairs).  As you will see, I am kind of loosey-goosey on the quantity of ingredients because you can use less meat and more bean/veg or whatever you prefer.  This means you can also make a bigger or smaller batch depending on how many your feeding.

While the chili is simmering to perfection, get some cornbread in the oven!  Add a small can of creamed corn to a Jiffy Mix and it is moist and sweet and amazing.  

Easy Chili
  • 1-2 pounds ground meat, a  combination of beef and Italian sausage (I buy uncooked links and just cut open the casing)
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 2-3 cans beans, drained (kidney, black, garbanzo - you choose!)
  • 1  14/15oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili seasoning (below)
Using a large stock pot, brown the meats, seasoning with garlic powder, salt and pepper as you go.  Push the meat aside and saute the onion (and other veggies) in the fats and juices from the meat.  It's okay if the meat is a tad pink, it's going to simmer later.  Add the beans, tomatoes and spices and bring to a simmer.  Simmer at least 20 minutes but up to an hour and keep checking the seasoning and adding more chili seasoning or salt as needed.  

Chili Seasoning
this is just a guideline on the ratio of spices, you should double/triple the batch and save for future use
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Don't forget the cornbread!


  1. The photo made my mouth water before I've had my coffee this morning ... definitely what I'm making today! What size can of tomato -- 15 oz. (small) or the bigger one?

  2. Thank you for pointing that out! The "regular" size 14-15oz can.

  3. What kind of chili powder? There are many kinds!


Comments are very much appreciated!