Recipe #7 : Use What You’ve Got Chili

If you have it around, you can probably put it in this chili

Chili can be whatever you need it to be, so I tried to make the recipe extremely flexible. Also this freezes well! Please look up how to properly freeze foods. I highly recommend this website:


  • Aromatics.
    • Some combination of 2 shallots (or an onion) and
    • about 1 head of chopped garlic
  • Peppers.
    • The peppers I had around were: 3 bell peppers
    • and 1 can hatch green chili peppers
  • Beans
    • I had: 1 large can black beans.
    • Or any cans of beans.
    • Or overnight-soaked and cooked dry beans.
    • Or no beans.
  • More cans
    • 1 can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 can corn (very optional)
  • More protein (1 lb)
    • I used frozen ground beef
    • chicken thighs are also great
    • any vegetarian protein would work
    • so would more beans
  • Spice blend (Use what you’ve got. Add and subtract as you like)
    • 3 parts cumin
    • 1 part chili powder
    • 1 part garlic powder
    • 2 parts trader joe’s chili spice blend
    • 2 parts red pepper flakes
    • 1 part black pepper
    • 3 parts salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Fixings
    • Sour cream? Lovely
    • Cheese? Absolutely
    • Vegan cheese? Welcome
    • Cilantro? Into it
    • Avocado? Amazing
    • Plain yogurt? Why not
  1. Chop your [shallots or onions] and your peppers. Peel the garlic. Set all aside.
  2. Locate a large pot that can fit all of the ingredients. Heat olive oil.
  3. Add [shallots or onions]. Cook until fragrant and soft. Add chopped peppers.
  4. Reduce to lower heat. Make your spice blend (about 2/3 cup). Stir in 1/3rd of the spice blend.
  5. Add your beans, corn, tomatoes, garlic, etc. Stir in 1/3rd of the spice blend. Cover the pot
  6. Locate a pan large enough for your additional protein. If you’re using more beans, skip these steps.
  7. Various protein instructions:
    1. Ground Beef: Mix the rest of the spice blend with the meat and place directly onto a hot pan (it usually has enough of its own fat not to require extra cooking fat). Cook all the way through. Add to chili.
    2. Chicken thighs: Coat the chicken thighs with the rest of the spice blend. Drizzle olive oil in a pan. Cook chicken thighs all the way through. Set aside and let cool enough to handle comfortably. Cut into cubes. Add to chili.
    3. Vegetarian protein: If rectangular, like tempeh or tofu, treat it like chicken above. If ground, treat it like ground beef above -except- be sure to add lots of oil to your pan and to your protein.
  8. Let the pot simmer for about 15-20 minutes so the flavors blend well. Serve with your favorite fixings.

You might eat this all in a couple days. You also might want to make a lot and freeze it. Freezing too much at the same time is a bad idea because it will take forever to defrost when you want it, and it can be unsafe. There are many other websites with good advice on how to freeze foods safely, so please look it up. Hope this helps!

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