With football season in full swing and the Packers squeezing in a spot in the playoffs, I knew I had to share one of our favorite game day foods. The reason Colin and I started dating, or at least continued our first conversation after initial introductions, was because of our mutual love for the Packers. Since neither of us knew many Packers fans in Washington, we quickly started watching the games together. The games always tended to fall around meal times, so Colin made chili for one of the first games he invited me over for. His chili making skills impressed me, maybe even more than his love of football, and it quickly became one of our favorite half time meals. (Side note: Colin later revealed his chili recipe was from Cooking Comically, which is a hilarious way to write recipes, if you ask me.) After moving to Japan and realizing that half time was either going to be spent sleeping (no game is important enough for me to wake up at 3am), drinking coffee or at work, I knew we were going to have to resolve to eating chili on a regular weeknight.
Making Colin’s chili on a weeknight posed some difficulty since it needed to cook for a few hours for the flavors to develop. Luckily, a crockpot does all of this, plus it means we can come home to a wonderful smelling house and fully prepped dinner after a long day at work, so I combined his recipe with a slow cooker recipe, made some of my own adjustments and it turned out great! I know everyone has their own favorite chili recipe, and there are probably thousands available on the Internet too, but this one is worth trying out, trust me! It has a smoky heat, thanks to the addition of chipotle peppers, is slightly sweet from the green chiles and corn and has just the right amount of seasonings without overpowering the main ingredients. We love the combination of ground beef and beans, but you could take either one away and it would be just as good. I’ve found that putting all of the ingredients in the crockpot the night, or day, before cooking really allows for the flavors to develop and blend together. Plus, it makes a huge batch, so you’ll have lunches for the week or you can freeze it for an even easier dinner in the future. Topped with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese (or Fritos, if you’re my husband), this is one delicious bowl of chili. I think it deserves a touchdown of it’s own!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
- 1 cup beer (An IPA or pale ale seems to work best)
- 1 cup corn
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ black pepper
- Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, crushed tortilla or corn chips, thinly-sliced green onions, salsa, etc.
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the ground beef, onion and garlic and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the beef is completely browned, crumbling the beef with a spoon as it cooks. Drain and discard the excess fat/grease.
- Transfer the beef into the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. If making ahead, refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve with toppings of your choice.
1. This chili is on the low end of medium as far as spiciness. If you like your chili spicier, feel free to add more chipotles or cayenne pepper, to taste.
2. This recipe can easily be made vegetarian by replacing the ground beef with another can of kidney beans. Saute the onions and bell pepper together until soft and follow the recipe from there.
3. I've used a combination of ground chicken and beef for a leaner chili and you'd never know the difference!
Nutrition Panel: Serving Size: 1, 2 cup serving Calories: 255 kcal Carbohydrate: 26g Fat: 8g Protein: 17g
Recipe adapted from Cooking Comically and Gimme Some Oven