Chili!

Chili is one of our favorites winter dishes. Comforting and hot, it’s easy to put together for a meal now and to freeze for meals later. This recipe has been my go-to for years. I add cubed butternut squash to cook during the last hour and top it with avocado for additional nutrients. Of course, corn chips or tortilla chips for crunch are tasty too!

For those who already have a favorite chili recipe, scroll down for a chili seasoning packet and a simple formula for using it.

Easy, Yummy Chili

In a 6-quart slow cooker combine:
3 lbs ground beef, browned and drained if needed
3 cans of beans, kidney, pinto or black, drained and rinsed
4 cans of diced, no salt added tomatoes
1 tablespoon honey

Mix the following spices together in a bowl then stir into the beef mixture:
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, less or more to taste
2 teaspoons salt, more or less to taste

Cook in the slow cooker on high 6 hours or on low 12 hours until the tomatoes and beef are similar in color and the ingredients combine to look like chili.

This makes very thick chili. We like to serve it with diced avocado. You can top it with corn chips, tortilla chips, crackers, grated cheese, sour cream, and/or pickled or fresh jalapeno slices for a make your own chili buffet. It also freezes well. Just use it in 3 months for the best taste.

Variation to add butternut squash:
Add 1 additional seasoning packet of spices to the pot at the beginning. Omit the honey. 1 hour before serving if cooking on high power (2 hours before it’s cooking on low power) add one butternut squash that has been peeled and cut into small cubes to the pot. Serve when the squash is fork tender.

For 1 chili seasoning packet (Adapted from the Make a Mix Cookbook)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, less or more to taste
¾ teapoons salt (we use no salt tomatoes so that we can control the amount and type of salt – you may need to add more or less to your taste)
1 teaspoon honey

Chili formula, from my friend, Ann Boyd
1 pound of ground beef, browned and drained (if needed)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of beans, rinsed and drained
1 chili seasoning packet
If using more than 3lbs of meat, add an additional seasoning packet for the pot. You may also want to add an additional can of tomatoes for a slightly thinner consistency.

This formula can be used to make chili for a crowd. You may want to add additional diced tomatoes and additional seasoning packets to reach your desired consistency and spice level.

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