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  • Writer's pictureLynn

Change of season - the best chili recipe

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

Living in southern California means that the only way we really know that the season has changed is because we can now order a PSL at the Starbucks drive through. Either that or the stores have told us so by stocking halloween candy and pumpkins all over the place.

I have never really been a fan of Halloween. Yeah, go ahead and judge me... I'm just more of a Happy Holidays/Christmas kind of person. I hate everything scary! The last scary movie I watched was Scream, IN THE THEATER and I hated it. Yes, I am that old. Scary movies give me nightmares for way longer than they should. I do not enjoy being scared. In fact the one time that I went with my friends to Knotts 'Scary' Farm in Buena Park CA, I ended up leaving my friends after 20 minutes and waiting at the front of the park outside the gates until it was over so that I could still get a ride home. Because there was NO way I was calling my mom that late at night and asking her to drive an hour and a half to come get me when I begged to go in the first place.

Anyway, all this to say, just because I don't love the holiday of halloween doesn't meant that I dislike Fall. Quite the opposite. I love sweater weather and pumpkin spice. I love the changing leaves and fall comfort food. Especially soup and stews! I love making something that takes hours to truly develop good flavor and causes your whole house to smell like heaven.

This chili recipe is something that I have been making for years! It is one of those things that screams change of season to me. Though I'd be lying if I said I didn't make it all year long. It's just perfect for this time of year. I found it here and have shared it every chance I get.

It's very simple and almost anyone can make it and impress a crowd. And the best part is you don't need all day to make it taste amazing. It can be simmered for as little as 30 minutes to be delicious.

OH!!! And a great little hack for you...

If you don't want to spend even a second scrubbing your pot clean after you've made this reciepe, check out this Reel I made on Instagram. It is the best trick EVER!


  • 5 strips uncooked bacon chopped¹

  • 1 large yellow onion diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 red pepper diced

  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 Tablespoon)

  • 1 lb ground beef 455g (I use 90% but any will work)

  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder²

  • 1 Tablespoon ancho chili powder²

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper³

  • 1 1/4 cup beef broth 295ml

  • 15 oz can dark red kidney beans lightly rinsed and drained (425g)

  • 15 oz can black beans lightly rinsed and drained (425)

  • 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes undrained (411g)

  • 7- oz can fire roasted green chilis 198g

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste 66g

  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Preferred toppings : sour cream, shredded cheese, and corn chips. But you can top it any way your heart desires. I love adding avocado and cilantro to mine! Go crazy.


  1. Place chopped (uncooked) bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until crisp and cooked through. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and drain all but 1 1/2 Tablespoons of grease.

  2. Add onion and pepper and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.

  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

  4. Add beef, breaking apart with a spatula as you cook. Once meat is partially (about 50%) browned, add sugar and all spices (chili powders, paprika, cumin, onion powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper) and stir well.

  5. Add all remaining ingredients — beef broth, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chilis, and Worcestershire sauce — and your cooked bacon and stir well.

  6. Bring to a boil and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

  7. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 30 minutes to allow flavor to really develop.

  8. Serve with preferred toppings (sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and corn chips are a must!)

  • Notes ¹For best flavor, DO NOT OMIT THE BACON. However, as someone who spent 23 years not eating bacon I wanted to include tips for those of you who might have the same restrictions. if you wish to make this recipe without bacon you *can* do so by skipping the first step, heating 1 1/2 Tablespoons of oil over medium heat, and then beginning from step 2. On the other hand, if you want additional bacon for garnishing, cook it now and reserve. ²You can substitute one chili powder for the other and use just traditional chili powder or just ancho chili powder, but I personally like the blend of the two. ³This gives the chili a mild spice, if you like more heat increase to 1/4 teaspoon for a moderate spice. Add additional cayenne pepper at your own risk!

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