Homemade old-fashioned chili! This is just like your grandma used to make! This chili is a classic, serve with cornbread for a perfect fall meal everyone will love. Total comfort food!
Chad Carling’s Red Chili – This is a special recipe. My grandpa, Chad Carling, is Turing 87 years old this week! This is his recipe (and my Grandmas too). My Dad (who is also named Chad) recently made this with my Mom for dinner. He just loves good, old-fashioned homemade chili. So he wanted to makes his Dad’s recipe. He said he actually learned how to first make chili from his Grandmother, Adell. Yep, thats where I get my name. Her name was actually Zina Adell, but she went by Adell. I just love recipes and the history behind them. That is why I love this blog so much. Sharing food or recipes like I do on this blog (which in a way is sharing your love for someone) is just my favorite thing ever!
My Grandpa is just the best. He has an orchard of citrus trees and for years, he’s gone to small towns around Arizona and sold his hand-picked citrus to loyal customers. The ORANGE man is what they call him or his call name on the CB radio was “The Big Orange.” We are excited to celebrate his 87th birthday this weekend!
Here is the recipe for the chili from a church cookbook my Mom has! This is my Grandpa Chad’s recipe but it is written in the words of my Grandmother Ludene. She passed away this year and we miss her dearly. I love looking at old recipes, don’t you? It’s so fun to see how things have changed over the years. I mean, I’ve never heard of chipped tomatoes have you?
Chili is awesome because you can do so many different things with it! I love a meal that has multiple personalities, haha
Ways you can eat chili:
- Plain Jane…just a bowl and your chili. Totally cool.
- Add a piece of cornbread on the side. Maybe even crumble some on top, my fave 🙂
- Add sour cream, grated cheese, avocados, sliced jalapeños, now we are talking, yum!
- Eat it on top of tortilla chips for some epic nachos.
- Spoon it over a hot do for a chili dog!
- Make a taco salad even better by adding chili in place of the beans
- What else am I missing here? You see, chili is like the one pot wonder. So versatile! Who even knew 😉
So tell me, what do you like on your chili?
I love to crumble the cornbread on top of the chili with cheese and mix it in, so good that way! Whats your favorite toppings for your chili?
Helpful information when making homemade chili
Can I use canned beans?
-Yes! You can use ranch style beans, kidney beans, black beans etc. But The best way in my opinion is to soak dry beans overnight. But if you want to save time, you can totally used canned whole pinto beans.
Can I substitute the packages of chili seasoning for other spices I have?
-Yep! I have listed a good substitute below in the notes of the recipe. Basically you want to use a good amount of chili powder, cumin, garlic & onion powder, oregano, a little paprika and cayenne for spice.
Can I add less water if I want it to be a thicker chili?
-Add more water for a thinner soup like chili. And add less for a thicker version for things such as taco salad.
Can I used beef broth in place of the water?
-Of course! Feel free to add in beef broth or bullion in place or addition to the water for a little more flavor
Made this recipe?
If you make this, be sure to tag me on Instagram @bakedinarizona and use the hashtag #bakedinazrecipe so I can see!
Want more from Baked in Arizona?
I’d love it if you followed Baked in AZ on:
Good old-fashioned chili is the ultimate fall comfort food! This classic chili is simple and delicious. Everyone will love it!
- 2 pounds dry pinto beans (soaked overnight)
- 2 pounds ground beef or chuck
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 2 green peppers, chopped fine
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced or crushed tomatoes (see note)
- 3 pkg. chili seasoning mix (see note)
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 can diced green chilies (see note)
Rinse well. Place in a large bowl and cover with water and soak overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans again in the morning then place in a large stock pot. (8 quart or 2, 4 quart pots) Cover with fresh water to about 1 to 2 inches above the beans.
Bring the a boil and boil for 20 min. Stir and turn down the heat to medium low. Simmer for several hours until beans are tender and soft. Meanwhile, make the meat mixture. Continue to simmer the beans while you cook the meat then you will mix them together.
Keep covered with the lid until meat mixture is ready to combine with the beans then you will simmer together until flavors are blended.
In a skillet, lightly brown onions and green peppers in oil, over medium heat, careful not to scorch. Add the beef and cook till no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat.
Add the chili mix powder (or spices, see not below), the 2 cans of tomatoes, dry mustard & diced green chili. Add a little water if needed. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the meat/tomato mixture to the beans. Simmer until soft and saucy and the flavors are well blended. Add additional water as needed. Add more water for a more soupy chili. Less for a thicker version. Salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Serve with cornbread! And any additional toppings such as cheese, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips etc. The options are endless folks.
- You can add diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. If you don't like chunks of tomatoes, I'd suggest the crushed or put the diced tomatoes in a blender and lightly blend them. You could do 1 (28 ounce) can of tomato puree and 1 (28 ounce) can of diced for the best of both worlds 🙂
- Garlic powder can be used in place of the minced garlic
- You can add 1 or 2 cans of diced green chilis demanding on how spicy you like your chili.
- In place of the 3 packages of chili seasoning you can add: 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 T. cumin, 1 T. garlic powder, 1 T. onion powder, 1 T. oregano, 1 T. paprika & a sprinkle of cayenne is optional for more spice.
- If you don't want to soak your beans, you can sub in 2 large family sized ranch style beans (or kidney beans etc.) and it will be almost as good 😉
- You can also add in beef broth or bullion in place of or addition to the water. It will add a little depth of flavor.
Other recipes you might like!