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Classic Red Chili

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)



  1.  Rinse well. Place in a large bowl and cover with water and soak overnight.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

  4. Keep covered with the lid until meat mixture is ready to combine with the beans then you will simmer together until flavors are blended.

Meat mixture

  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Serve with cornbread! And any additional toppings such as cheese, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips etc. The options are endless folks.

Recipe Notes

  • 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.