National Chili Day

Apparently there is a great debate waging across the states that I was unaware of until recently, and that is whether chili should have beans or not. Growing up on my mom’s chili (*recipe below*) all my life, I honestly never knew there were so many different types of chili, and that it could be such a hot button issue. I, however, am firmly on the bean side. I think the beans complement the meat and add more texture and substance to the chili.

I also prefer my chili hearty, spicy and tomato-y. I once tried a chili that tasted almost… sweet.  I have since learned that some people make chili with things like cinnamon, nutmeg and other such spices that I am not about. But hey, to each their own.


Truly the great thing about chili in all of its forms is you can totally make it your own. The recipe below was originally my mom’s recipe (which I suspect was adapted in part from the back of the Williams seasoning packet), but I’ve since tweaked it as my own personal taste has evolved (like the switch to ground turkey vs. hamburger and cutting the ketchup with some hot sauce). So, don’t be afraid to make some changes to suit your palate and lifestyle.

No matter how you eat your chili, there’s really nothing like it for warming you up on a cold winter’s night.



2  15 oz cans of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

2  15 oz cans of diced tomatoes (NOT drained)

2 lb ground turkey (or hamburger or whatever you’re into)

1 packet of William’s Chili Seasoning

About 1/4 – 1/2 cup of ketchup

A tablespoon or two of your favorite hot sauce to taste, I use Sriracha most often (optional if you like it hot, if not stick to just the ketchup and use the higher measurement amount)

Optional toppings:

Shredded cheese, diced white or red onions, jalapenos, crunched up Fritos

Serve with Fritos, crackers or biscuits


Brown ground turkey or meat of your choice in a skillet on the stove until no pink remains.

Combine turkey, beans and tomatoes in a large pot. Add in packet of William’s Chili Seasoning and stir until evenly distributed.

Add ketchup and hot sauce and stir again until everything is well combined and seasoning and sauces are evenly dispersed. Heat over medium – medium high heat until it begins to bubble.

Cover with a lid and reduce heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with your favorite toppings.


And enjoy! I added a new heat to mine this time around, adding a lil drizzle of Homeboy’s Fiery Chipotle made by the folks at First We Feast’s Hot Ones. This spicy but approachable, and incredibly versatile, sauce was a perfect addition rounding out the chili with a delicious chipotle heat.

How do you like your chili? I’m curious to know now that my mind has been open to the variety!


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