It’s the season of soups and stews! After all, what tastes better than a warm bowl of your favorite savory dish on a chilly winter day? So comforting! Chicken noodle soup, beef stew and clam chowder are just a few beloved soups and stews. But, let’s not forget about another favorite - chili - which is what this blog is all about!
You probably have your go-to recipe that you love and have made for your family time and time again. But, if you want some inspiration to serve up something a little different, we have five hearty chili recipes that you can try for lunch and dinner. Each one is a unique combination of flavors and a tasty twist on this family favorite stew.
Let’s get started with our take on a classic hearty chili recipe!
When you think of a classic chili recipe, the ingredients that come to mind are ground beef, kidney beans, onion, bell pepper, tomato paste and sauce, diced tomatoes and spices probably come to mind. And this somewhat traditional hearty chili recipe does have all of those ingredients, but that’s not all!
With this recipe, you’ll also mix in bacon and black beans, then top your bowl of chili with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Sounds pretty tasty, right? Snag the full recipe for our classic Farmhouse Chili here!
Does your family look forward to taco or fajita night during the week? Mix things up and incorporate those zesty Mexican flavors into a bowl of chili. The transformation from a classic chili to a Mexican-style chili is simple. It just requires a few ingredient swaps. You’ll still use ground beef, onion, bell pepper and tomato sauce, but the following four items are what make this dish unique from a traditional hearty chili recipe:
- Black beans
- Diced tomatoes with green chiles
- Taco seasoning
And if you and your family like a little extra spice in your chili, add some chopped jalapeño. Then, before serving, we recommend sprinkling some chopped cilantro and shredded cheese and adding a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of fresh lime. Additionally, you could crunch up some tortilla chips, which is typical for a tortilla soup dish but also tastes great with this chili variation.
Our third idea for a hearty chili recipe incorporates Italian ingredients and flavors. What makes this chili different? For starters, on top of using kidney beans, you’ll also add cannellini beans as well. Then, for the protein, ground Italian sausage is the perfect ingredient for this style of chili. Ground chicken or rotisserie chicken would taste great, too, if you prefer. Another fun protein to add would be a beloved pizza topping, chopped pepperoni slices!
Next, for the veggies, keep the green bell pepper and onions and add things like mushrooms and zucchini to the pot. Also, mix in Italian seasonings and Italian-style diced tomatoes, as well as some tomato paste and sauce.
And for a final touch, top each bowl with shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh parsley.
Mac & Cheese Chili
Enjoy your chili and another favorite comfort food, mac & cheese, all in one meal. How exciting is that? This hearty chili recipe allows you to do indeed have the best of both worlds - cheesy macaroni and chili beans! To make it, you’ll only need one skillet and these eight ingredients (plus a few spices, including salt, pepper and chili powder):
- Ground pork
- Elbow pasta
- Chicken broth
- Chili beans
- Diced tomatoes
- Green bell pepper
- Shredded cheddar cheese
Last, but definitely not least, is a vegetarian version of a classic hearty chili recipe. Packed with vegetables, including sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions and jalapeños, as well as two different bean varieties, there is a tasty depth of flavor in each spoonful. And since this chili features both pinto and black beans, there is plenty of protein to make sure everyone in the family leaves the dinner table feeling full, happy and satisfied.
Let’s face it - we don’t call the winter months “chilly” for nothing. Whip up a batch of one of the five hearty chili recipes we’ve covered in this blog for a cozy bowl that your family will love. And if you have leftovers, simply ladle them into a freezer-friendly storage bag and store in the freezer for another meal at a later date. But, first things first, before you have leftovers, you need to get the necessary ingredients to make your tasty chili. So, write up your grocery shopping list and head to your neighborhood Food Lion to pick up what you need at low prices.