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Crockpot Chili

When I was a kid, we had chili out of a can. As a mom, I have to admit that serving canned chili over noodles is a quick dinner. However, it doesn’t look very appetizing and I am sure it is full of sodium and other junk. What is the mystery meat they use in canned chili? We probably don’t want to know.

Years ago, I set out to find a chili recipe. There are thousands of variations of chili out there, but nothing that really appealed to me. I started with a basic recipe and then added and subtracted according to our tastes. Here is what evolved over the years. Feel free to change it to suit your tastes.

Makes two meals for my family of 5

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time in crockpot: 4 hours

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. of meat – I used ground chuck this time, but I have used sirloin cubes, boneless chicken breast or ground chicken

2 large green peppers, chopped

1 large Vidalia onion, chopped

2 (28oz.) cans diced tomatoes with juice

3 (15oz.) cans of beans (I used 2 dark kidney and one pinto, but any kind will work)

4 tbsp. cumin

3 tbsp. chili powder

This has enough spice for my kids. My husband usually spices his bowl up a little more with Tabasco or diced jalapeno peppers.

Directions:

If using ground meat (or chicken), brown meat on stove until cooked through. Drain and set aside. (When I make the chili with sirloin cubes, I just put it in the crockpot raw. It eliminates a step.)

Cut the peppers and onion in bite-sized pieces and add to 6 quart crockpot. (If you are really organized, you can cut the peppers and onions up the night before and refrigerate them. Some cooks may even have them cut and frozen to grab and go, but I am not that prepared.)

Drain and rinse all cans of beans and pour into crockpot.

Add meat on top of beans.

Add diced tomatoes and juice to crockpot.

Sprinkle cumin and chili powder on top of all and mix all together.

Cook in crockpot for 4 hours on low if you browned meat first. If using cubed sirloin, cook 4 hours on high.

Serve over Ditalini noodles or with a side of cornbread.

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