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You Are the Chef: Classic Heartwarming Chili

Welcome back to our beloved series, “You Are the Chef”! Today, we’re delving into a timeless classic, a dish known to warm the heart and soul—Chili. Whether you’re in for a cozy evening or hosting a casual get-together, this chili recipe will surely win hearts. Let’s dive in and stir up some magic!


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (with their juice)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, sliced jalapeños, and tortilla chips


  1. Sauté the Base: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Introduce the minced garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Brown the Meat: Add the ground beef or turkey to the pot. Cook until browned, breaking it apart with a spatula.
  3. Add the Beans & Tomatoes: Stir in the kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Mix until well combined.
  4. Pour & Season: Add the beef or chicken broth, ensuring it covers the meat and bean mixture. If needed, you can add a little more broth or water. Season with chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Let it Simmer: Reduce the heat to low and let your chili simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the more developed the flavors will become.
  6. Serve: Once the chili has thickened to your liking and the flavors melded, ladle it into bowls. Garnish with your choice of toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, jalapeños, or a handful of tortilla chips.

Nutritional Highlights:

  • Beans: A wonderful source of protein and fiber which can help maintain a healthy digestive system.
  • Tomatoes: Packed with vitamins C & K, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene.

Chef’s Tips:

  1. Vegetarian Variant: Omit the meat and double the beans. Add a variety of beans like pinto or chickpeas for diverse textures and flavors.
  2. Spice It Up: Adjust the cayenne pepper to your liking, or even introduce diced green chilies or jalapeños for a more fiery kick.

Thank you for joining us for another installment of You Are the Chef. Nothing beats a bowl of homemade chili, and with this recipe, you’re sure to serve up comfort in every spoonful! Enjoy your culinary journey, chef!

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