Are you a chili orphan? Someone left to wander the world without their own version of this hearty classic? If so, well welcome home. You just found your place in the world with a southern chili recipe that’s not too hot, and never too hard to throw together.
I used to hate to see my brother come into the living room with a bowl of chili. He ate it year round by the gallon–even as a teenager a bowl of it required an entire sleeve of crushed crackers mixed in and a half gallon of milk to drink. I would guess he still eats it that way to this day. It was like a religious event for him to get that bowl mixed to just the right chili-to-cracker ratio.
And no matter how you eat yours, there’s one fact we can be sure of: no one makes it exactly the same way.
Some people like spaghetti in theirs–like my husband does. Other people would challenge your sanity if a noodle went in.
Some people want it a little sweet with some brown sugar or raging hot with every spice and pepper in the pantry. No matter how you take yours, I won’t knock it.
Because you might be one of those wandering lonely people who doesn’t have a go-to version in your hip pocket and this recipe is for you. This southern chili recipe is a perfect place to start. Just right if you never change a thing about it–or ready to take on whatever adjustments you want to throw in the pot.
It can take it.
So step in without fear and grab your chili by the beans. Uh–the can of beans–and make a big batch so it can be on hand all week. It’s sure to fill you up and give you plenty of
gas nights sleeping alone on the couch.
It will be worth it!
Southern Chili Recipe
A good basic chili recipe is something every cook should have up their sleeve. Make this version your own with your family's favorite additions.
- 1 pound ground beef ground chuck works too
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 package chili seasoning mix of your choice
- 1 16 ounce can chili beans any spice level
- 2 14.5 ounce cans diced chili-ready tomatoes with the juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup dry pasta like spaghetti broken into short pieces
In a large pot, brown the ground beef with the onion until no pink remains in the meat. Drain as much of the grease as you can with a spoon.
To the pot, add the seasoning, tomatoes, beans and water and stir to combine. If it's still too thick, you can add 1/2 cup more water until you get to a thickness you like.
Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Add the pasta, return to a simmer and stir occasionally until the pasta cooks through--8-11 minutes or so. Turn off the heat and serve warm or you can cool your chili to room temperature, refrigerate and reheat as needed.