Classic Chili for a Crowd

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Classic Chili for a Crowd
Makes: 12  servings
Yield: 18 CUPS (vegetarian variation yields 17 cups)


  • 2 tablespoons  canola oil
  • 3 pounds  lean ground beef
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded if desired, finely diced
  • 5 tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons  chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons  ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon  ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  kosher salt
  • 1 cup  tomato juice or brewed coffee
  • 3 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 3 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon  red wine vinegar


1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in an 8-qt pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer browned meat to a bowl and discard any juices in the pot.

2. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pot with the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, all the spices and salt and continue to cook until the vegetables are well coated and mixture darkens a bit and becomes fragrant. Stir in tomato juice or coffee, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot, and then add tomatoes with their juices, beans, browned meat and 1 1/2 cups water.

3. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili has thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt.

Vegetarian Version::

4. Prepare classic chili, omitting the meat, and saute 3 diced carrots with the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cover and cook until carrots are soft, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add 2 15-oz cans rinsed and drained lentils along with the kidney beans. Add 2 cups thawed frozen corn during the last 5 minutes.


Mex it Up!
  • With leftover chili, make a South-of-the-Border cobbler. Spread chili in a baking dish, top with biscuit dough, bake at 375 degrees F until biscuits are cooked and chili is bubbling.


  • Try black beans in place of kidney beans.


  • Use ground turkey for a low-fat option.


  • Saute diced bell pepper with onion.


  • Top with pickled jalapenos, salsa verde, tortillas chips or crisp jicama.
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