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the best chili on earth

Somebody told me recently that they had searched for a standard chili recipe on my website and couldn't find one. Whoa...WHAT?! I cannot believe I haven't shared this recipe until now! It's a tragic oversight and I hope you will find it in your chili-loving heart to forgive me. Dan and I have been making this recipe for years and I recently tweaked it, pushing it over the edge into the realm of chili super-greatness. I love this recipe. And guess what? It's another snowy, cold day in which eating a heaping bowl of comfort is just what I need.

Enjoy, friends!


In a large skillet, cook 2 pounds of ground beef, turkey or venison over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink.

Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain the excess grease from the skillet, but do not clean it. Leave those tasty meat morsels right where they are so they can mingle with their new veggie friends.

Add 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. 


1 yellow or white onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (optional, but highly recommended)

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are fragrant (mmm, don't you love the smell of cooking onions and garlic?!) and the onions and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add:

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Stir it all together and resist the temptation to start eating those delicious, spiced onions and peppers.

There are two ways you can finish up, depending on how much time you have. If you have the time, I recommend using a slow cooker. If you don't have the time, the chili will be just as delicious and you can finish up on the stovetop.

Either throw the entire contents of the skillet into a slow cooker or keep them where they are.

Either way, add:

Cooked ground beef/venison/turkey

46-oz. container tomato juice

28-oz. can diced tomatoes

15-oz. can tomato sauce

16-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

16-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Mix everything together. Yum! Getting hungry yet?

If you are using a slow cooker, cook on Low setting for 7 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. And test-tasting often, of course.

If you are using the stovetop, bring the chili to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how much time you have. 

Serve warm with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and a dollup of sour cream.

Oh sweet chili-eating goodness, I'm heading downstairs to make myself a bowl!

Printable recipe: The best chili on earth

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Reader Comments (4)

This looks wonderful! Somewhat similar to the one I've been making for years, but just different enough that I think I could try it out on my hubby without him whining that I'm not making THE chili that he likes best. Ha!

This looks SO good! I'm going to make this for dinner tonight. :) The only thing I think I'll do differently is to use a milder pepper than the jalapeno. I have three young kids, and they're not nuts about spicy things. I can't wait!

02.16.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Wells

I haven't made chili for so long I think I forgot how. I'll just follow your recipe for the best chili on Earth. Can't get any better than that.

02.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I made this chili today. When my sister and I sat down to eat we expected it to be good because the aroma was so wonderful. I took one bite and looked over at her and said, "This is better than what we usually make." She certainly agreed. I haven't eaten any chili that I thought was better. It's delicious! The only thing I changed was adding a little bit of pasta. When we were growing up our Mom used to add elbow pasta to her chili. This was probably to make it stretch further since there were five of us. It is something that has stuck with us as adults. Other than that, I didn't change a thing and it was perfect. Thanks Megan for another wonderful recipe. :)
Tami W.

02.23.2014 | Unregistered CommenterT Walker

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