Budget Friendly/ Dinner/ Freezer Meals/ Freezer Prep/ Recipes/ Soups

Midwest Chili

midwest chili
Spread the love


This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.


Jump to Recipe

I was born and raised in Wisconsin as a military kid (or brat if you prefer), who then went off to marry a military man myself. Like when I was younger, our travels with the service has taken us all over the country and the world. Something I’ve noticed with every new family we meet and become friends with: everyone has a chili recipe.  Ours has beans (shocking to our Texas friends), bell peppers instead of chilies (a surprise to our Southwest friends), and not served over spaghetti (something our friend from Ohio shared, which was our turn to be shocked). We proudly call this our “Midwest Chili”, which has been adapted from both sides of our family and made uniquely ours over the years. No matter where we are, as soon as the weather hints at fall, the smell of this chili will fill the kitchen.  

Ingredients

  • 2# of Hamburger meat
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 green bell peppers ( can be substituted for red, yellow or orange)
  • 2 cans of chili beans
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 quart jars or cans of tomato juice (I prefer homemade canned- nothing beats fresh from the garden taste)
  • 2 Tbsp red chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayanne powder
  • jalapeño (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

ingredients for midwest chili

First you will want to start with a large pot to brown your hamburger. I love using my Le Creuset dutch oven for this and many other recipes. While it is an expensive piece of kitchen wear, you will not regret investing in a high quality enabled cast iron pot. If you want affordability without sacrificing quality, Lodge makes an excellent version.

Once the hamburger is browned, drain off any excess fat and toss in your diced onion and bell peppers.  Sauté with the hamburger a few minutes on medium heat, long enough to start to soften the peppers and slightly brown the onion.

browning the meat, onion and peppers

Then add in your canned beans and continue to stir until heated through. It is important to make sure your heat is not too high.  Be sure to keep your heat low to medium as to not burn the beans or meat. 

adding in the beans

Next, add in your tomato juice followed by your seasonings. When I write “your seasonings”, I mean it’s a lot about your personal taste. Start off with small amount of each: you can always add more but you can’t take it away. We like the heat in our family so I tend to sprinkle more of the cayenne and red chili flakes starting off, but I still err on the lighter side otherwise I’ll end up with five alarm chili that no one can eat. Once you’ve added your seasoning, cover with a lid and simmer on medium low for 20 mins stirring occasionally. You want the seasoning to really affect your chili before deciding if more seasoning is needed.  

adding in the tomato juice and seasoning

This recipe can be served immediately but I prefer to let my chili slowly simmer over an hour up to 3 hours simmering on low and stirring occasionally.  A long and low simmer really brings out the full flavor of all the ingredients, but I have in a time crunch served it right away and it still tastes amazing.

ready to eat midwest chili

Serve with your favorite toppings of cheese, sour cream, or even a tasty lime wedge squeezed on top. You will not be disappointed with this hearty Midwest Chili.

serving chili with all the best toppings

Now no chili, especially this Midwest Chili, is ever complete without a side of our out-of-this-world Country Corn Bread. Bonus: this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a football team or frozen for later.

cornbread

Midwest Chili

This mouth watering hearty Midwest Chili will become a family favorite of yours as well and be a go to recipe for those icy cold winter days.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 274kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 14.5oz cans of chili beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can of kidney beans drained
  • 2 qt. jars or cans of tomato juice
  • 1 Tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayane powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Jalepeno optional

Instructions

  • First you will want to start with a large pot to brown your hamburger. I love using my Le Creuset dutch oven for this and many other recipes. While it is an expensive piece of kitchen wear, you will not regret investing in a high quality enabled cast iron pot. If you want affordability without sacrificing quality, Lodge makes an excellent version.
    ingredients for midwest chili
  • Once the hamburger is browned, drain off any excess fat and toss in your diced onion and bell peppers.  Sauté with the hamburger a few minutes on medium heat, long enough to start to soften the peppers and slightly brown the onion.
    browning the meat, onion and peppers
  • Then add in your canned beans and continue to stir until heated through. It is important to make sure your heat is not too high.  Be sure to keep your heat low to medium as to not burn the beans or meat. 
    adding in the beans
  • Next, add in your tomato juice followed by your seasonings. When I write “your seasonings”, I mean it's a lot about your personal taste. Start off with small amount of each: you can always add more but you can't take it away. We like the heat in our family so I tend to sprinkle more of the cayenne and red chili flakes starting off, but I still err on the lighter side otherwise I’ll end up with five alarm chili that no one can eat. Once you've added your seasoning, cover with a lid and simmer on medium low for 20 mins stirring occasionally. You want the seasoning to really affect your chili before deciding if more seasoning is needed.  
    adding in the tomato juice and seasoning
  • This recipe can be served immediately but I prefer to let my chili slowly simmer over an hour up to 3 hours simmering on low and stirring occasionally.  A long and low simmer really brings out the full flavor of all the ingredients, but I have in a time crunch served it right away and it still tastes amazing.
    ready to eat midwest chili
  • Serve with your favorite toppings of cheese, sour cream, or even a tasty lime wedge squeezed on top. You will not be disappointed with this hearty Midwestern Chili.
    serving chili with all the best toppings
  • Now no chili, especially this Midwest Chili, is ever complete without a side of our out-of-this-world Country Corn Bread. Bonus: this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a football team or frozen for later.
    cornbread

Spread the love

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating