Chunky Chili Recipe

My whole family loves this chunky chili recipe. This chili is filling, has as much spice as you like, and is all kinds of delicious.Chunky Chili Recipe

Chunky Chili Recipe: My Family’s favorite!

I love chili. Seriously, it is one of my favorite foods. I could eat it every week. We actually almost DO eat it every week. This is especially a common weekly-eaten item in the fall season. Is there anything better on a cool, crisp evening than a bowl of spicy chili with cornbread?!? Nope. Except maybe anything made with pumpkin. But I will not be sidetracked.

When I first started making chili, I was super frustrated at the recipes out there.

  • Many were boring: ground beef and tomatoes and not much else.
  • Some chili recipes were missing complexity and/or spiciness.

After a while, I start writing down the things I liked about each chili recipe and combined them to make my own. The result? 

The. Best. Chili. Recipe. Ever!!!

I know that lots of people brag about their family chili recipes, and that’s okay if they love them. However, if you have been struggling with finding the perfect chili recipe, I hope you try mine out!

One of my favorite things about my Chunky Chili recipe is that when I (often) have an abundance of various peppers from my garden, this recipe can use a bunch of them up

If there are still tomatoes in my garden when I’m in the mood for chili it makes this recipe even better.

What I love about this chili: various peppers, meat, beans, tomatoes, spices: they all meet together to make a spicy, hearty chili recipe that lasts for about 10-12 servings. It is lax enough that each batch is different while still having similar attributes.

Chunky Chili Recipe

Chunky Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

An amazing chili that combines a variety of peppers, meat, beans, and spices to make a beautiful, complex, spicy dish to satisfy the family.


  • **1-2 pounds of ground beef or turkey (depending on what you like)
  • **1 pound of cooked bacon (optional!)
  • **1 onion, chopped
  • **1 green pepper, chopped (more if you prefer mild peppers to spicy ones)
  • **A variety of hot peppers, diced (I use what is available in my garden, and I prefer a balance like: 6-8 jalapenos, 2 habaneros, 3 poblano/anchos, 3 serranos) (this produces a somewhat spicy chili, nothing intolerable because they are sauteed and lose a bit of their spice in that way, but be as brave as you can and use however many you want. You can always add more the next time!)
  • **4 (14.5 oz each) cans of stewed tomatoes, chopped up (preferably organic or home-canned)
  • **1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes (organic or home-canned)
  • **1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (preferably organic)
  • **1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed (preferably organic)
  • **2 (15 oz each) cans chili beans (I use hot, you can use mild if you want), undrained
  • **1-2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • **spices: cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
  • **hot sauce (optional!) to your taste preferences
  • **toppings (optional): shredded cheese, sour cream, cornbread


    1. In a large soup pot, brown the meat. Add the onion, green pepper, and variety of hot peppers. Saute until the onion and peppers are tender (approx. 5 minutes).
    2. Add the remaining ingredients. Add spices and hot sauce to your preference. Add enough tomato paste to help maintain a thicker sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the more complex the taste.
    3. Before serving, sample and add more spices or hot sauce until it is perfect. Put in bowls, add toppings of your choice. I recommend cheese, sour cream, and cornbread on the side. Enjoy!


  1. I only add bacon when it is on sale. I don't want my chili to cost a lot of money, and I enjoy the taste of this chili both with and without bacon.
  2. Always remember to wear gloves when handling hot peppers! Otherwise, be prepared for your hands to sting for days, no matter how much soap you use (been there, done that, trust me, it is NOT fun).
  3. I apologize for not including exact measurements of the spices, but chili is supposed to fun and creative! I always just add a bunch, taste, and then balance it out to my preferences.
  4. Make sure to use a big enough pot! This makes plenty of chili, so don't skimp on the pot!

For further reading:

**Check out this Grain Free White Bean Chili recipe from Honest Body


My Family's Chunky Chili Recipe: the perfect blend between meat, tomatoes, and peppers.

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