Making Chili on the Fly

In my humble opinion, one of thee best perks of cooking at home is being able to make whatever you want whenever you want. Okay that’s a *little* dramatic, but all I’m really saying is that when you’re the one that’s cooking, you can make your food exactly how you like it. And that’s especially true when it comes to foods that come in a wide array of styles, foods like chili. 

There’s a ton of different ways to make chili, all varying from methods to ingredients to flavor profiles to accompaniments and toppings. Forget ordering out when a chili craving hits, only to not find exactly what you want on the menu. Why not learn how to make chili on the fly exactly how you prefer it. And as an added bonus, you can learn how to use whatever’s in your fridge/freezer/pantry to make the best chili.

beef n bean chili topped with lime, cilantro and tortilla chips

Your Template for Chili on the Fly

Meat n Beans (pick 1-2)

  • Ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • Kidney beans, black beans or pinto beans, 
  • Cubed beef or steak
  • Shredded chicken
  • Sausage or chorizo

Sauce (pick 1-2)

  • Tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, jarred salsa in a pinch
  • Chicken, beef or vegetable broth, 
  • Some water can even do in a pinch, maybe add some bouillon cubes/paste/powder if you’ve got it

Spices

  • Chili powder, cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder, SALT, smoked paprika, oregano, cayenne powder

Add Ins (pick 2-5)

  • Sliced or diced avocado or some guacamole
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cilantro, scallions or chopped onions
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Sour cream/greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheese

Toppings (pick 2-5)

  • Sliced or diced avocado or some guacamole
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cilantro, scallions or chopped onions
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Sour cream/greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheese

Serve your personalized chili over rice, with corn chips, cornbread

beef n bean chili topped with lime, cilantro and tortilla chips

Easy Chili-Making Process

  1. Brown the meat first to get all the flavor out of it you can.
  2. Then add in the aromatics (onion and garlic, if using) along with your spices of choice. Adding these two elements with the heat and the oil from the meat will allow the aromatics and spices to wake up and release their flavors.
  3. Next comes the tomato sauce and/or stock plus the vegetables you’re adding.
  4. Simmer the chili on low for about 15-20 minutes, then serve with your favorite toppings

My Go-to Chili Recipes

White Chicken Chili

Shredded chicken n white beans, chicken broth and cream, diced green chiles, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, served over rice and topped with corn, cilantro and lime

Vegan Three Bean Chili

Pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, crushed tomatoes, salsa, vegetable broth, onions, garlic, red pepper, green pepper, corn, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, served with corn chips and topped with avocado, chopped onions, cilantro and lime

Classic Beef n Bean Chili (AKA pantry/freezer chili)

Ground beef, black beans, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, beef broth onions, canned or frozen corn, chipotle powder, garlic and onion, cumin, served with cornbread and topped with cheese, cilantro and sour cream

Want more from the blog? Check out these posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.