A good chili with beans recipe is a must-have in any household. I used to go and get the chili seasoning packets to flavor my chili, but since curating my own seasoning, I’ve found that homemade is way better. And it saves that annoying trip to the store when you realize that you have everything except for that packet. The bonus? We get to avoid unwanted additives and preservatives.
For all the dunkers and stakers out there, I’ve also included the how-to of homemade tortilla chips! You might wonder why you’d make your own tortilla chips rather than just purchasing them in a bag. I am here to tell you, that homemade tortilla chips are amazing. They are so easy to make, and a fresh, warm, crispy corn tortilla chip is the perfect accompaniment to this chili with beans. There are only a couple of steps to it. Bring a pot of oil to temperature, cut your tortillas in fourths, fry in batches and salt. And it’s completely worth it.
I’ve been working on this chili recipe for years, a tweak or two at a time. I’ve arrived at a really good balance of all the necessary chili flavors, adding some meaningful additions that, make this chili stand out taste-wise.
Not surprising, this recipe can be made stove-top, or prepped ahead of time to cook in the slow cooker. If you do the latter, you just need to brown your beef first, then add everything to the cooker, either half the day on high, or a full day on low.
While the chips can be made up to a day in advance, they are best warm. If you do make them ahead, they can be popped in a 300 degree oven for 5-10 minutes to recreate that fresh, warm tortilla chip. The beauty of this method is that you can literally just pile these into a stainless steel bowl to warm them.
Thick and hearty, beef chili with beans and homemade, warm corn tortilla chips
- 1 lb ground beef
- 15 oz can light red kidney beans (undrained)
- 15 oz can dark red kidney beans (undrained)
- 15 oz can pinto beans (undrained)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium onion (minced)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup beef stock or broth (see note on salt)
- 1 tbsp paprika, sweet Spanish style
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt ((less if using broth as it's already salted))
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 inch stack of corn tortillas (cut into fourths)
- vegetable oil for frying
- In a large stockpot, brown ground beef on medium high heat.
- Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent.
- Add stock, tomato paste, all seasonings and beans, including the starchy liquid, don’t drain it–it serves to thicken the chili as it cooks.
- Simmer on medium-low heat for a minimum 45 minutes, up to one hour, until all flavors come together, and chili is nice and thick.
- Heat oil in a large pot to about 350 degrees (medium high heat-ish)
- Add tortillas about 20 triangles at a time, fry until golden
- Remove from oil, to a paper towel lined bowl, salt immediately and toss.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas.
To make this in the crockpot, simply brown beef in a skillet, add it plus all other ingredients to crockpot, stir; cook on low for full day or high for half day.