Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans

  • Rating ****

Makes about 3 quarts, serving 8 to 10

Good choices for condiments include diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. If you are a fan of spicy food, consider using a little more of the red pepper flakes or cayenne--or both. The flavor of the chili improves with age; if possible, make it a day or up to five days in advance and reheat before serving. Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans (16 ounces each), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice (28 ounces)
  • 1 can tomato puree (28 ounces)
  • Table salt
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add half the beef; cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown,

3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree and

1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove the cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if the chili begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer), until the beef is tender and the chili is dark, rich and slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with additional salt. Serve with lime wedges and condiments if desired.

Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.

RecID 8527

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