The Easiest (and Best) Chili Recipe

Those of you who have faithfully followed this blog since 2003 have been witness to somewhat of a revolution in my tiny kitchen. Blog posts from the beginning share my frustration and dismay with my inability to prepare delicious, substantial meals.


Hell, I couldn’t even figure out what to buy at the grocery store.


Thankfully, not anymore. Call it an epiphany of sorts. Last year, after watching the Nora Ephron film “Julie & Julia,” I was inspired to cease the whining and learn how to cook. My adventure in culinary education has been primarily documented here, with you. And today’s blog post is no exception.


I recently had a bowl of chilli for the very first time in my life. At age 33, I had never once tried it, despite my mom and late grandmother regularly preparing their award-winning recipe.


But Matt’s folks have a family recipe that I tried. One spoonful, and I was hooked. Several bowls later, I can’t get enough of the stuff. The recipe couldn’t be more foolproof.


As we slowly saunter toward the winter months, I encourage you to serve this chili for your friends and family, or just for yourself. The first bowl will be delicious. The second-day leftovers, divine.


Tompkins Family Chili
1 pound hamburger
1 medium onion
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cans tomato soup
3 small cans red beans
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
A few cups of water, as needed
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Brown together the hamburger and onion. Drain, and transfer to a large soup pot or dutch oven. Add the tomatoes, tomato soup, red beans, chili powder, and paprika. Once combined, add a few cups of water until the chili’s consistency is to your liking. (Two cups is usually enough for me.) Allow the chili to simmer for about 20 minutes before serving with a few handfuls of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.



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