Through much of my childhood, my dad owned a running shoe and apparel store called Fleet Feet Sports. I was still playing dress-up and lugging around my Barney & Baby Bop stuffed animals at the time he opened the store, but I still remember chowing down on this chili at that early age. Chili nights were the only nights that my parents didn’t have to beg me to drink my milk. Every bowl of chili I ate was served with a glass of ice cold milk to cool my mouth off from the spices in the chili.
Weird combination? Maybe. But I loved it!
Before you stop reading because you don’t like spicy food…
Have it your way: Spice
The thing I love about this chili is you can “have it your way.” In other words, yours can have as little or as much heat as your family prefers. In the 2-alarm chili kit (which you can find at your local grocery store or online), you’ll find little packets of pre-measured chili powder, paprika, salt, dehydrated onion & garlic, cumin, oregano, red pepper, and corn masa flour.
Use this guide for spicing up your chili…
An added bonus…
No need to go purchase and measure out a bunch of spices for this chili! How easy (and inexpensive) is that?
Have it your way: Protein
Right about now, you may be asking: “How does your childhood and your dad’s store relate to chili?” Great question. One of my dad’s employees (who happened to be vegan) gave him the recipe for this chili, making him promise to never put meat in it. Since my dad made the promise, he typically incorporated veggie crumbles, but you could also make it with beans and veggies only.
As a meat-eater, I’m so glad I wasn’t the one who made that promise! My family typically incorporates ground beef, turkey, or venison into the recipe. All you’ll need to do is brown your protein of choice in a large Dutch oven before adding the other ingredients.
Are you understanding why I call this Easy “Have it Your Way” Chili now?
- All spices are pre-measured in one little box.
- You can make the chili mild, medium, spicy, or super spicy.
- You can incorporate the protein of your choosing.
Finally, guess what else you can do to have this chili your way?
Have it your way: Toppings
Garnish you chili with the toppings of your choice! Try cheese, avocado, scallions, red onion, cilantro, sour cream, or Greek yogurt.
Easy “Have It Your Way” Chili
This recipe makes quite a bit of chili which is great for leftovers or freezing for a later date. The chili tastes great reheated in the microwave or on the stove. If thick enough, it could also be incorporated into a chili cheese quesadilla.
1 pound ground beef, turkey, venison, veggie crumbles (protein of your choice)
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel (10 oz)
1 can red beans (16 oz), drained & rinsed
1 can navy beans (16 oz), drained & rinsed
1 can kidney beans (16 oz), drained & rinsed
1 can pinto beans (16 oz), drained & rinsed
1 box 2 Alarm Chili Kit (see notes below)
- Add salt to taste. Personally, I’ve never used the whole packet.
- Add red pepper to taste.
- Mild: Skip the red pepper.
- Medium: Use one-third to half of the packet.
- Hot: Use at least 1/2 of the packet.
- Super spicy: Use the whole packet.
- Omit masa (unless the chili needs to be thickened).
1 cup water
- In large pot, brown ground beef. Drain if needed.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer.
- Top with cheese, sour cream, avocado, or other toppings of your choice.
It’s chilly outside, so what better time to make this easy “Have it Your Way” Chili inside? How will you be making your chili? What are your favorite chili toppings? I’d love to hear from you!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like these posts: