Warm Up Winter With Chili

Nothing warms up the cold winter months quite like a bowl of piping hot chili. Chili is the perfect weekday meal for a busy (and hungry) family, or cook up a big pot for the big game this weekend, and share some with your friends. These recipes are delicious, nutritious, and easy to make — just right for the New Year. Start 2016 on a spicy note and let’s get cooking!

Traditional Beef Chili

This simple recipe is bubbling over with traditional chili flavors. Start by heating up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add a chopped sweet onion, a chopped green pepper, and two cloves of minced garlic, and sauté for a few minutes until your veggies begin to soften. Add a pound of lean ground beef, and brown thoroughly. Next, add a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (undrained), a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, and two 14-ounce cans of red kidney beans (undrained) and stir well. Season the pot with three tablespoons of chili powder, two teaspoons of ground cumin, a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste. If you like it hot, add a dash or two (or three) of your favorite hot sauce. Simmer on low, covered for 30 minutes, and uncovered for an additional 30 minutes to thicken and intensify the flavors. Serve topped with shredded sharp cheddar, sliced jalapenos or fresh green onions, and a dollop of sour cream.

White Bean and Chicken Chili

Tender chunks of chicken and white beans make this chili a winner. Start by chopping a pound of boneless chicken breasts into small, bite sized cubes. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook chicken thoroughly, and add a chopped sweet onion, and two cloves of minced garlic to the pot. Cook for a few minutes until your onion begins to soften, and then add a small can of chopped green chili peppers, two 14-ounce cans of white kidney/cannellini beans (undrained), and two 14-ounce cans of chicken broth. Stir well and bring to a boil. Separately in a small food processor, blend the contents of a third can of white kidney beans until smooth and add to your chili as a thickener. Season the pot with two teaspoons of ground cumin, a teaspoon of dried oregano, a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of onion powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Salt to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes before serving. Top your white chicken chili with fresh chopped cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Both these recipes can be doubled (or tripled) for your Super Bowl party, or if you just want leftovers to freeze (but we warn you, chili is so delicious, you may just eat it all yourself in one sitting)! If you prefer to use a slow cooker, brown your meat and veggies, and transfer all the ingredients to your slow cooker. Simmer on low until game time. Pair your chili with a side of rice, elbow noodles, crusty white bread, fresh baked corn bread, crackers or tortilla chips.

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