Bachelor’s Easy Chili



30 minutes

active time

1+ hours

total time


1 16 oz can kidney/cannellini beans

1 16 oz can Bush’s chili beans

1 16 oz can tomatoes (whole San Marzano or regular diced)

1 packet McCormick’s chili seasoning

1 lb lean ground beef

2-3 cups chicken stock, water, or beer

1 yellow onion

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  1. Dice the whole onion. Finer dice is better, just chop it the best you can. Reserve 1/4 cup if you like raw onion on top of your finished chili.

  2. If using whole San Marzano tomatoes, crush them into a large bowl using your fingers. If using diced, just add them to a large bowl.

  3. Shake the cans of beans before opening, then add them to the large bowl. Stir the beans and tomatoes together until homogeneous.

  4. Add the oil to the bottom of your Dutch oven.

  5. Hear the oil over medium heat until shimmering.

  6. Add the onion to the oil, and salt generously.

  7. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

  8. Add the beef and brown it til cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Break it up until the texture is sort of gravel-like.

  9. Drain off the rendered fat, leaving 2-3 tbsp of the fat in the DO.

  10. Add the seasoning packet and stir.

  11. Let the oil and heat “bloom” the flavors of the seasoning for 1-2 minutes. Lots of the seasoning will stick to the bottom of the DO…but fear not.

  12. Deglaze the bottom of your DO with either the stock, beer, or water. Scrape up as much of the seasoning and fond off the bottom of the DO as you can.

  13. Slowly pour the beans and tomatoes into the DO.

  14. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover. Simmer for as long as you like (minimum of 20 minutes), adding water to maintain volume as needed.

  15. If you like a thicker chili, crush some of the beans against the sides of the DO, and don’t cover the pot while simmering. You can also thicken the chili by adding a tbsp or two of corn masa.

  16. Before removing from heat, and the ACV, stir for 1 minute. This will brighten all the flavors that the simmering sort of muted.

Optional Accompaniments

  1. Corn bread

  2. Diced fresh chilis

  3. Crushed red pepper

  4. Hot sauce

  5. Diced raw onion

  6. Sour cream

  7. Cheese (sharp cheddar, chihuahua, cotija, queso fresco, Colby Jack, etc)

  8. Oyster crackers


Experiment with different additives…Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, mushroom powder, etc, are all great ways to boost the Umami flavors in your chili. Start with a tsp or half tbsp, stir it in well, then taste.

Substitute chuck roast instead of ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Sear it well on all sides, cut into bite sized chunks, then simmer it in the chili.

Skip the seasoning packet and make your own. Get some different types of dried chilis from a Mexican market (guajillo, d’arbol, jalapeño, ancho, Anaheim, etc). Simmer them in a little chicken stock, then throw them in the blender until smooth.

Some people like a little brown sugar in their chili. I’m not one of those people :)

Point is, this is just the start. Make it your own. Take pride in cooking and feeding yourself. It’s a hell of a feeling.



30 minutes

active time

1+ hours

total time
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