Chili, another prized food of this season and the season to come. It’s perfect for serving at parties and by bonfires. It’s never boring due to its range of flavors, styles, and toppings. But is there one perfect chili recipe for everyone? As I began planning to make chili for our Church leadership meeting this past weekend, this question arose.
In the past, I have searched the internet high and low for good chili recipes- just looking for the secret to creating the perfect chili. No two recipes are alike. Everyone has chili preferences. From the base to the toppings.
With so many styles and flavors to chose from, the task of creating the perfect chili for a large, diverse group of people is slightly intimidating.
This chili recipe below was created out of my desire to do just that- to make an agreeable, delicious (and Paleo) chili.
To ensure true enjoyment of the meal, I also provided a Chili Bar (various toppings and add-ins) that allowed everyone to create their own favorite, unique flavor.
In place of beans you will find vegetables-we have found that specifically the mushrooms make a great texture substitute for the beans.
The best part about this chili? You can do anything you want with it. Change it up, add and take away. Make it yours.
Chili For All
Serves 8-10 Requires 30 min prep and 4-8 hours cooking time depending on method chosen
Ingredients for the Chili
- 18 ounces of tomato paste (3 small cans)
- 32 ounces of beef stock (great way to add some nourishment if it’s homemade!)
- 32 ounces of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 2 tbsp tallow, lard, or coconut oil
- 2 pounds ground beef (or other ground meat)
- 1 diced onion
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms (think bean size)
- 2 finely diced garlic cloves (or sub 1 tsp garlic powder)
- 1 peeled and cubed sweet potato
- 3 medium diced zucchini
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp paprika (smoky if you have it on hand is great)
- 2 & 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- In a large sauté pan heat your chosen fat to medium heat.
- Add your diced onion and garlic, sauté (stirring consistently to avoid burning the garlic) until it is fragrant and begins to soften.
- Once your onion has softened, add the ground beef and mushrooms. Sauté until ground beef is cooked through and the mushrooms have softened. Drain the liquid and fat. Set aside.
- In a large stockpot or large crock pot pour in your tomato paste, beef stock, diced tomatoes, and spices. Stir. It should be thick, but very easy to stir once the tomato paste has been incorporated.
- Add your ground beef mixture and the remaining vegetables.
- If cooking over the stove top, bring to a boil. Once it has began boiling, cover it, and reduce the heat down to low to allow it to simmer. The longer the better. Shoot for at the very least an hour (or until the veggies are soft). The flavor will enhance over time. If you chose the crock pot method, cook on low for 7-8 hours or cook on high for 4-6 hours.
- Serve and enjoy! Along with providing several chili toppings, I made Paleo Pumpkin Cornbread by Brittany from Real Sustenance for my guests.
Optional Add-Ins: Creating a Chili Bar for Guests and/or Family
- Cayenne Pepper (can be served in the shaker or in a cute little bowl!)
- Sour Cream*
- Corn Tortilla Chips*
- Diced red onion
- Avocado slices or guacamole
- Paleo Cornbread or Non-Paleo Cornbread*
- Diced bacon pieces
- Cacao powder (cocoa powder), cacao nibs, and/or dark chocolate (My favorite is Cacao Puro Chocolate Mexicano by Taza)
My favorite way to have chili is with some Paleo Cornbread and diced red onion. Have fun with your Chili toppings- get creative! Feel free to share any other ideas!
Thankful for your readership :)
*For all those following a strict Paleo diet: These toppings are not considered Paleo.