Instructables

Effortless Chili for Cold Days

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Picture of Effortless Chili for Cold Days
This Instructable shows how to make chili with almost no effort whatsoever.  It's tasty, warm, and full of lycopene and other healthy stuff, and it's been tested and proven.  It's also inexpensive ($7-14 for a large pot's worth).
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
You'll need:
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 regular cans of red kidney beans
  • 3 tbsps of olive oil
  • 2-4 tbsps of chili powder
  • Salt

Optional:
  • Cooked ground beef/turkey
  • Rehydrated Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • Cottage cheese or sour cream
  • Chives
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Croutons
  • Bread with a nice crust
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Tabasco sauce

Note:  When I worked at a small nonprofit, we would have "Slow Cooker Fridays", and this was the favorite meal to make.  The ingredients were divided up.

-Onions, garlic, and olive oil
-Tomatoes
-Kidney beans
-Bread, croutons, cheese, etc.
 

I usually brought the chili powder, and there was already salt in the kitchen.  If you work in a small office, I highly recommend trying this out with your coworkers.  Freshly cooked food is such a relief, and it removes a bit of tension and stress in the office.

Step 2: Microwave Garlic and Onion

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Microwave the diced onion and minced garlic until the onion is semi-translucent.

Note:
  I microwaved this batch for 3.5 minutes at 70% power.
 

Tip for Mincing Garlic:
  • Place the garlic clove under the flat portion of the knife and hit the knife quickly with the butt of your hand.
  • Remove the skin of the clove.
  • Return clove under the flat portion of the knife and hit the knife with the butt of your hand until the clove is smashed.
  • Run the knife through the smashed clove until it's fully minced.

Step 3: Pour and cook

Picture of Pour and cook
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker including the liquids in the cans.

Note:  If you want meat or TVP, add it at this point.


Stir.

Cook on low for 3-5 hours.

Serve and garnish.
 
Zaelie1 year ago
I tried this and I love it!
I was wondering what you did with the whole tomatoes, do you typically eat them or just pick them out?
AngryRedhead (author)  Zaelie1 year ago
Thanks!

I eat them, and if I get a whole one in my bowl, I'll cut it into large chunks with my spoon.
donicamm3 years ago
I don't think this could be fairly called chili, but it is definitely a good looking soup. Chili is short for Chile con Carne, which literally means "Chili pepper with meat". Still, not being a vegan this looks pretty good. I think I might actually try it for dinner tonight.
AngryRedhead (author)  donicamm3 years ago
The crux of this chili recipe is vegan, but if you look at the "Optional" ingredients, there's a list of vegetarian and meat options to add.  I personally can eat a TON of the vegan chili with a big dollop of cottage cheese, and it's MUCH better than any other vegetarian chili I've tried.  I also prefer it to other chilies with meat because I like the chunky, soupy nature of the recipe, and I'm an absolute fiend for tomatoes.  Most chili is a bit too thick for my liking, and I think the "thinness" of this recipe is what would get the chili fanatics after my hide.  Or the inclusion of beans...  However, it's pretty darn healthy, very easy to make, versatile, and tasty even if some people wouldn't consider it to be a "true" chili.  I hope you try it and let me know what you think!
thepelton4 years ago
I buy the canned Chili by the case.  If I can make it myself, that would be that much better.

Thanks!
AngryRedhead (author)  thepelton4 years ago
I'll occasionally buy Wolf's for hot dogs or dip, but most canned chili is so disappointing that I opt for this recipe because the worth is much more than the work.
 
Personally, I like to put chili on baked potatoes with some shredded cheese on top, microwaved until it is all melted.  I'm drooling.
AngryRedhead (author)  thepelton4 years ago
This wouldn't be a good recipe for putting on baked potatoes.  It's more soup than stew.
 
Wow, this does look terrific and especially easy since it's done in a slow cooker.

If you'd like it thicker, could you strain out all the lumpy stuff, thicken the gravy with a cooked roux and then add them back together? I know, it kinda takes away from the easy-cooking aspect....maybe just throw in a tablespoon or two of flour while it's still hot and stir until thickened a bit?
AngryRedhead (author)  middlenamefrank3 years ago
I personally like this as a soup rather than a thick chili, but creating a roux from the liquid inside the cans should thicken it up quite a bit.
gemtree3 years ago
I make mine with cubed chuck roast. I dislike fat so cut all the fat and gristle off and cook it for hours. Otherwise, I just get out the Wolf Brand Chili. Then I use a brown rice base, mix in some shredded cheese and sometimes some Fritos! I used to put finely diced onions but it grieves my stomach too much. Later is WATCH OUT! So, I leave off the raw onions now. Nothing like hot chili on a cold damp Texas day.
Domineke4 years ago
I'm really excited to make this now that it's getting colder!
AngryRedhead (author)  Domineke4 years ago
Awesome! I made a pot a couple weeks ago even though we're still in the 80s/90s.
dennistrack4 years ago
That looks delicious!
AngryRedhead (author)  dennistrack4 years ago
It is.  Everyone who eats this thinks it's super tasty, and they can't believe how easy it is to make.  I've canned a few jars of this as gifts because most people I know don't mind having a few ready-made meals on hand, and it's a cheap, easy gift to make in comparison to its relative value.
 
onrust4 years ago
I did not know what Fiesta-ware was till I broke one and had to replace it!
Now......I'm mostly scared of it.
AngryRedhead (author)  onrust4 years ago
You shouldn't be scared of it.  It's pretty robust dinnerware.  You can mix-and-match.  It's easy to find modern replacements - the discontinued colors are obviously a little more difficult but still possible to find.  It retains value pretty well.  It's been in production since the 1930s.  And it's not as expensive as Royal Doulton.  There are worse things you could have broken, and in my opinion, when picking out a dinnerware set, you should take replacement into consideration.  That's why I avoid dinnerware at Target and things like that because it inevitably gets discontinued, a piece will inevitably be broken, and there aren't a lot of sellers specializing in those brands of dinnerware so replacement is very difficult.  Oh, and it makes it easier for friends and family to buy you presents if they know you use fiestaware.  I've honestly never bought a single piece.  My sisters and mother have given me all of it as Christmas, birthday, and graduation presents starting from when I was about 16.

By the way, my SO has broken a couple pieces of my fiestaware, and I've made him replace it.  He wasn't thrilled, but thankfully all of the colors I have are still in production.
 
I have an interesting living situation and one of my roomies graciously decorates the house with her stuff.  I felt more than compelled to replace a small piece of this set shown here.  After I replaced it and came clean, I learned I got took on the price.
The colors of her set are great and I only use the stuff on my instructable recipes.  I do not eat on it unless served on it!   She saved the broken plate for a mosaic she is working on. lol
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lemonie4 years ago
Yum. I like the Scotch Bonnets in chilli, if you can get them they're better than powder, but not really traditional / authentic. (or are they?)

L
AngryRedhead (author)  lemonie4 years ago
I'm not entirely sure.  I don't make my own chili powder concoctions and tend to opt for what's easiest and then add to it with whatever I think is missing - I like working from a base, I guess.  My SO is the one who likes to meddle and fool around with grinding, roasting, and mixing spices.
 
kill-a-watt4 years ago
Someone saying chilli with beans is not really chilli in 5...4....3...2...1...

Me, I prefer (small) red beans. And I further cut expenses by using dry beans, not pre-soaking them, and giving them an hour or so in the pressure cooker.
AngryRedhead (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
Yep, some people would say it isn't a "true" chili because it has beans, but this is pretty much a one pot dinner once all the extras are added.  I am a big fan of the one pot dinners especially when I don't want to devote a lot of effort to cooking.
 
Jayefuu4 years ago
Oooo. You collect pitcher plants? :D Snap!

I only have some easier to grow varieties at the moment (about 5) but as soon as I have somewhere warm for them I'll probably get some of the hanging varieties. :D
Jayefuu Jayefuu4 years ago
Just had to look it up because I'd forgotten.... mine are all of the Sarracenia variety at the moment.