Taco Chili Recipe

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (can substitute ground turkey or chicken)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

Spices

  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder (adjust for your heat preference)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional, but adds a nice depth)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Beans

  • 1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

Canned Goods

  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (10-oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (like Rotel)

Liquids

  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

Optional Add-ins

  • 1 (15-oz) can corn, drained
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (if you prefer a shortcut to individual spices)
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning (adds a unique flavor dimension)

Instructions

1. Brown and Saute

  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until browned. Drain excess grease if needed.
  • Add onion and bell pepper (if using). Cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.

2. Add Spices

  • Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 1 minute to bloom the spices.

3. Build the base

  • Add kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans (if using), crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and green chilies, and broth.

4. Simmer and Season

  • Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours for a richer flavor. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings. You may want more salt, pepper, or chili powder depending on your preference.
  • If you’d like to add corn, taco seasoning, or ranch seasoning, do so in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Serving

Serve your hot taco chili with your favorite toppings:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Diced avocado or guacamole
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cooked rice

Tips

Flavor variations: Substitute different types of beans, try different varieties of chili peppers, or add a splash of hot sauce.

Stovetop, Slow Cooker, and Instant Pot: This recipe works in any of these! Instructions are easily adaptable – just brown the meat first, then combine ingredients and let it cook.

Make-ahead: This chili is even better the next day, so feel free to make it in advance.

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