Chicago-Style Chili

Midwestern chili houses usually serve a tomato-rich, hearty bowl that may or may not be highly peppered. For a spicier chili, change the balance of hot versus mild chili powder.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 3 lbs. ground chuck
  • 2 Tbsp. hot chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. mild chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup ground Monterey Jack cheese


  • In a large, heavy soup pot, cook coarse and finely ground beef together over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain fat; sprinkle with chili powders and cumin.
  • Add onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and tomatoes. Stir in water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, uncovered, 1 hour. Stir frequently.
  • Add beans; cook 1 hour. Add small amounts of water if sauce appears too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve chili with shredded cheese.