My daughter Kayla saw a black bean chili while watching a cooking show and called me about it because it looked so good. We messed with our own recipe until we got this easy winner. —Lisa Belcastro, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
Some say you can have your cake and eat it, too...I say eat your chili and the bowl, too! I work the "graveyard shift" at the post office in Portland. During those hours, there is no place to buy meals, so I often bring in dishes like this chili to share with co-workers.
Pork sausage, ground beef and plenty of beans make this chili a hearty meal-starter. I keep the versatile mixture in serving-size containers in my freezer at all times. I can quickly warm up bowls of it on cold—or use it to fix chili dogs, chili tacos and more.
"Having the seasonings mixed up in advance makes stirring up a batch of chili a breeze," suggests Mary Henderson of Opelika, Alabama. "It's a bold but pleasant blend. I like the round steak and ground beef combination."
This recipe is the culmination of several years' worth of experimenting to get just the right flavor. For those who like their chili very hot, the secret is to add more jalapenos. The most I ever used in a recipe was five...was it ever spicy - Liesha Hoek, Somerset, New Jersey
“Even my meat-loving family devours this hearty meatless chili," says Melissa Mendez of Gilbert, Minnesota. "Since it's more fun to eat with your hands, we scoop it up with chips! It's fast, simple to make and freezes well.”
We're Nebraska Cornhusker football fans, and on the days when the "Big Red" team is playing, I make up a big pot of this soup. The whole family gathers around the television set to eat it while watching the game! I like to prepare dishes that have a Mexican flavor—and there's just a hint of that in this deliciously satisfying soup.