The slow cooker makes this chili ideal for entertaining. A few minutes of prep and then it cooks away while you can attend to other party details. Your guests will really enjoy this nicely seasoned hearty dish.—Jan Wagner-Cuda, Deer Park, Washington
Many friends and relatives have requested my chili recipe, which I've been using for 25 years. It actually won first place in a local contest, chosen from among 10 other entries. It always comes out delicious. Try it and enjoy!
A touch of baking cocoa gives this chili a rich flavor without adding sweetness. When I was growing up in the North, we served chili over rice. But after I married a Texan, I began serving it with chopped onions, shredded cheese and, of course, corn bread! —Audrey Byrne, Lillian, Texas
Meet the Cook: The basis for this recipe was handed down to me by my aunt, who said she got it from a "grizzled Montana mountain man". I added some zesty ingredients to come up with the final version.
Hot food is something that my husband's family isn't accustomed to. So I adjust the spices for them. In fact, with a few simple alterations to the "heat" index, I can serve this chili to anyone.
Chad and I and our 2-year-old son live 12 miles from town in the country.
-Lisa Humphreys, Wasilla, Alaska
Meet the Cook: When I first tasted this chili that originated with my brother, I couldn't wait to share it. It's the best I've ever had. My husband and our son, 2, like it, too.
-Vicki Flowers, Knoxville, Tennessee
“This filling, hearty recipe comes from my grandmother,” writes Jenny Greear from Huntington, West Virginia. “It’s full of flavor, freezes beautifully and makes a complete, last-minute meal. I top it grated cheddar cheese and chopped black olives and serve tortilla chips on the side.”
JENNY’S TIP: “If I’m feeding a crowd, I increase the pinto beans to four cans to make the meat go farther.”
When folks hear this recipe's name, they're certainly skeptical. But after one taste, they're asking for the recipe! This chili is especially nice for those who don't care for kidney beans found in most recipes. - Barbara Scott, Midland, Texas
Since our two daughters did not like beans in their chili, I adapted a recipe to suit our whole family's tastes. We all agree that mushrooms are an appealing alternative and go very well with the ground beef and sausage.