No one ever guesses the "secret ingredient" in this recipe that I created. A can of mushroom soup is what makes the chili so thick and creamy. Take this spicy concoction to a fall potluck or church dinner, and watch folks warm up to it!
-Elizabeth Mays, Nunnelly, Tennessee
Canned soup and beans are the secrets to the recipe's rapid preparation. For even faster meal making brown, drain and freeze the ground beef when time allows. When ready to use, just combine frozen cooked beef with the other ingredients and simmer as directed.—Jean Ward, Montogomery, Texas
When I was a school cook, the students loved my chili because they thought it didn't have beans in it. They didn't know I puree the beans, tomatoes, onions and green pepper to create a tasty, vitamin-packed chili! —Mary Selner, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Meet the Cook: Doubling this recipe is automatic for me - just about everyone wants more than one bowl! If any's left, I freeze it. It's also great the second time around.
-Sandra Miller, Lees Summit, Missouri
Meet the Cook: Down here in Texas, we've always enjoyed Southwestern cooking. This chili is a special favorite - I've prepared it for a crowd and just the two of us, too.
My husband and I have three sons and three grandchildren.
-Shirley Logan, Houston, 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
Meet the Cook: Beginning when I was just 5 years old, I was my grandmother's constant helper in the kitchen. And, like her, I can't seem to follow a recipe without changing it! That's how this one came about when I got bored with plain chili. The first time I served it at a potluck, people passed around copies of the recipe.
My husband and I have three grown children and three grandchildren.
-Chloe Buckner, Edinburg, Pennsylvania