This thick, slow-cooked chili is special to me because it "cooks itself" while I'm at work. My family and friends love it. It's really nice served with corn bread. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
When my brother and sister were in grade school in little Rocky Ford, Colorado, this comforting chili dish was served in the school cafeteria. My siblings described it to my mother so she could duplicate it at home. We all enjoy preparing it for our own families now.—Karen Golden, Phoenix, Arizona
Luckily, this recipe makes a lot, since everyone is apt to want another bowl. It freezes well and makes excellent leftovers-if there is any left. Not that I'm a retired farm wife, I enjoy traveling and volunteering. —Fannie Wehmas, Saxon, Wisconsin
Green, sweet red and yellow peppers give this hearty chili a splash of color. I often fix it for my grandsons. Because they don't like spicy chili, I use mild salsa, but try it with a hotter variety if you prefer. —Richard Rundels, Waverly, Ohio
The first time I made this, it won first prize at a chili cook-off. It takes just minutes to mix together, and the slow cooker does the rest. It's often requested by friends and family when we all get together.
Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota
My husband created this chili for a local cooking contest, and it won the People's Choice award. It's loaded with beef, Italian sausage, tomatoes and beans and seasoned with chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes for zip.
Who says a good chili has to simmer all day? This zippy chili- with a touch of sweetness from the baked beans- can be made on the spur of the moment. It's an excellent standby when unexpected guests drop in. Served with bread and a salad, it's a hearty dinner everyone raves about.
This vegetarian chili is zesty, but it also offers a slight hint of sweetness. Because it doesn't have to simmer for hours like other chili recipes, it's ideal for serving to drop-in visitors. —Jeraldine Hall of Ravenden Springs, Arkansas
I was looking for a new recipe for chicken when I discovered a dish I thought my husband might like. After making a few changes and additions to fit our preferences, I had this zesty chili simmering on the stovetop. It was great! Leftovers store well in the freezer.
Because it looks different than traditional chili, my family was a little hesitant to try this dish at first. But thanks to full, hearty flavor, it's become a real favorite around our house. I like to serve it with warm corn bread. —Jeanette Urbom, Louisburg, Kansas