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
My sister shared this chili recipe with me. I usually double it and add one extra can of beans, then serve with cheddar biscuits or warmed tortillas. The jalapeno adds just enough heat to notice but not too much for my children. —Kristine Bowles, Albuquerque, New Mexico
We love this on a chilly day. A big bowl warms you right up, and the leftovers freeze well. I first made this recipe one day when I decided I didn't enjoy making pizza crust—I just put the pizza in a bowl instead!
Cowen, West Virginia
This hearty entree is low in fat, but full of flavor. I love that you can cook the dried pasta right in the chili. One less pot to wash! This also reheats in the microwave perfectly. —Dawn Forsberg, Saint Joseph, Missouri
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
This flavorful, meaty chili is my favorite...and it's so easy to prepare in the slow cooker. It's a great way to serve a crowd without last-minute preparation. I got the idea from my mother, who used her slow cooker often for soups and stews.
-Stacy Law, Cornish, Utah
With lean ground beef, four types of beans and lots of seasonings and toppings, this chili is truly "fully-loaded." But those aren't the only heavyweights in here; every serving provides a hefty 26 g protein and 11 g fiber. —Cynthia Baca, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
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