This hearty chili is filling, nourishing and tastes like it simmered all day long. Leftover chili freezes well for a later time, so why not make a double recipe? To freeze: Cool remaining chili and transfer to freezer containers. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To use frozen chili: Thaw in the refrigerator. Place in a saucepan and heat through. —Wanda Lee, Hemet, California
"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."
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
“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.”
I like meals that are simple to prepare, yet offer maximum taste. Served in hallowed-out rolls, this hearty chili offers extra zip with two kinds of meat, beans and jalapeno pepper. Sometimes I serve the chili in one large round bread loaf. —Tonya Burkhard, Davis, Illinois
You'll need just five ingredients to stir up this quick-and-easy chili from Jane Bone of Cape Coral, Florida. "We like to use medium salsa for zippy flavor, but sometimes I use half mild and half medium," she notes. "Sprinkle hearty servings with shredded cheddar cheese and other tasty toppings," Jane suggests.
Meet the Cook: I started making my chili back when we lived near a huge farmers' market that sold all sorts of vegetables. Be as creative as you like with ingredients.
My husband loves chili, and this is a nice change from the traditional type. I've always enjoyed cooking - I grew up in a family with five girls. These days, I can count on our own youngsters (they're 4 and 2) to help me out!
-Judy Sloter, Charles City, Iowa