This is my all-time favorite chili recipe. The Italian sausage really gives it great flavor, the beans provide a hearty texture, and the celery is an unexpected inclusion. It’s wonderful for any night of the week since it only gets better as it sits in the slow cooker. I’ve also made it for several parties and it is always well received. Try it! I’m sure you’ll like it, too.
1 lb. mixed ground beef and Italian sausage, browned and drained (I use half and half)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced (I run through a garlic press)
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 c. chopped celery
2 (28-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (28-oz.) can whole, peeled tomatoes
2 TBSP ground cumin
1/4 c. chili powder
1 TBSP dried oregano
1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper (if you like spicy chili)
1 (14.5-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
1. In a skillet brown ground beef and sausage, drain and set aside.
2. Spray large pot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery. Saute briefly.
3. Stir in the diced and whole tomatoes. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and Cayenne (if desired) and cook for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Add the beans and browned meat. Partially cover, and let simmer for 4 hours. (If you’d like to use a slow cooker, transfer all ingredients and this point and set to desired time and temperature.)
5. Serve with Fritos, chips, cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, hot sauce, or any other desired toppings. Serves 6-8.