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Two Quick and Easy Chili Recipes

Chili is a perennial favourite, and an easy go-to for dinners and lunches when you’re short on time. Of course, the purists in the crowd will know that, like any good stew, a perfect chili takes hours to make. It needs time to simmer so the flavours have time to full combine and bloom.

But we don’t all have hours to cook, do we?

As an alternative, it is possible to create a full-bodied chili in a fairly short amount of time. The key is to be liberal with the seasonings, and use bold flavours that will have an immediate impact.

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Steve’s Stovetop Chili

Here’s a quick and simple chili recipe that makes enough for two to three lunches (in a 16-oz portion). It’s also great for dinner in a pinch.

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz. (1/2 regular bottle) Classico Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms (don’t drain)
  • 1 can kidney beans (don’t drain)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
  • chili powder, chipotle, or cayenne pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown 1 lb. of lean ground beef (or chicken, turkey, or lean pork…your preference) in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add salt and black pepper, and a few dashes each of onion powder and garlic powder. Add one can of sliced mushrooms (don’t drain), and one full can of beans (either red kidney beans or mixed beans…also don’t drain). Simmer and stir for ten minutes. Add half a bottle of Classico Tomato & Basil pasta sauce (no, really…it’s good and chunky, and has most of what you’d add for flavour anyway, including tomatoes).

If you like it hot, add in your favourite mouth burners (chili powder, cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, etc.).

To top it off, add a big handful of fresh baby spinach, and another handful of frozen mixed vegetables (our preference is green and yellow beans with baby carrots). Once the spinach wilts down, stir it well, reduce the heat to low, and cover for twenty minutes or so. Once it’s cooled, portion it out into equal servings, and half your week’s lunches are taken care of!

Instant Pot Chili

A new family favourite, featuring our new best kitchen friend! This one doesn’t use beans, but of course you can add them if that’s your preference.

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 bottle marinara sauce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 cups diced mushrooms
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • Handful of spinach, chopped
  • salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin, celery seed, oregano, chipotle

Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Add olive oil to heat, then start browning beef. Add in diced onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and stir until beef is good and brown. Add diced tomatoes and chopped spinach. Top off with marinara, spices, and frozen vegetables. Add water as necessary to get the consistency you want. Give it a taste and adjust salt and spices to taste. Turn off the Instant Pot. Lock down the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to “Pressure.” Push the “Bean/Chili” button and walk away.

This recipe doesn’t actually need to be done under pressure. It just accelerates the cooking for you. You can do this in a pot on the stove just as well, as long as you don’t mind waiting a little longer (or starting a little earlier). The bonus with the Instant Pot is that the flavours extract from the spices and blend together in a much shorter time, giving you the profile of a simmered chili without the long cooking time.


aTried either of these recipes? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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