Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Super Easy Chili

By Mary C. Tillotson

At The Mirror, we like to think we're intelligent women, so lately we've been posting a lot of thoughtful, hopefully thought-provoking, stuff. Lest we get too cerebral, however (did I just ruin it with the word "lest"?), I'd like to share with you the easiest chili recipe ever. Take a look at the picture and that's about all you need to know.

Seriously. A can of tomato sauce, a can of beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and some hamburger.

If you'd like the more complicated version, here it is: Open your three cans and dump them into a saucepan - you don't even need to drain the diced tomatoes. Turn the heat on low or medium, just so it warms up. Put your (thawed) hamburger, between half and a whole pound, in a frying pan or skillet and brown it. When it's cooked, drain the grease and plop the meat into your saucepan. Mix it all up, then spice it how you like. Voila! Chili. I really don't think I can make it any more complicated than that.

This ends up being pretty meaty, so if you want it soupier, just add another can of tomato sauce. You can use almost any kind of bean - kidney, black, chili - or a variety of beans if you're making a double or triple batch. If you want an emotional experience, chop an onion and throw it in.

If you're going for simple, don't spice it, or just use chili powder. A Texan (the aunt of a college friend) suggested chili powder, paprika, garlic, oregano, a combination I think tasted very Southwestern. My husband and I also made Italian chili - same recipe, just with basil, oregano, garlic, rosemary, or with Italian seasoning and garlic, maybe topping it with some mozzarella cheese. Onion powder might be good, either for the Southwest or Italian version. We've also used this as spaghetti sauce, and that worked well, too.

Bonus: Chili freezes super well. It'll probably make more than one meal, especially if you're single or a small family, and you can't really halve the recipe because what would you do with half a can of tomato sauce? Pack up the leftovers in meal-sized, freezer-proof, microwave-safe containers and freeze them; when you're ready, microwave them. Easy meal for later!

This is a really flexible recipe. Try it, and let me know what you did to make it even more delicious! I'm always up for new ideas.


  1. Even easier: Brown the meat in your saucepan, drain the grease, and then add the cans and spices. This saves you having to wash an extra dish. If you want easy, ask a mother of many who's had experience for years.


This site is no longer accepting comments. Please check us out at and share your reply there. Thank you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.